The southern district of Clifton Park has been listed as a historic district in the National Register of Historic Places, joining the northern district of Clifton Park listed in 1974, the Lakewood Historical Society has announced.
Located in the northwest corner of Lakewood, Clifton Park was created in the early 1890s as a master-planned, single-family residential community. It had curving streets, irregularly shaped lots, park areas and a beach on Lake Erie set aside for the exclusive use of Clifton Park residents. The plan included minimum investment requirements and uniform set-back lines for residences but allowed property owners freedom to design their residences. The result in Clifton Park is an eclectic mix of architectural styles popular in the first third of the 20th century.
Lakewood residents John S. Pyke Jr., and Heather Rudge, Richard Sicha, Marcia Moll and Michael Fleenor of Historic Preservation Group prepared and sponsored the nomination of the Clifton Park South Historic District. Historic Preservation Group is a historic preservation consulting firm specializing in the evaluation, survey and inventory of historic resources, preparation of National Register nominations, evaluation of historic tax credit eligibility, successful delivery of federal and state historic tax credits, project management and construction monitoring to protect historic tax credits through construction for a variety of private and public sector clients.
The North and South Clifton Park Historic Districts join two other historic districts in Lakewood listed in the National Register of Historic Places: the Birdtown Historic District and the Downtown Lakewood Historic District, the latter having been listed last fall through the sponsorship of LakewoodAlive.
In the mid-1960s Clifton Boulevard was extended through Clifton Park to the east bank of the Rocky River, and then across the Rocky River Valley over a new bridge. This project divided Clifton Park into northern and southern districts.
The northern and southern portions of Clifton Park merited listing as historic districts in the National Register for the historic significance of their community planning and architectural quality and diversity.
“LakewoodAlive has celebrated historic preservation for nearly two decades and we applaud the efforts that went into establishing yet another historic district in Lakewood,” said Ian Andrews, LakewoodAlive’s executive director. “Our community’s historic homes and streetcar-era commercial buildings play a significant role in reinforcing why Lakewood is such a special place to live, work, shop, dine and play. We are excited for future historic preservation efforts to augment these types of successes.”
"The Lakewood Historical Society is thrilled to see the rejoining of Clifton Park in the historic record," said Executive Director Greg Palumbo. "The vision of this significant Lakewood neighborhood was to have meandering streets following the original paths of the Clifton Park recreation area, and the extension of Clifton Boulevard through the park was an unnatural division of the neighborhood. We are happy to see the inclusion of the southern district in the National Register, in step with the original vision of the neighborhood's planners."
The National Register of Historic Places was created by Congress in 1966. It is America’s official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures and objects deemed worthy of preservation for their historic significance. For owners of properties in residential districts such as Clifton Park, the listing is honorary and confers no restrictions. Numerous studies of National Register districts across the country have demonstrated that residential properties in a listed district maintain their value, compared to residential properties outside the district.