SLOVAKS, JEWS, ITALIANS, GREEKS and other ethnic peoples settled into ethnic enclaves within Cleveland and turned to other members of their culture for assistance in finding work, homes, and financing. Polish immigrants often found such help from community leader MICHAEL KNIOLA, for example. Others might seek help from the parish or temple officials or from local merchants, neighbors, and established relatives. "LITTLE ITALY," near Univ. Circle, is an example of the type of ethnic enclave that was formed by the tendency of new immigrants to settle near others from their former villages overseas. In at least one case locally, help in finding housing was provided by an employer. In the 1890s a subsidiary of the National Carbon Co., the Pleasant Hill Land Co., created an allotment of 484 small parcels bordering 8 streets next to the company's plant on the west side. Five of the streets were whimsically named for birds--Thrush, Plover, Robin, Lark, and Quail--and gave the community its nickname of "The BIRD'S NEST." The Slovaks who moved here built and expanded 1 or 2 houses on each of these small lots into multifamily boarding houses and created a tight-knit community. During the decades after the turn of the century, development was reaching the edges of Cuyahoga County. From GLENVILLE and COLLINWOOD on the east, to LAKEWOOD on the west, men like Mars Wagar were turning farms and orchards into residential allotments. A complex web of streetcar lines linked these allotments to jobs downtown and interurban lines connected Cleveland with surrounding counties. Annexations ceased with the acquisition of BROOKLYN HTS. village in 1927, but developers had already begun taking an interest in the affairs of the suburban cities that were springing up on Cleveland's periphery. In 1901, for instance, the first CLEVELAND HTS. hamlet's Board of Trustees included Rockefeller's realtor, John G. W. Cowles, who was involved with the creation of the Euclid Hts. allotment within the hamlet. Real estate men were developing entire communities and sat on governing boards to help preserve the ambiance they were trying to create. Zoning laws began to make their appearance in the 1920s--supplementing the deed restrictions that had formerly been the only means of regulating land use and preserving values--and were upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1926 in the case of VILLAGE OF EUCLID V. AMBLER REALTY CO. Earlier attempts to preserve real estate values were usually overrun by the rapid growth of Cleveland. Clinton Park and Euclid Hts. were predicated on particular urban dimensions and transportation methods, but rapid population increases and technological changes pushed their intended luxurymarkets farther away from the expanding urban core. Only with Shaker Hts. was a luxury community planned which had the size to retain its identity amid growth, and which took into account the emergence of the automobile. Based upon the original work done by the Shaker Hts. Land Co., Shaker Hts. realized its successful form under the inspired marketing of the Van Sweringen brothers (see ORIS P. AND MANTIS J. VAN SWERINGEN) during the period between the World Wars. The true heir to the legacy of Millionaires Row on Euclid Ave., it became one of America's premier planned communities and grew eastward toward GATES MILLS. The postwar period of real estate in Cleveland has been characterized by 2 themes: the accelerated outward pressure on growth as the Baby Boom began and the issue of racial discrimination. The new surge in family size and the emerging pattern of consumer materialism accelerated demand for new homes for young families. Automobiles permitted longer commutes to the downtown and greater demand for homes in more distant SUBURBS. With the coming of the interstate highways in the 1950s and 1960s, the evolution of a multi-core city was accelerated. Another cause of rapid suburbanization was racially motivated. Since the Civil War and the advent of public transportation, there has been a noticeable tendency of people to move, mostly by economic class, away from urban centers; with each generation of wealthier citizens seeking residences farther out and being replaced, in turn, by waves of successively less-affluent people. But in the 1960s this process accelerated into a phenomenon called "white flight," as the attempt of AFRICAN AMERICANS to find better homes, schools and neighborhoods led to white residents fleeing out of fear of eroding property values. The purpose of deed restrictions had been to reinforce homogeneity within neighborhoods and reinforce values. Restrictive covenants against selling homes to African Americans and other minorities were predicated on this principle of homogeneity, but in 1948 the U.S. Supreme Court declared that racially exclusive covenants were unenforceable in court. Fair housing laws (see FAIR HOUSING PROGRAMS) would help achieve integrated neighborhoods in areas like Cleveland Hts. and Shaker Hts., but area-wide integration remains elusive. The Cleveland Assn. of Real Estate Brokers was formed in 1948 to promote "Democracy in Housing," when African Americans found that they could not join the Cleveland Board of Realtors. The realtor's board accepted their first minority member, J. Howard Battle, in 1968 (see CLEVELAND AREA BOARD OF REALTORS). The 1970s were marked by a nationwide attack on anti-competitiveness of real estate boards and their multiple listing services. An area-wide multiple listing service had been first established in 1912, but it died out during the Depression. In theplace of a comprehensive multiple system, local systems began springing up after 1949. A board-operated MLS was authorized in 1968, but generated heated protests from the established local system members and died in 1970. The present county-wide MLS was formed in 1975, which finally succeeded in merging the local systems and was incorporated as NORMLS in 1986. Many argued--and still argue--that the existence of a board-owned multiple listing service, and the cooperative agreements that supported it, served to hinder the ability of people to buy and sell homes without the services of a realtor and to fix costs unnaturally high. Costs and competition have been a part of real estate speculation since the founding of Cleveland 200 years ago. The size of the metropolitan area has grown far beyond what its founder expected, new technologies have made many innovations possible in real estate development, and the profession has evolved into a large, specialized industry since 1796. But the basic principle remains: to anticipate future changes in the real estate market and to create projects that increase land values. William C. Barrow See also CLEVELAND AREA BOARD OF REALTORS."/> Retrievo - Alternate title: The dictionary of Cleveland biography
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