In the early 1900's, members of the Van Sweringen family developed the land that became Shaker Heights. By the 1920's, visitors declared that Shaker Heights was "the finest residential district in the world." Building standards were strict, early guidelines outline appropriate colors, resales had to be approved by neighbors and the developers, and as an unfortunate glimpse at our country's sometimes unpleasant history, deed restrictions (until after WWII) even prevented Blacks, Jews, and Catholics from living there.
The Van Sweringens noted that "The most pleasing is never conspicuous--never flashy." Further restrictions dictated that "only a graduate architect, or one whose qualifications warrant and whose drawings express a thorough, technical knowledge of the highest and best in architecture, together with the ability to combine materials and and prescribe color schemes that will proclaim the result the work of a trained and competent hand." The peak years of development coincided with a flush of historical revival architecture. The result is a town filled with gorgeous Tudor style homes, perfectly exectured Georgians, and charming English architecture.
A Colonial Revival in Shaker Heights
A Georgian Manor
Another Perfectly Executed Georgian
A Typical Tudor-style
Gorgeous entry and double-height bay on another Shaker Heights Tudor
Similar massing to the Tudor above. Beautiful stone door surround.
Restrained detail. Remember, "never conspicuous".
Beautifully detailed chimney and a human-scaled entry on this English cottage style.
(all photos taken from MLS listings)