The Neighborhood

Portrait of Old Brooklyn/The Neighborhood
Freshwater Cleveland
Written By Freshwater Cleveland

Old Brooklyn is a six-square-mile enclave of 35,000 people that splits the difference between urban hustle-bustle and suburban sprawl.

The neighborhood itself is steeped in history.

White Europeans, including German immigrants who were farmers, settled in the area where Old Brooklyn is now in the early 19th century. Although initially incorporated as Brighton Village, it was also known as Brooklyn Township and, later, South Brooklyn.

The neighborhood thrived due to its proximity to streetcar lines, but also was located within walking distance of factories located on the valley floors.

By 1927, Old Brooklyn had been absorbed into Cleveland proper.

Neighborhood favorites run the spectrum from sweet treats (such as the original location of Honey Hut, Jack Frost Donuts, and the b.a. Sweetie Candy Company) to utilitarian businesses (such as the headquarters of Busch Funeral Home, all-purpose South Hills Hardware, and a main street post office).

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Compared to inner-ring suburbs, Old Brooklyn is also an affordable place for young professionals or first-time homebuyers to purchase a home.

[People] have always desired to move into Brooklyn, because it's safe, walkable, has greenspace, and has a reputation of good schools. -Jeff Verespej, head of the Community Development Corporation

As Old Brooklyn continues to grow and evolve, the neighborhood is mindful of preserving its history and legacy, while welcoming new faces that enhance the area's already-vibrant culture.

On the Ground Reporting

"On the Ground" is an embedded journalism program that will focus on the Old Brooklyn area—uncovering the people, places, and projects that are shaping and driving its future. Along with reported stories, content will include photo essays and multimedia, as well as a live event.

Keep up with the latest On the Ground Reporting
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Cover photo credit oferalio via Instagram. Adventure cover photo credit kylelanzerphoto via Instagram.

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