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South Collinwood: Part 5

 This was the fifth section run of the South Collinwood neighborhood.

"The South Collinwood neighborhood is a mixture of residential enclaves interspersed with industrial districts that developed along the rail lines which followed the southern shore of Lake Erie. Industrial development accelerated rapidly following the construction of the Collinwood Yards rail switching center and freight yard. It became a neighborhood of Cleveland when the villages of Collinwood and Nottingham were annexed to the City in 1910 and 1913. Most of the housing dates from before 1930 with the oldest cluster, from the late 1800s, located around East 152nd north of St. Clair."

Map: Run 1, Run 2, Run 3, Run 4

Distance This Run: 8.4 miles

Distance So Far:  657.5 miles

The current Collinwood High School was constructed in 1922-23 and opened to students in 1924. It is located at the corner of Saint Clair, Ivanhoe Avenues and East 152 Street referred to as Five Points. During its first year, enrollment reached 3,488 students making it's Ohio’s largest school at the time. Over the decades, Collinwood continued to grow due to the influx of individuals working heavily industrialized neighborhood. In the 1960s and 70s, serious racial tensions emerged as a result of an influx of African American residents from other neighborhoods as well as Civil Right activity. This resulted in a 1970 riot and other acts of violence. Since then, the school's population has decreased significantly and currently has only 292 students from 9-12th. It survived closure in 2019. The school's nickname is the "Railroaders" due to the significant of the nearby railyards that gave rise to neighborhood's growth. Famous alumni include cartoonist George Fett, gangster Danny Greene, female sci-fi writer Andre Norton, mayor/governor/senator George Voinovich, and a host of professional football and baseball players.

Mirabile's (1025 Ivanhoe Ave) in a old-school, family-owned Italian neighborhood restaurant. Frank and Josephine Mirabile purchased the building that would become Mirabile’s Restaurant in 1930. They opened a barbershop, pool hall, and tavern there. After Frank and Josephine passed, their sons, Joseph and Robert, continued to operate the tavern and Italian restaurant. Upon Joseph’s passing, the next generation of the Mirabile family took over and continue to run the restaurant today. From Yelp: "Owned by a family that everyone in Collinwood knows. Old school Italian joint. Relaxed and homey atmosphere. Good food. Giant portions, like what your (grandparents) would give you. Jukebox with mostly 50's / Italian music. Full bar. Salute!"

Messina Bakery (1071 Ivanhoe) is also owned by the Mirabile family. It opened in 1990 and is operated by Frank and Mark Mirabile. It's named after the city in Sicily where the Mirabile family originated. They offer a wide variety of homemade breads, pastries and some damn good pizza and rolls.

Inside Messina Bakery

Fresh-made peperoni rolls and a few slices from Messina, my post-run meal.

Founded in 1987, Soundwich (881 Wayside Drive) makes noise cancelling parts for vehicles. The company operates two facilities on the 70 acre Cleveland Industrial Innovation Center (CiiC) campus. It is one of 18 portfolio businesses of the Dan T. Moore Company which is a family-owned and based in Cleveland.  

This light manufacturing building on Westfield Ave was built in 1948. It caught fire earlier this year after being flipped for $50K in late 2022. Its last use was an auto repair shop before meeting its fiery demise. It sits next to a mattress recycling facility to the east and The Toy Closet to the west, a toy collectables business owned by an individual who began collecting and saving his toys (without opening them) since 9 years old. You can check out The Toy Closet's Ebay page here.

These tracks on Wayside Drive separate South Collinwood from the Euclid-Green neighborhood.

This building on London Road was once home to Superior Die Casting, an 81-year old Cleveland business which was sold to the Goldberg family in 1999. Combined with another small casting business they purchased in Euclid, they formed Super-Cast. The business folded shortly thereafter and they sold it in 2007. It's now a storage building but the Super-Cast name remains.

Fresh new road resurfacing on London Road.

Ocho Rios True Island Cuisine (1007 Ivanhoe) is a Caribbean restaurant in the Five Points area of the neighborhood (about a block from Collinwood HS). You can read their reviews here.

Hexagon Industries (1135 Ivanhoe) started in 1980 as a provider of fastener hardware kits for fastener distributors. They eventually branched out into direct importing from Japan, Taiwan, and became one of the first fastener importers to deal directly in Mainland China. This 100,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility in the neighborhood employs about 50. Fun fact: one of the managers is Canadian Football Hall of Famer Terry Greer.

Founded in 1945, the Collinwood Grape Company (15741 Mandalay) is Ohio's largest wine, grape, and juice seller. Owner Carl Cocita's grandfather started the Collinwood operation in the 1940s, at one time having two locations. The current location on Mandalay provides 3,000 sqft of refrigeration and providing grapes both locally as well as to wineries in the Midwest and Atlantic coast. Several years ago, he expanded the business to Valley View where he created an authentic Italian piazza.

The Collinwood Health Center (15322 St. Clair) is part of the the Northeast Ohio Neighborhood Health Services Network (NEO) which was organized in 1967. This location is one of seven and provide a full range of primary health care services.

Mark Tromba Park (16395 Mandalay) features a playground, two basketball courts, swimming pool, and a tennis court. It received a $1.2 million renovation in 2019. The park's namesake was a first generation immigrant from Italy. He arrived in the U.S. at age six and after completing high school, served in WWII. Upon return, he settled in the Collinwood neighborhood and volunteered with the Collinwood Booster Club while helping start Cleveland’s Little League Baseball program. 

Classic mix of single and two-family homes in the neighborhood and throughout most of Collinwood.

By the middle of the 1920s a growing number of Italian-Catholics had migrated to South Collinwood from places like Little Italy. Holy Redeemer (15712 Kipling) was the neighborhood's Italian heritage parish. It was established in 1924.

Holy Redeemer also owns and operates this affordable senior facility across the street from the parish. It was built in 1994 and offers 50 units for those 62 or older who meet certain income requirements.

This building 15614 St. Clair is the home of the Greater Collinwood Development Corporation which was founded in 1982. The CDC took on different names and service areas over time, eventually combining with a similar organization in North Collinwood. It has struggled in recent years with leadership and staffing but still maintains limited presence.

Greater Collinwood CDC helped build these 15 new homes on Royal and Ruple Aves in 2006.

This two-family home on the corner of Kipling and Rondel had recently caught fire.

This sewer cap was made by the East End Foundry Company which was a business that was in existence mostly in late 1800s. It was purchased by the Madison Ave Foundry in 1902, making this cap incredibly old and rare. It's fascinating to see it still in service.

This home on Whitcomb Road definately had the most interesting architecture. It was built in 1919 and has only had 2 owners over the past 50+ years.

This church - built in 1940 on Kipling Ave - originally served the Italian-American community. It was then owned by the Collinwood CDC for 17 years. It is now the home of The Dialogue Center which is run by controversial Vietnam vet, former barbershop owner, ex-con, author, radio talk show host, and non-violence activist Art McKoy.

This building on the corner of St. Clair & Alhambra Ave was built in 1920 and was originally a branch of the Cleveland Trust Company which was founded in 1903. CTC eventually grew to become the 6th largest bank in the country and later changed its name to AmeriTrust. After the real estate turmoil of the late 1980s, the bank decided to merge with what is now Key Bank.

We'll end with a shot of a resident doing some repair work to his sidewalk. In this section of South Collinwood - an area with great history yet great challenge - it's nice to see folks who are still trying to make their parcel of the neighborhood a little better.