Placemaking + Neighborhoods

You know you’re home when you see one of those iconic Cleveland script signs around the city. Or perhaps you recently noticed a new mural going up at Public Square or have seen the many public art installations. The Cleveland landscape is always changing with art projects, developments like Irish Town Bend or the redevelopment of MidTown.

Empire Builders: Local author documents the architectural impact of the Van Sweringen brothers
Architectural photographer and Shaker Heights resident Lauren Pacini this week published “Empire Builders: An Illustrated History of the Rise and Fall of Cleveland's Van Sweringen Brothers,” the story of the eccentric Van Sweringen brothers' successes and failures in developing Shaker Heights as an exclusive residential garden community and their eventual demise during the Great Depression.
Mt. Pleasant beautiful: Group to host second annual neighborhood cleanup
Clean and Beautiful Cleveland Block 2 Block will hold its second annual Beautify Mt. Pleasant event this weekend, when volunteers will pick up litter, clean up the neighborhood, and tend to the flower beds that were installed last year on tree lawns along Kinsman Road between E. 131st and E. 154th Streets.
Cleveland Asian Festival sets records, two attendees win FreshWater raffle
Cleveland Asian Festival set some new records last weekend. FreshWater Cleveland was there too, raffling off goodies and gifts provided by Cleveland Museum of Art, MAGNET, Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, Ponsky Facial Plastic Surgery, and Kimpton Schofield Hotel.
Illustrating Little Italy: Artist depicts neighborhood history, life, in mural and Art Walk
Cartoonist, illustrator, and graphic designer Tara Seibel has been creating collectible posters for the Little Italy Art Walk since 2014. Last December she completed the mural "Happy Feast" in Presti's Bakery and will host several artists in her gallery above the bakery to kick off this year's Art Walk, running May 31 through June 2.
Cleveland Neighborhood Progress puts residents at heart of newest grant funding
Empowerment was top-of-mind for Cleveland Neighborhood Progress when it recently invested $2.013 million into 17 CDCs, with focus on the residents and needs like home repairs, community engagement, and real estate development.
A different shade of green: Readers Garden adorns Shaker Library lawn
On March 1, LAND studio and Shaker Heights Public Library unveiled The Readers Garden, a public art installation by landscape architect Haemee Han, that features a reading porch of five clusters of larger-than-life books written by 13 local authors with ties to Shaker and the Cleveland area. The project celebrates Shaker's diversity and rich culture of reading and writing.
Public art installation: Reader’s Garden opens tomorrow in Shaker
Officials with the Shaker Heights Public Art department and LAND studio teamed up with and landscape architect Haemee Han of Jaemee Studio and former Shaker mayor Judy Rawson to create the Reader's Garden—a public art space on the library grounds to celebrate Shaker's diversity and rich culture of reading and writing. The dedication and artist talk will be held tomorrow, Friday, March 1.
Grass roots crime fighters: Funding programs to keep kids out of trouble
In late 2023, the City of Cleveland used $10 million in ARPA money to create and support the Cleveland Neighborhood Safety Fund, which helps grassroots organizations fight the root causes of crime with educational, inspirational, artistic classes. FreshWater Cleveland talks to six of the grant recipients and what the programs are doing.
Community ties: Local makers anchor Meijer Fairfax Market
Business is booming for three local entrepreneurs at the new Meijer Fairfax Market. Read the stories of Desira Sallee of D’s Sweet Treats & More, Andrea Catlin of Catlin Naturals, and Charlotte Peachie Tufts of O Taste & C as they find retail success.
Nature Center, Shaker Historical Society to host tour of sites involved in 1960s 'Freeway Fight'
This weekend, the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes and the Shaker Historical Society will host a Historical Homes & Building Tour, with presentations from local historians on the 1960s fight to stop construction of freeways over the wetlands and greenspace in Shaker Heights and Cleveland Heights.
Reflections on year one: Ronayne looks back on his first year as County Executive
In his first year as Cuyahoga County Executive Chris Ronayne has made strides in environmental stewardship, community development, and social justice—with a focus on improving services and a commitment to enhancing the quality of life in the county.
Making choices, making history: Facing History mural prompts a look inward, a look forward
Facing History & Ourselves, the organization that uses the lessons of the past to create a better future by helping navigate student conversations about race, equity, justice, and citizenship, worked with LAND studio and artist Isaiah Williams to send its message through a mural on the side on their building on the Urban Community School campus.
Flashback: Big Fun returns to original Coventry home as holiday pop-up shop
This holiday season Steve Presser's Big Fun—the nostalgic store selling vintage toys, gag gifts, old-time candy, and funky jewelry—is returning to Coventry Village as a pop-up shop in the store's original location.
Shaping the future: Union Miles Mt. Pleasant unite as one CDC, initiate renewal plans
Union Miles Development Corporation is adding the Mt. Pleasant neighborhood to its footprint—thanks in part to grants from Cleveland Neighborhood Progress and St. Luke's Foundation. Union Miles CDC executive director Roshawn Samples has big goals for revitalizing Cleveland's southeast side and restoring the pride and investment in the neighborhood where she grew up.
Tales of Terror: Tours of Cleveland to share spooky stories of horror and tragedy in October
Tours of Cleveland founder Scott O'Con wanted to cover something different than the usual haunted house tours and spiritual sightings in his October walking tour series. So, in Tales of Terror, he focuses on Cleveland's true tragedies, murders, and disasters spanning the 19th and 20th Centuries.
Full steam ahead: Irishtown Bend stabilization project breaks ground
Last Friday, Aug. 25 at the Cleveland Rowing Foundation, city officials and organizations celebrated the beginning of the vital next step in the Irishtown Bend project—the stabilization of the banks of the Cuyahoga River to move ahead with a 23-acre park.
Photo essay: Ghost Signs of CLE
This is our second photo installment of ghost signs spotted in and around Cleveland.
Antioch Baptist Church to commemorate its 130th anniversary with historic walk, block party
Antioch Baptist Church, Cleveland's second-oldest Black church, will kick off its 130th anniversary celebration Saturday by duplicating its historic walk from its old church to its current church. The celebration continues next weekend with a block party.
MidTown Opening Day: Celebrate neighborhood pride, Cleveland Foundation HQ opening
It’s MidTown Opening Day this coming Saturday, July 15—a free, daylong neighborhood festival and block party centered on Euclid Avenue and East 66th Street, with activity hubs throughout the MidTown neighborhood.
Positive memories: Six RTA bus stop wraps in Union Miles feature historic figures
Working with RTA, artist Kevin "mr. soul" Harp, and the City of Cleveland, the Union Miles Development Corporation installed six bus stop wraps featuring historic figures to enliven the neighborhood.