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Neighborhood of Cleveland
Cleveland City Neighborhoods - North Shore Collinwood.png
Cleveland City Neighborhoods - Collinwood–Nottingham.png
Country United States
State Ohio
County Cuyahoga
City Cleveland
 • Total 34,220
  1% increase from 1990 Census
 • White 34.6%
 • Black 62.5%
 • Hispanic 1%
 • Asian >1%
 • Other >1%
Time zone UTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP Codes
44110, 44119
Area code(s) 216
Source: 2000 U.S. Census, City Planning Commission of Cleveland.
Please note: Statistics reflect combined SPAs of North and South Collinwood.

Collinwood is a historical area on the Northeast Side of Cleveland, Ohio. Originally a village in Euclid Township, it was annexed by the city in 1910. Collinwood grew around the rail yards of the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway (now CSX) and is divided by these same tracks into the neighborhoods of North Shore Collinwood and Collinwood–Nottingham. Collinwood was identified as one of America's Best Secret Neighborhoods by Travel + Leisure in 2008.


The neighborhood's most infamous incident pre-dates its annexation by Cleveland. On Ash Wednesday, March 4, 1908, Collinwood was the site of an event known as the Collinwood School Fire, at Lakeview Elementary school. One of the deadliest school fires in American history, 172 children, two young teachers and one rescuer died in the fire after being trapped in stairwell vestibules. Originally, it was thought that the students were trapped because doors to the school opened inward; however, the coroner's report indicated that the doors did indeed open outward. While some of the children died from burns and smoke inhalation, most were either crushed or suffocated in the frantic attempt to escape the building. Those killed in the fire who could not be identified were buried in a mass grave in Cleveland's Lakeview Cemetery. National building standards requiring that doors in public buildings open outward were already in effect, however, the fire did result in a trend towards municipalities nationwide adopting policies of school inspections and enforcing stricter building codes.

For much of the 20th century, Collinwood thrived due in large part to heavy industry. Besides the railroad yards, major corporations like General Motors, who operated its Fisher Body plant on Coit Road and General Electric with its Pitney Glass Works on E.152nd., employed thousands of workers. By the eve of World War II Collinwood's economic vitality had drawn large numbers of both ethnic white Europeans and Southern Appalachians. The 1960s saw an influx of African Americans, who are today the majority population both in North and South Collinwood.

Collinwood took national center stage in the 1970s during a gang war when the Cleveland Mafia, centered in the Collinwood and Murray Hill neighborhoods, fought a territorial war with The Celtic Club led by Irish Gangster Danny Greene. The eventual bombing death of Greene brought the Federal organized crime task force to Cleveland which, after many trials, is said to have crippled the Mafia in Cleveland.

In the 21st Century, Collinwood has become a place of interest for artists seeking low-cost urban places to live and work. The housing and foreclosure crisis, though somewhat detrimental to the urban fabric of the neighborhood, has provided opportunities for artists to acquire properties very inexpensively. A collective known as 'Arts Collinwood' has been instrumental in helping to revitalize the Waterloo Road business district on the north side of the neighborhood.

North Collinwood

Begun mainly as the residential section, North Collinwood is bounded roughly between E.133rd Street to the west and E.185th Street to the northeast (E.200th street due east), and between Lake Erie to the north and the Collinwood Railroad Yards and tracks (currently operated by CSX) to the south, Woodworth Avenue to the southwest, and roughly Roseland Avenue to the southeast. North Collinwood is the location of several parks, including Wildwood Park and Marina, East Shore Park, Beachland Park, and was the site of historic Euclid Beach Park. The Roman Catholic Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School is located at E.185th and Lakeshore Boulevard.

South Collinwood

What was once the industry-heavy of the two sections, South Collinwood is roughly bounded between E.134th Street on the west and Euclid Creek on the east, the Collinwood Railroad Yards and tracks to the north, Woodworth Avenue to the southwest and roughly Roseland Avenue to the southeast. The location of the 'Five Points', where Ivanhoe Road, St. Clair Avenue and E.152nd Street intersect, is the central business district of the neighborhood and is also the location of Collinwood High School, whose sports teams are aptly named, the Railroaders. Although today it is largely African American, South Collinwood has historically been an enclave of European immigrants, as well as migrants from the Southern United States.

South Collinwood at one time was home to large concentrations of Eastern Europeans, and in particular, a large Slovenian community. The boyhood home to eventual Cleveland mayor and, Ohio Governor and Senator, George Voinovich, the Slovenian neighborhood was centered on St. Mary of the Assumption Church, and the Slovenian Home, both located on Holmes Avenue. Slovenian Polka King, Frankie Yankovic, a South Collinwood native, played live Polka in many of the taverns and dance halls in the area.

Italians, many of whom had settled the neighborhood after relocating from the Central neighborhood's 'Big Italy' district, also settled heavily in the area, mainly along the southern border of the neighborhood. The 'Italian Village' with a population of Italian descendants greater than that of Cleveland's Little Italy neighborhood became well known for its Feast of the Assumption, held every August at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church on Kipling Avenue.

Among its American immigrants many relocated Southerners - mostly from Tennessee, West Virginia, and Kentucky - began arriving in the 1940s to work in the factories. Settling mainly along the Western edge of the neighborhood, especially along the E. 140th section, many bars in that area featured live country music and Southern food.

Notable residents

  • Tony Adamle (1924–2000) – professional football player with the Cleveland Browns in the All-America Football Conference and the National Football League (NFL)
  • Eppie Barney (1944– ) – professional football player with the Cleveland Browns
  • James Cotton (1976– ) - professional football player
  • Jerry Dybzinski (1955– ) – Major League Baseball player
  • George Fett (1920–1989) – cartoonist
  • John Claude Gummoe (1938– ) – singer-songwriter, lead singer of The Cascades, wrote and recorded "Rhythm of the Rain"
  • Jeff Johnson – Cleveland City Council member and former Ohio state senator
  • Andre Norton (1912–2005) – author
  • Sam Palumbo (1932– ) – professional football player
  • Michael D. Polensek (1949– – Cleveland City Council member
  • Cecil Shorts III (1987– ) – NFL player
  • George Voinovich (1936–2016) – 54th Mayor of Cleveland, 65th governor of Ohio, and two-term U.S. Senator.
  • Stephanie Tubbs Jones (1949–2008) – US Congresswoman from 1999-2008
  • Frankie Yankovic (1915-1998) – musician known as America's Polka King
  • Ray Zeh (1914–2003) – football player for Western Reserve, as a fullback led college football in scoring during the 1935 season
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