This week's installment of Streetcar Sunday takes us to Cleveland, Ohio. Cleveland once had an extensive streetcar network. In 1904, when developers created a middle- and upper income community of Shaker Heights to the East of Cleveland, they also purchased right-of-way and installed a high-speed electric streetcar to connect Shaker Heights with downtown. The streetcar line was an important tool to guarantee their investment.
The last Cleveland streetcar ran in 1954, relatively late compared to many American cities. Some of the streetcar lines had already been converted to buses or trolley buses before World War II, but once the war started the conversions stopped until the war was over.
Recently there was a move to open a new streetcar museum in Cleveland near the Great Lakes Science Center, using the 31 streetcars inherited from the former Trolleyville USA Museum (also known as the Gerald E. Brookins Museum of Electric Railways.) The plan also included operating historic streetcars on a short loop near the East Bank and through the Warehouse District. Instead, all but one of the cars were auctioned off. In late 2009, those cars were moved to various cities in the U.S. and Canada. The remaining car will be on display in front of the Children's Museum.
Come back tomorrow for another post on Cleveland. For a detailed history of streetcars in Cleveland, there is a book entitled Cleveland and Its Streetcars, by James Toman and James Spangler.
Please note that I added a few additional cards to previous Streetcar Sunday posts for Washington D.C. and Boston, in case you want to take another look.