Duck Island: The New, Temporary, Millionaire’s Row

by Lucile Egan

In the early 1900s, late 1800s, there was a very wealthy class of people living down on Euclid Ave., Millionaire’s Row. 

“Euclid Avenue's "Millionaires' Row" was home to some of the nation's most powerful and influential industrialists, including John D. Rockefeller. Around the turn of the twentieth century, Baedeker's Travel Guide dubbed Euclid Avenue the "Showplace of America" for its beautiful elm-lined sidewalks and ornate mansions situated amid lavish gardens. The concentration of wealth was unparalleled, with accounts at the time comparing it to the Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris” from Danielle Rose, “Millionaires' Row,” Cleveland Historical, at www.Clevelandhistorical.org

Now a days, you can still see the remains of those houses simply as a distant memory of the glory that use to be.  With the growth of the Cleveland Clinic and the new push to make Cleveland a hip city as it was back in the day Duck Island, the neighborhood I’ve been living in for the majority of my life, is becoming a new kind of Millionaires Row.

Duck Island is located across the bridge from the West Side market between Ohio City and Tremont.  Everyone moving in thinks it is the most ideal location for them to live in because it will be quiet at night, but they still have easy access to downtown.  I can tell you that it is not all that quiet when the police sirens start going at night.  Developers and real-estate agents have been coming around and buying up properties and building big houses with city views, and selling them for fortunes to all of the doctors moving in town for the clinic.  This is nice because I will finally have some normal neighbors, however these houses just aren’t the same as those that were built on millionaire’s row.  I don’t know much about architecture but I know these new modern houses aren’t going to last very long.

My friend Sheppy owns a lot of properties around the city where all of these doctors are buying houses.  He told me that these doctors don’t have to pay taxes for their first 15 years out of school, and our taxes are going up.  I know they are coming out of school with 7 or 10 years of student loans, but that doesn’t mean I have the money to pay higher taxes.  It’s been interesting seeing new people come in I’m not sure if I’m happy about having some normal people around me or if it’s just a nuisance with the taxes and modern houses going up.  I can’t help but look at these new houses as a passing trends.  However when the doctors move on there will be no big brick houses left in their memory like there were for Rockefeller and Hanna.   Things sure aren’t like they used to be.

Copyright Cleveland Street Chronicle April 2016 Issue 23.2 Cleveland Ohio