Charles Chestnutt

Submitted by lmcshane on Tue, 02/24/2009 - 23:49.

You may not be familiar with Charles Chestnutt, but he was a Cleveland writer who first broke the color line with his popular novel, House Behind the Cedars.  

The House Behind the Cedars tells of John and Lena Walden, mulatto siblings who pass for white in the postbellum American South. The drama that unfolds as they travel between black and white worlds constitutes a riveting portrait of the shifting and intractable nature of race in American life. This edition revitalizes a much-neglected masterpiece by one of our most important African-American writers

The Cuyahoga County Planning Commission notes that he lived on East 73 St. in Cleveland, a solidly middle-class neighborhood at the time.  Ironically, I took some pictures of East 73rd St. today. You can see the charm from this one beautiful house, which incidentally also has a great adjacent garden plot.

From the CCPC blog:

Oberlin College Professor Anne Trubek did not find what she expected when exploring East 73rd Street in Cleveland. Through the efforts of organized residents, some areas hard-hit by the foreclosure crisis remain viable neighborhoods.

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This house is being destroyed - E 73rd

This beautiful house is being destroyed - cupola is missing parts now and windows broken - what is going on - from photo taken in 2009 - the house was not being destroyed and it is same owner - I believe address is 1222 E. 73rd St.

PARCEL ID 105-29-069
ADDRESS 01222 E 73 ST
ZIP 44103


I was reminded to revisit this house by a similar urban adventurer friend of mine who made me stop by and take pictures of Fenwick on the city's west side.  These are shutters that serve a purpose - I am interested in the use of shutters and why we don't use in residential design any more.


weren't they used to keep out the elements pre: wooden storm windows, metal storm windows, triple pane vinyl replacement windows. That house is great, neglected, ugly green paint, greasy rags at the windows. What lurks inside?? Forgotten Fenwick Avenue.....if only the houses could talk.