Born and raised in the Bronx, Judith VanKleef attended college at the University of Wisconsin. She moved to Cleveland's West Side in 1950 and then to Cleveland Heights in 1964. She discusses the shifting color line on Cleveland's East Side in the 1950s-60s and the impact of blockbusting on neighborhoods including her own. She details a blockbusting campaign in the Grant Deming's Forest Hill neighborhood in about 1967 or 1968 that catalyzed the reconstitution of a long defunct block club to try to stabilize East Overlook Road. VanKleef also discusses the Heights Community Congress, Cleveland Heights businesses, the origins of the "Nuclear Free Zone" signs at the entrances to Cleveland Heights, and the changing nature of community issues in the Heights in recent years, including the Coventry Street Fair incident in 2011.


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VanKleef, Judith (interviewee)


Souther, J. Mark (interviewer)


Provost Summer Program



Document Type

Oral History


85 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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