Cleveland's final major expansion occurred in 1923 with the City's annexation of the 12.5-square mile Village of West Park. Originally a part of Rockport Township and named -- not for its western location -- but for early settler Benjamin West, the former village stretched from West 117th Street to the Rocky River, south of the City of Lakewood. Today, in addition to Riverside, it includes the neighborhood areas of Jefferson, Kamm's Corners, and Puritas-Longmead.
One of the earliest attractions in the West Park area was Puritas Springs amusement park, which was opened in 1898. A branch of the "interurban" rail line provided service to the 80-acre park located north of Puritas Avenue near the Rocky River. A fire caused its closing in 1959.
Residential development in Riverside accelerated after World War II, as the neighborhood's population increased from 1,422 in 1940 to 9,715 in 1960. Hopkins International Airport, established in 1925 south of Brookpark Road near the Rocky River Valley has grown to encompass 1,250 acres of land. Its growth also necessitated the annexation of portions of Brook Park Village in 1946 and 1960 and a portion of Riveredge Township in 1992.
The presence of Hopkins International Airport has influenced development patterns in the area. Recently a program has been undertaken for safety reasons by the airport to acquire homes immediately to the north for a "buffer zone". This program, along with the acquisition of houses for the construction of I-480, resulted in a net loss of 300 housing units in Riverside between 1970 and 1990, despite the recent new housing construction in the vicinity of Grayton Road and Puritas Avenue.
Hopkins, NASA's Lewis Research Center, and the I-480 interchange at Grayton Road, however, provide opportunities for development which can capitalize on the proximity of these economic generators.
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