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Run 57: West Boulevard - Part 1

 This was the first section run of the West Boulevard neighborhood whose boundary is approximately I-90 on the north, Bellaire/W. 117th/Clinton on the south, W. 117th St. on the west and W. 65th/railroad tracks to the east (some consider W. 73rd the eastern border but City planning maps say the tracks so we're going with that).

The neighborhood gets its name from, unsurprisingly, West Boulevard which was created around the turn of the 20th Century in an attempt to connect Edgewater Park to Brookside Park. 

For most of its existence, it mostly served as a bedroom community of sorts for those working nearby in the stockyards, breweries, railroads and manufacturing centers.

Today, approximately 15,000 residents call the neighborhood home. Both the population density and the rate of those foreign born is more than double the city's average. The median income is above the citywide average as well.

The boundary for this run was I-90 (north) to Denison Ave (south) and from West Boulevard (west) to W. 65th/railroad tracks.

Distance This Section: 13.5 miles

Distance So Far: 365.3 miles

Strava - Run 1

Strava - Run 2

The Lorain Station Historic District (LSHD) is one of two historic districts in the neighborhood. It extends from West 98th to W. 90th on Lorain Ave and is an important part of Cleveland’s transportation, industrial and settlement history. Near W. 98th is where the first toll gate house was built in 1848. In 1889, local entrepreneurs built the Woodland Avenue & West Side Railway Streetcar Station, which provided the first crosstown service between the east and west sides, making Lorain Station a major depot and paving the way for development in the area. A new master plan was recently created for Lorain in September 2021.

Hilson Nuts is easily one of my favorite businesses in Cleveland. Tucked away on the corner of W. 71st and Dearborn Ave and pinned in by a rail line, this family owned business has been serving up some of the finest small batch roasted nuts in Cleveland since 1935. And it's been doing it at this former coal-fired power station for the old Cleveland Union Terminal Railroad station since 1956. They still do everything by hand the same way it was done in the 1930s. Don't be fooled by the intimidating (perhaps uninviting) nature of the building - you can purchase nuts in person at a small retail window inside (look for the side door from the parking lot). Pick up a bag of their Deluxe Mix if you want to impress hardcore Clevelanders. Bonus points: as old-school as this place is, they have an IG and Tic Toc page but also still advertise in the grassroots west side newspaper, The Plain Press.

B&J Family Restaurant (9717 Lorain Ave) is a small diner serving classic fare. The Greek omelet and blueberry pancakes seem to be popular.

Getting weird on W. 100th Street

W. 99th Street

Henley Ave

Beautiful tree-lined W. 94th Street

W. 86th Street

On my second run in this section, it started hailing at the exact beginning and the exact end of the run.

The Halle School is a CMSD school called the "School of Inquiry". It serves 385 students from Pre-8th and is home of the Bobcats. The newly built school was given an interior design award in 2019 from American School and University Magazine for Outstanding Interior Design.

Walworth Run is a tributary of the Cuyahoga River running from east to west. At one point in Cleveland’s history it acted as a line of division between western and southern districts of the City. In the late 19th century, Walworth Run played a significant role in the surrounding neighborhood’s daily life; providing a natural open space for residents as well as fulfilling many functional needs of the agricultural and other early urban milling industries.

There are a number of these painted planters along W. 73rd

Wentworth Ave

Vacant church on Dearborn Ave

This community garden was created near the home of Gina DeJesus. Here's a brief YouTube video walking you through it.

This building was once the bottling works of the Pilsner Brewing Company which was founded in 1892 and operated until 1963 (and restarted again years later but ceased operations for good in 1984). It was perhaps best known for its popular P.O.C. beer (Pilsner of Cleveland although many called it Pride of Cleveland). The building is currently vacant but is being turned into 39 affordable housing units by Northwest Neighborhoods CDC.

Kristina's Family Restaurant (9912 Lorain Ave) From Yelp: "Kristina's has all of the usual diner perks like forever flowing diner coffee in those iconic brown diner mugs. There's that awesome mix of Clevelanders in and out of here. A great diverse mix of black, white and Hispanics from what looks to be all spectrums of backgrounds. The biggest thing I noticed in comparison to a lot of affordable "greasy spoon" diners is how clean and put together Kristina's is. There's signs and knick knacks with different pictures of superheroes and actors along the walls. This is a great Cleveland diner, period."

