Dr. John Grabowski, professor of history at Case Western Reserve University, and historian at Western Reserve Historical Society, details the changes that have occurred in the University Circle since his undergraduate days in the late 1960's; the rise of the medical centers, new housing and the new immigration to the area. As a history major at Western Reserve University in 1969, he describes life as a commuter student during the late 1960's and early 1970's, including anti-war activities, and the impact of the Glenville riots. Grabowski discusses some problems that still affect University Circle, early anti-Italian feelings, conflicts between African-Americans and the Italian community, as well as town and gown problems between CWRU and Little Italy. Grabowski praises nationwide and local efforts to incorporate African-American and immigrant culture into museum exhibits He stresses the importance of partnering with the African-American community and immigrant groups in this effort, but admits segregation is a problem in Cleveland. He provides historic information regarding the vibrant entertainment venues that existed near East 105th and Euclid, and in the Cedar-Central neighborhood, and reflects on reasons for the decline of those areas. Other topics include opportunities in research using digitized images and the future of virtual museum exhibits.


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Grabowski, John (interviewee)


Calder, James (interviewer)


University Circle



Document Type

Oral History


26 minutes

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.

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