Slavic Village within Cleveland’s city limits, was settled in 1796 and over the next 100 years saw the arrival of Czech and Polish immigrants who brought industrial opportunity to the neighborhood. By the 1920’s, commercial development in Slavic Village was rivalled only by Downtown Cleveland and the East 105th Street area. By the 1940’s, residents were moving to the suburbs and the neighborhood deteriorated. One of the steps to revitalize the Slavic Village was the transformation of Fleet Avenue Streetscape. Many of the original streetscape elements lacked continuity in design, were narrow, cluttered, unwelcoming and in various states of disrepair.
Led by the City of Cleveland and Slavic Village Development team, they set out to build a pedestrian friendly street creating a streetscape lined with plants, flowers and stunning pavements that will be able to serve all users including cars, bicycles and pedestrians. Many of the planters are created as bioswales so that storm water will be retained to water the green areas along the route. Today the area is attracting a variety of uses – quality retail, housing, restaurants and public space. The village is a unique area of the city that provides a nostalgic, yet bustling environment filled with energy and revitalized public spaces.