Its a story familiar to many Rust Belt cities; economic downturn, social unrest, racial violence and population decline. The Huff race riots of 1966 and the fire on the Cuyahoga River in 1969 provided an iconic image of an ungovernable, unlivable, urban nightmare. The 1970s brought pitched battles over school desegregation that pitted blacks against whites and liberals against conservatives. Heavy industry relocated to the South or overseas, homeowners fled bussing and the tax base eroded. In 1978, Cleveland defaulted on a 15 million dollar loan. By 2000, Cleveland had lost half of its population. More than 10,000 vacant homes in the city remind us of Cleveland's economic catastrophe. Is recovery possible? Where there is faith, there is hope!

Euclid Ave. Congregational Vintage Postcard

The Cleveland Trust replaced the brown shed in 1908.

Early in his career, while Lindus 148/2 was building a store in Collinwood, he attended the nearby Congregational Church and became a Deacon and Trustee in 1879. The church grew and by 1895, they had reared this beautiful edifice. Lindus and Amelia moved across town to Longfellow Ave and used their experience to start a non- denominational Gospel Church.

The Congregationalists folded in 1967 and the Baptists worship here today in this quiet, neat neighborhood.

Collinwood Congregational Vintage Postcard

Collinwood Congregational

The Gospel Church on Cedar at E 74th St. is now the Messiah Baptist Church. The beautiful cathedral-style windows have been bricked over, for simplicity and economy. But little has changed, except the view is obscured by the urban blight of a telephone pole with wires.

Below, the church as it is today. Urban blight is depressing, especially if you live there, mouseover the image for a clear view!

Cedar Ave Gospel Church at East 74th St.

So goes the Randy Newman song, "Burn On" from 1972. The lyrics express what many of us felt when the Cuyahoga River caught fire!

The International Cody Family Association