Finding aid for the Van Sweringen Company Records

Repository: Western Reserve Historical Society
Creator: previous hit Van Sweringen next hit Company
Title: previous hit Van Sweringen next hit Company Records
Dates: 1923-1934
Extent: 0.20 linear feet (1 container)
Abstract: The previous hit Van Sweringen next hit Company was a real estate development firm formed by Oris P. and Mantis J. previous hit Van Sweringen next hit, two brothers who, in 1905, began purchasing land in what is now Shaker Heights, Ohio, 8 miles southeast of Cleveland. The land, originally part of Warrensville Twp., was settled in 1822 by the celibate North Union Shaker community, which disbanded in 1889. The previous hit Van Sweringen next hit idea was the development of a comprehensively planned "garden city" suburb which included the maintenance of natural topography and lakes, curving roads, and specific locations for apartments, commercial areas, public schools, churches and private secondary schools. The plan was achieved in the 1920s and 1930s, with the company managing and enforcing strict zoning and building restrictions, deed (including ethnic and racial) restrictions, and architectural design guidelines. The suburb grew to a population of nearly 18,000 by 1930, in large part due to the construction by the Van Sweringens of the Shaker Rapid Transit, a high-speed, convenient railway link to downtown Cleveland with a traffic-free right-of-way. The Van Sweringens were very private men, and most of their personal and company records have been destroyed. The collection consists of correspondence; sales prospectuses and brochures; lot valuations and reports; newspaper and periodical clippings; development maps, graphs, miscellaneous demographic information and photographs re: Shaker Village, Shaker Heights and Shaker Country Estates; plat maps, plans, restrictions and opinions re: development along, and the extension of, Shaker Blvd.; and maps of triangles and strips deeded to the municipalities of Shaker Hts., Beachwood and Pepper Pike. The collection pertains primarily to the development of the company's Shaker Country Estates, and is a good source for local history and the history of planned communities.
MS Number MS 4527
Location: closed stacks
Language: The records are in English