The Goodrich-Kirtland Park neighborhood became part of the city when Cleveland Township was annexed in 1850. The area began to urbanize in the 1870's and 1880's. Industries developed north of St. Clair Avenue along the rail lines which paralleled Lake Erie. These industries attracted Slovenian and Lithuanian immigrants in addition to Croatians, Germans and Poles.

Members of the Croatian Community developed St. Paul's Catholic Church at East 40th and St. Clair in 1904 and St. Nicholas' Byzantine Catholic Church at its present East 34th and Superior site in 1913. One of the most prominent and oldest landmarks in the neighborhood is the Immaculate Conception Church, established in 1873 (and rebuilt in 1898) at East 41st and Superior.

The Goodrich-Gannet Center, currently located at East 55th and St. Clair, originally moved to the neighborhood in 1914 at a location on East 31st Street. It offered classes, workshops and other activities to serve the needs of the neighborhood's many immigrants. The East 55th Center was opened in 1952.

Population in the neighborhood peaked at over 29,000 in 1910 and fell to 4,500 by 1990, as recidences were replaced by industrial and commercial uses. While housing values and incomes are well below the City average, property conditions have remained generally good on many blocks. The neighborhood has become more heterogenous in recent decades with a slight increase in the African-American population and the development of a sizable Asian-American community along Payne Avenue.