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Union Miles: Part 1

 This was my first run of the Union Miles neighborhood. It covered a portion that is historically known as Corlett which is roughly E. 116 to E. 154th. It was named after Harriet Corlett, a Manx (Isle of Man, Ireland) immigrant and Cleveland Public Schools principal.

Map: Run 1, Run 2, Run 3

Distance This Section: 16.3 miles

Distance So Far: 764.9 miles

These beautiful homes on E. 147th were some of the nicest in all of my running in this section. Many of them were built in the 1930s and have the same homeowners for decades. According book Surrogate Suburbs: Black Upward Mobility and Neighborhood Change in Cleveland, Jesse Owens once lived on this street as well. A little further south in the Lee Seville neighborhood, Ohio's first Black mayor's lived on E. 147th (Author Johnson, whose house is a city landmark). That's a lot of notable Black history for one city street.

Here's another nice set on E. 153rd. These were built between 1930 and 1942 and several of the owners have lived there for over 45 years (ie. as far back as online records show).

According to the Cleveland Restoration Society, Advent Evangelical Lutheran Church (15309 Harvard Ave) was constructed in 1965 by Whitley/Whitley, twin brothers, among the first registered African American architects in Ohio, and their sister, R. Joyce Whitley, who was one of the first African American City Planners and Urban Designers in the U.S. The church was the firm’s first project. Its style represents a mid-century modern screen-substyle of Usonian architecture, often used for offices, rather than church buildings. The church is one of six black churches in Cleveland nominated for the national register of historic places due to its importance during the Civil Rights Movement in the city.

This restaurant was once home to Harvard Wine & Grill which was owned by Claude Carson, a longtime restaurant and nightclub owner in the Cleveland. It now appears to be transitioning into a sports bar but it was unclear if was active. And although the building looks modern(ish), the core of it was actually built in 1924.

Pin Pin Kitchen (14401 Harvard Ave) is a Jamaican restaurant. Some folks really love it. Here's an IG review by Cleveland-based social media star/voice artist/food reviewer Stefan Johnson.

This red brick building on the corner of E. 146 & Harvard Ave was built in 1924 and is aptly titled the "Harvard" building. 

Street memorial on E. 150th

On E. 154th, the original street pavers are still in great shape. It's one of only a few streets on the southeast side that still have them.

Robert H. Jamison is a PreK-8 grade elementary school serving over 370 students. It offers arts programming through partnerships with Cleveland Print Room and Cleveland Playhouse. Robert H. Jamison was born in Greenville, Ohio in 1884. He graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1906 and from Harvard Law School in 1910. Jamison was an artillery captain in World War I and retired as Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserve. He was also a member of many local organizations such as the Regional Planning Commission, Cleveland Public Library Board, Welfare Fund, Cleveland Bar Association, YMCA, Cleveland Chamber of Commerce, Cleveland Museum of Natural History (and more). He was the president of the Cleveland Board of Education for two years and served as a member for three terms. In 1964, he received the Army's top civilian award, the Distinguished Civilian Service Medal. In 1965, he and his wife Marjorie received the Cleveland Medal for public service.

According to "Brown’s Corner Restaurant (14511 Miles Ave) has been around since (1985), serving up homestyle dishes for breakfast and lunch. The no-frills restaurant feels like home, especially with classics like pancakes and Polish boys."

North Coast Urban Farms - located at Miles Ave & E. 144th - was established in 2010 by Fred Hardman who started the garden after surviving kidney disease in part due to his healthy eating habits (according to him per his doctors). Fred starting taking urban agriculture classes thereafter and eventually created this farm. Over the years, he has offered education and training classes to students at nearby Robert H. Jamison elementary school. Here's an interview with Fred from 2018.

Brown's Town Childcare (13901 Miles Ave) is a day care center which opened in 2010. They also have a location in Collinwood. Both are located in rougher areas of their neighborhoods but put a smile on your face when you see them. As far as the building itself, it was built in 1920.  the 1970s, it was owned for a time by Zella Lott who was a Relocation Officer in East Cleveland during the Civil Rights era. 

This church was originally St. Mary of Czestochowa which was founded in 1914 due to the fact that nearly 60 Cleveland Polish families lived in the area that time. In fact, this area along Harvard Ave was one of six original polish neighborhoods in the city. The parish held its last mass in 1996. It's now home to Zion Pentecostal Church of Christ. 

This little structure on Harvard Ave once belonged to a tiny church next door. Perhaps that served as inspiration for this graffiti tag.

Party time on Lotus Ave

The Corlett portion of Union Miles was originally settled by Czechs, Jews and Polish. It became a predominately African American neighborhood starting in the 1960s. Today, it is 95% Black. As such, the RTA has installed vinyl wraps featuring prominent historical Black leaders on their bus stops.

