Profile of Shaker Heights, Ohio

Houses on a tree-lined street in Shaker Heights, Ohio
Phil Kalina / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Shaker Heights, located eight miles east of downtown Cleveland, is a tree-lined suburb, with a diverse population, tree-lined streets, and excellent schools. Shaker Heights is made up of a handful of neighborhoods. Among these are Ludlow, Sussex, Mercer, and Fernway.

The suburb, once part of the North Union Settlement of Shakers (hence the name), was founded in 1912, a part of the Van Sweringen Brothers plan for a "garden suburb." Approximately 70 percent of the city is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


From 1822 until 1889, the area now known as Shaker Heights was home to the celibate religious colony, the North Union Shakers. After the community disbanded, developers Oris and Mantis Van Sweringen (who also developed the Terminal Tower complex in downtown Cleveland) purchased land that included much of the former Shaker village.

The Van Sweringens planned a garden suburb, connected to downtown via rail, with parks, excellent schools, and few commercial "eyesores." Many of the homes in Shaker Heights date back to this early 20th century period.


According to the 2010 census, Shaker Heights has 28.448 residents, 60% of whom are white, 34% African-American, and 3% Asian. In addition, approximately half of Shaker Heights residents are married. The median age is 40 and the median household income is $63,983.


Most of Shaker Heights is residential. However, the city does have shopping at Van Aken Boulevard and Warrensville Center Road and is adjacent to shopping at Shaker Square and Larchmere Boulevard.


Although Shaker Heights is within a few miles of scores of restaurants at Shaker Square (part of Cleveland), Cleveland Heights, and Larchmere, the city itself has relatively few restaurants. Some, like Pearl Asian Kitchen, have weathered the changes in the area over the years and remain neighborhood favorites.


Green spaces in Shaker Heights include the Shaker Lakes and the accompanying Shaker Lakes Nature Center. Also available to residents is Thornton Park, a multi-facility complex with an ice-skating rink and two pools.


Shaker Heights Schools are consistently ranked among the best in the country, with over 90 percent of their students attending college. The current enrollment is around 5600 students in eight buildings (five K-4 schools, one 5-6 grade school, one middle school, and the high school).

Shaker Heights is also home to the well-regarded Laurel School (for girls), Hathaway Brown (also for girls), and the University School (for boys).

Famous Shaker Heights Residents

Notable Shaker Heights residents, past and present, include actor Paul Newman, musician Jim Brickman, comedian Molly Shannon, and racing great Roger Penske.

Hotels Near Shaker Heights

Although most of Shaker Heights is residential, the suburb is just a few miles away from the many hotels located in Beachwood, along I-271 and Chagrin Boulevard, and just a 15-minute ride on the Rapid train away from downtown Cleveland hotels.

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