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Originally a part of Brooklyn Township, Tremont was incorporated between 1836 and 1854 as part of Ohio City before being annexed to Clevleand in 1867. Prior to the opening of Tremont Elementary School in 1910, Tremont was known as "University Heights" and later as "Lincoln Heights." The former name has its origins in the City's first institution of higher learning - Cleveland University - which operated in the neighborhood from 1851 to 1853. The current street names "Professor," "College," "University" and "Literary" are remnants of this period. The later name commemorates the neighborhood's role as the site of two Union Army camps during the Civil War.

Scenic views of the Cuyahoga River and the brief presence of Cleveland University attracted a number of the region's most prosperous residents to Tremont in the latter half of the 19th century. The opening of the central Viaduct in 1888 (demolished in 1939) provided the first direct link across the Cuyahoga River to downtown. This event opened Tremont to an influx of Eastern European immigrants seeking housing close to jobs in the fledgling steel industry. Tremont's current array of landmark churches reflects the ethnic diversity of settlement during this period. More recently, a sizable Hispanic community has settled in Tremont.

Tremont's population peaked in 1920 at over 36,000 and then declined gradually to under 25,000 in 1960, reflecting a lessening of earlier overcrowding. Between 1960 and 1980, however, the neighborhood's population plummeted to just above 10,000 as freeway construction and physical deterioration resulted in the demolition of hundreds of houses. The freeway construction also acted to further isolate the neighborhood which already was separated from much of the rest of the City by the valleys of the Cuyahoga River and Walworth Run.

The small town character fostered by this isolation, along with the unique mix of architectural styles and proximity to Downtown, has spurred a renewed interest in urban living in the neighborhood. an example of this is seen in the conversion of Lemko Hall, formerly a social and civic club, to seven luxury apartments.

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