Buckeye-Woodland from the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

Buckeye-Woodland from the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

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BUCKEYE-WOODLAND was an east side Hungarian community, est. after 1880, which once held the largest concentration of HUNGARIANS in the U.S. Earlier Hungarian settlements at E. 79th and Holton eventually expanded to E. 72nd on the west, Woodland on the north, E. 140th on the east, and Kinsman on the south, with Buckeye Rd. being the prime location for homes and businesses. Population in the area grew from 1,500 in 1900 to more than 40,000 in 1940. The new residents were able to set up old-country institutions, speak their native language, and do most of their business with former countrymen. They established 10 churches and synagogues, businesses, and nationality organizations that reenacted native celebrations. The Hungarian population of Buckeye was bolstered by the Hungarians displaced by World War II and the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, but these groups did not develop the intense loyalty to maintaining “Little Hungary” held by the old-timers. Younger Hungarian-Americans also abandoned the old neighborhood, leaving a Hungarian population of which over one-third was over 55 years old. Blacks (see AFRICAN AMERICANS) with different cultural traditions moved into the area and composed 43% of the population by 1972. Housing stock aged and deteriorated, and racial violence directed toward blacks as well as whites further threatened the neighborhood. During the late 1970s and 1980s, several neighborhood groups attempted to reverse the blight and restore stability to the neighborhood. The Buckeye Area Development Corp., est. in 1970, was set up to attract federal, state, and local funds to refurbish homes and businesses, while agencies such as the EAST END NEIGHBORHOOD HOUSE attempted to meet the needs of community residents.


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