The West Boulevard neighborhood was incorporated into the City of Cleveland in two phases. The area north of Almira Avenue -- the first portion of the neighborhood to be developed -- was annexed to Cleveland in 1873. The principal portion of West Boulevard was incorporated in 1902, as part of the Village of Linndale, before the City of Cleveland annexed most of that community one year later.
West Boulevard was designed as a north-south thoroughfare connecting Edgewater Park, on the north, with Brookside Park, on the south, as part of parkway system envisioned to encircle the City. The winding roadway's 130-foot right-of-way is one of the City's widest. Its broad tree lawns provide a park-like setting for hundreds of solid, well-kept houses.
Lorain Avenue, which forms the neighborhood's northern border, is the center of local commercial activity. Development of commercial uses on Lorain Avenue was aided by the Cleveland Electric Railway Company's street car line, which was extended to West 117th Street in 1913. Two landmark buildings on Lorain Avenue are St. Ignatius Church, built in 1930, and the Cleveland Christian Children's Home, constructed in 1924.
The one- and two-family housing which now characterizes the neighborhood dates predominantly from the period between 1900 and 1930. Except for the enclave of housing which clustered around the Linndale railroad station, development in the West Boulevard neighborhood generally spread from the northeast to the southwest.
Between 1910 and 1930, the population of West Boulevard jumped from 4,574 to a peak of 22,910. Over the next 40 years, the neighborhood's population remained extremely stable, decreasing by less than 1,000 persons. During the 1970's, population decline accelerated, with the loss of 3,791 residents. Between 1980 and 1990, however, the rate of loss slowed significantly.
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