Culture & History
A microcosm of Cleveland
Slavic Village has deep eastern European roots that are tied directly to the Industrial Valley just to the west, but there is more to the story.
We don’t just have history down pat, we’ve also got the present. From classical concerts to institutions dedicated to teaching the arts, we’ve got it here. City Music at St. Stanislaus, Broadway School of Music & the Arts, Jam Nite at Andreoli Restoration, are just a few of the resources the Village has in store
Your one stop shop for learning neighborhood history and finding historic photos
The North and South Broadway communities, now known as Broadway Slavic Village, were originally part of Newburgh Township, organized in 1814 as one of the earliest settlements in Cuyahoga County. Settlers from New England were first attracted to this area in 1796 by the fresh water and power provided by the fast-flowing Mill Creek.
In the first half of the 19th century, construction of the Ohio and Erie Canal led to industrial and commercial growth in the Broadway area, including the establishment of several steel mills. With the arrival of heavy industry came a large influx of Welsh, English, Scottish and Irish immigrants. Many working class neighborhoods were formed within walking distance of the factories that provided employment. Later, in the 1870s and 1880s, Czech and Polish immigrants arrived, bringing their culture and religion to the area. Over the years, they created a neighborhood as rich in ethnic history as any in the United States. These immigrant workers also built churches and national halls, most of which still serve the community today.
Commercial development occurred primarily along Broadway and Fleet Avenues. At its peak in the 1920s, the intersection of E. 55th Street and Broadway was rivaled only by downtown Cleveland and the East 105th Street area. Fleet Avenue developed with Polish-owned businesses intermingled with residential housing.
Today, Broadway Slavic Village is a national leader in reimagining urban land use to meet 21st century quality standards. In addition to new parks and green space that are home to numerous concerts, festivals and neighborhood events, in 2006 Slavic Village Development opened the Morgana Run Bike Trail, which connects to the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath and has public art installations, including the iconic 35’ Rotaflora sculpture and the 600’ Pixelating Morgana mural. Since 2009, over $60 million in projects have been completed or are currently under construction, including the $10 million new Mound School, the $6 million Stefanski Stadium and the $9 million E. 55th RTA Rapid station.
Bohemian National Hall
The Bohemian National Hall, built in 1896 as a community hall to accommodate the cultural, social and education needs of Czech immigrants, today has been lovingly restored and continues to serve new generations. The National Hall is home to Sokol Greater Cleveland and the Cleveland Czech Cultural Center and Museum. Sokol Greater Cleveland, one of the largest unit’s within the national organization, offers physical training in gymnastics and other athletics, as well as providing cultural awareness and family oriented activities.
Bohemian National Hall is an excellent location for parties and events. It’s historic auditorium with full stage and balcony hosts Opera Circle, Cleveland’s Womens Orchestra and other entertainment that draws enthusiasts from across the city of Cleveland.
Location: 4939 Broadway Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44127
Slovenian National Hall “The Nash”
The Slovenian National Home, also known as “The Nash”, was founded in 1917 to serve Slovenians in the rapidly growing community. Nearly 100 years later, it remains a popular gathering place for neighborhood events. The Nash has hall rentals available, which seat up to 450 people. The Nash is also home to the East 80th Lanes, which has 12 lanes of bowling available for any occasion. Catered, home-cooked meals are available for both the hall and and bowling lane rentals.
Location: 3563 East 80th Street, Cleveland, Ohio 44105
Founded 1998, the Polish-American Cultural Center is dedicated to the promotion of Polish culture, traditions, language, history, literature, arts, music, theater and education. Their mission is to provide an organizational structure for all who desire to be in touch with Polish heritage. The cultural center serves a delicious brunch every Sunday, for more information call 216-883-2828.
Location: 6501 Lansing Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44105.
The Broadway School of Music & the Arts is located in a landmark building that originally housed the Hruby Conservatory of Music (1918-1968). They provide group and private music lessons along with community based arts programming. The building is prominently positioned in the Broadway 55th Historic District and was founded in 1980.
Location: 5415 Broadway Ave., Cleveland, Ohio 44127.
We are fortunate to have this organization preserving the stories and history that are deeply embedded in Slavic Village. SVHS’ mission is to instill and increase the historical knowledge of the area now known as Slavic Village and its adjacent communities. To carry out this mission, the SVHS has conducted neighborhood tours and given presentations to area organizations. Searching for neighborhood history or photos? Check out their website to search their catalogs or contact them at 216.271.0691.
Location: 6804 Lansing Ave., Cleveland, Ohio 44105.