Northerly view of St. Clair Avenue near the intersection of E.62nd Street.
St. Clair-Superior is a neighborhood in Cleveland, Ohio, in the United States. Largely settled in the 1880s and 1890s by Eastern European immigrants, white flight in the 1990s left the neighborhood largely African American. The number of vacant and decrepit homes is high, as is crime, poverty, and unemployment. St. Clair-Superior is one of Cleveland's most distressed neighborhoods.
About the neighborhood
The neighborhood lacks access to Lake Erie and Gordon Park due to the presence of Interstate 90 and major railroad tracks. Access to Rockefeller Park is also highly limited. The neighborhood's main retail district lines St. Clair Avenue.
History of the neighborhood
St. Clair-Superior was largely rural and sparsely populated until the 1880s and 1890s, when extensive construction of heavy industry and manufacturing plants occurred along the railroad tracks and the area north of St. Clair Avenue. Large numbers of immigrant Slovenians and Lithuanians moved into the area to work in these plants. The historic St. Vitus's Church, at E. 61st and Lausche Avenue, was the first Slovenian Catholic church built in Cleveland, and at one time was among the largest Slovenian congregations in the United States. Eastern European immigrants brought with them a long beer-making tradition, and during the 1800s and early 1900s the St. Clair-Superior neighborhood was known as "the mecca of breweries in Cleveland."
The majority of residents in the neighborhood were whites of Eastern European ancestry at least as late as 1991. A major demographic shift occurred in the 1990s and 2000s, so that by 2014 79 percent of residents were African American, and just 13 percent white. Another 5 percent were Latino.
In 2015, some redevelopment began to occur in the area. One of the biggest projects was Hub 55 on E. 55th Street, a redevelopment that housed a café, market, meeting space, and office space. Most of Hub 55 opened in June 2015. The development also was home to the Goldenhorn Brewery, which opened in October 2016. The investors in Hub 55 planned additional redevelopment as of the fall of 2017.
About the neighborhood
St. Clair-Superior is one of Cleveland's most economically distressed neighborhoods.
By 2015, 33 percent of all homes in the neighborhood had been demolished after falling into decrepitude. Another 25 percent of homes in the neighborhood vacant. Of these vacant homes, the Western Reserve Land Conservancy's Thriving Communities Institute property survey rated nearly 12 percent rate as "distressed" (an extreme degree of disrepair). This compares to just 9 percent in distressed neighborhoods like Buckeye-Woodhill, Glenville, Hough, and Kinsman.
Residents of St. Clair-Superior have relatively low levels of education. Two-thirds have only a high school diploma (or less education). A lack of education equates with a lack of good jobs, and the unemployment rate in St. Clair-Superior was an extremely high 34 percent in 2014. That same year, the unemployment rate in the city was a whole was 18 percent.
Lack of education, limited access to employment opportunities, and other factors have left residents in the neighborhood economically disadvantaged. The median household income in St. Clair-Superior was just $19,444 ($0 in 2016 dollars) in 2014, compared to $27,349 ($0 in 2016 dollars) for the city of Cleveland as a whole. An extremely high 57 percent of all children in St. Clair-Superior lived in poverty in 2014, compared to 46 percent for the city as a whole. The poverty rate for all residents was equally high, 45 percent for neighborhood residents in 2014 compared to just 31 percent for the city as a whole. The poverty rate for all neighborhood residents had climbed to 48 percent by 2017.
The neighborhood is considered a food desert, where residents must travel 0.5 miles (0.80 km) or more to reach a supermarket, and "typically lack access to healthy foods like fresh fruit and vegetables".
- Cleveland City Planning Commission 2014, p. 1.
- Cleveland City Planning Commission (January 17, 2014). Cleveland 2014 SPA's (PDF) (Report). Cleveland. p. 1. Retrieved September 24, 2017.
- Cleveland City Planning Commission (2006). "District 5: St. Clair-Superior. Connecting Cleveland 2020 Citywide Plan". Cleveland City Planning Commission. Retrieved September 24, 2017.
- "St. Vitus Church". Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. 2017. Retrieved September 24, 2017.
- Oprea, Mark (September 23, 2017). "Hub 55 aims to turn its namesake into a destination". Crain's Cleveland Business. Retrieved September 23, 2017.
- Dissell, Dissell (November 21, 2015). "Hope remains in St. Clair-Superior, one of city's most distressed neighborhoods". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved September 24, 2017.
- Petkovic, John (June 25, 2015). "Cafe 55 opens in new Hub 55 complex in Cleveland". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved September 25, 2017.
- DeMarco, Laura (October 27, 2016). "Excellent Goldhorn Brewery on East 55th Street merges Old World and New". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved September 25, 2017.
- Cleveland City Planning Commission 2014, p. 2.
- Bushak, Lecia (October 5, 2017). "Case Study Aims to Find New Ways to Tackle Cleveland Food Deserts". WCPN. Retrieved October 6, 2017.
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- Cleveland City Planning Commission (January 17, 2014). St. Clair-Superior (PDF) (Report). Cleveland, Ohio. Retrieved September 24, 2017.