Curbside Coffee (3169 W. 99th Street) is basically a music venue doubling as a neighborhood coffee shop. Lots of musical décor/shows and everyone loves the owner, Judy.

The Lorain Station Arcade is a one-story commercial building featuring several businesses.

Opened in 2013, The Winton on Lorain is a permanent supportive housing project for chronically homeless individuals. It is part of Housing First, a coalition of public and private organizations whose mission is to establish a permanent supportive housing model to end chronic homelessness throughout Cuyahoga County.

Crossing over I-90

West Side Community House (9300 Lorain Ave) was founded in 1890 and has operated as a non-profit social service agency helping Cleveland's most vulnerable since 1964.

Public art on the pedestrian walkway over I-90, connecting the Cudell and West Blvd neighborhoods.

Some of the beautiful but underutilized buildings in the Lorain Station Historic District

The Louis Stokes Veterans Affairs Medical Transitional Housing building provides 25 units of transitional housing (4-6 months) for veterans.

Stuff Yourself (9615 Lorain Ave) is a new restaurant and home of the fried peanut and jelly sandwich

Looking west in the middle of the Lorain Station Historic District

Rexall Discount Store (9807 Lorain Ave) is a discount pharmacy and convenience store in arguably the most distinct-looking building in the Lorain Station Historic District

Ghost sign of the once-popular but now-closed West Side Trolley Family Restaurant

Cool door in the Lorain Station Historic District

Schindler's Fabric Shop (9933 Lorain Ave) has been reupholstering greater Cleveland since 1938. The three-floor operation features over 300,000 yards of fabric with over 5,000 patterns to choose from. They have even been featured on HGTV.

Upcycles Bicycles (10001 Lorain Ave) is a used bike store which does repairs as well. Online reviewers love the customer service. That might have something to do with the fact that owner, James Watson, has been riding and refurbishing bikes for over 45 years.

Tienda Guatemala (10108 Lorain Ave) is a Central American-centric grocery store owned by Guatemalan immigrants.

Denison Ave United Church of Christ (9900 Denison Ave) was built in 1914 and offers a food pantry and other services.

Classic Ice Cream Shop (9200 Denison Ave) is a tiny, seasonal shop serving mostly classic soft serve in cones and dishes but also has malts, sundaes and splits, too.

Zak Box (7100 Clark Ave) is a family-owned manufacturer of hand-crafted shipping boxes and pallets. They have been in business since 1938.

North Coast Exotics (3158 W. 68th Street) is a luxury car repair shop in probably one of the least likely areas of the city you'd expect to find such a business. There's literally dozens of exotic cars like these scattered throughout this dead end neighborhood street on W. 68th.

Mom's Family Restaurant (6512 Clark Ave) is a mom-and-pop type diner known for their soups. A few notable ones are kielbasa w/ kraut, stuffed pepper, and chicken noodle. Sadly, they closed during the pandemic and have yet to reopen.

This massive vacant warehouse at 7275 Wentworth Ave was once home to General Container Corp and then Simkins Industries which was a folding box manufacturer. The State took position of the building in 2009 through tax foreclose. It was purchased for next to nothing in 2010. A small recycling company operated there until 2018 when a fire shuttered the building for good. It now sits vacant with nearly $33K due in back taxes. Here's some drone footage I found on YouTube.

West of Venus (10024 Lorain Ave) is a hip little vintage shop which gets its name from a B-52s song. From "If you like mid-century modern furnishings with that teak and Scandinavian vibe, or flashy items from the '80, handbags from the '40s and several up-cycled and recycled pieces with a flair towards the arts, West of Venus is right in your solar system. The name, West of Venus, comes from lyrics in a B-52s song called "53 Miles West of Venus".

Gateway Resale & Music (10034 Lorain Ave) is a used music equipment and electronics shop.

Izzo's Cafe (10042 Lorain Ave) is a neighborhood bar with a pool tournament every Sunday.

Let's see if the 'We Buy Houses' vultures make an offer on this one.

Mural outside the the Louis Stokes Veterans Affairs Medical Transitional Housing building

Definitely the most unique house I discovered on the run

Creepin' on Wentworth