On the whole, the neighborhood appears to be holding on but there's a lot of challenge amid the pockets of stability. This house on Crenell Ave is a good example. It was built in 1910 and was owned by a single homeowner from 1975 to 2000 but has flipped 7 times since. The current owner never finished the home renovation work and owes property taxes dating back to 2016. It will likely soon end up in foreclosure and go to Sheriff's sale in which there is a good chance a speculator will purchase it, attempt to milk it for whatever rent they can get, put nothing back into the property, and then eventually walk away. Or no one will buy it and it will sit vacant for another year or more at which point it will become a candidate for arson, illegal activity or it will be demolished. Such is the cycle of property decline in many legacy city neighborhoods. Hopefully the City's new Residents First legislation will help.

This might be the coolest home design I saw in the neighborhood. The home was built in 1910 and in my research, I discovered the address listed in an 1923 copy of the Americke Delnicke Listy which was once the only Czech-language socialist weekly in the country. It evolved in 1908 out of a mimeographed weekly and was headquartered in Cleveland's Czech neighborhood on "Old Broadway". The owner of the home at the time was like the Sergeant of Arms for a local Czech club roughly translated as the Local Association of the Svobodomy-Sinych Union. I have no idea what they did. Sadly, this home was recently the victim of a house of cards investor scheme which went belly up. A lot of folks lost their retirement investments. Its current status is unknown but the property taxes haven't been paid since 2022 which is not a good sign. There's something tragically ironic about a home of a former card carrying Czech socialist falling victim to late-stage capitalism investment schemes.

Front view of the house.

This building on E. 131st & Chapelside Ave was built in 1920 and was originally a church and parochial school called Church of the Holy Family. The architect (William Koehl) also build St. Jerome Church in North Collinwood and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Detroit Shoreway among other projects for the Catholic Diocese. The building now serves as a charter school called Chapel Side Academy.
This building just east of the Chapel Side Academy main building is also part of the campus but was originally built as Sisters of St. Francis Convent. The architect also built several YMCAs in the greater Cleveland area as well as the addition to the grand Church of the Savior in Cleveland Heights.

Southview Ave is by far the standout street in this part of neighborhood. The big difference between it and the others streets in the area are the wide tree lawns, robust tree canopy and quality sidewalks. These are common denominators for many of the streets I've run so far.

A couple of brick beauties on E. 140th. The street is ceremonially named after Anna "Mamma" Chatman. Chatman was a force of nature, serving as executive director of the of the local political caucus (per the request of U.S. Rep Louis Stokes) for 15 years, a 19-year member of the Cleveland Board of Zoning Appeals, and operator and founder of the Harvest Day Care Center. She also organized an annual Labor Day picnic, which attracted up to 50,000 people. Chatman met several U.S. presidents and other notable dignitaries which prompted Stokes to once comment: "I don't know what other impressions of Cleveland a president took with them when they left the city, but they would always ask me, 'How's Mother Chatman?". Chatman died in 2006 at the age of 86. Here's a speech then-Rep. Dennis Kucinich read about her on the House floor in her remembrance.

This tree collapse was likely due to age combined with a weather event but the over-the-top private property warning is a little baffling.

A resident prepares to leave for Sunday church service from her hot fuchsia home on Horner Ave. The house was built in 1914 and has had the same owner since at least 1975 (as far back as online records go).

This beauty at 3766 E. 140th was also built in 1914. The current owner is a retired female Cleveland police sargent who also served as a school crossing guard in retirement.

Points for style on the corner of Svec Ave & E. 138th Street.

Gawron Park is located near E. 136th & Harvard Ave and was established in 1957. It features basketball courts, baseball field, playground and a walking path. It's also home to the annual Fun Day Festival & Memorial Day Parade.

A shot of the north side of Gawron Park. In the distance is a vacant field which was once home to Robert H. Jamison high school. The school was built in 1966 and closed/demolished in the mid-2010s.

This little outpost across from Gawron Park is the office and picnic area for a community garden and farm managed by Harvard Square Center, a neighborhood community development organization founded in 2014. The organization's founder is a former environmental service supervisor at Hospice of the Western Reserve and medical assistant and phlebotomist at the Cleveland Health Care for the Homeless and Cleveland Clinic Hospital. They also organize the Fun Day Festival at Gawton Park (mentioned above).

Inez Killingsworth Pointe - located at the corner of E. 131st & Miles - is permanent supportive housing project for chronically homeless individuals. Built in 2017 by CHN Housing Partners in partnership with EDEN, it features approximately 66 1-bedroom apartments with on-site supportive services and is part of the Housing First initiative - a coalition of public and private organizations whose mission is to establish a permanent supportive housing model in Cuyahoga County, Ohio and to end chronic homelessness in the Cleveland area. The model has performed above expectations, yielding a less than a 1% return to homelessness.

Odziemski Hardware (4053 E. 131st) has been in business since 1914 during a time when this part of the Union-Miles was an emerging Polish enclave. Residents of the neighborhood love the selection and service. "Where else can you still get keys made for $.80?". Also, the random mannequin in the window really catches your eye from Harvard Ave.