With the possible exception of Patrick
Calhoun, Barton Roy Deming was Cleveland Heights' most important
and influential real estate developer. His legacy, the "Euclid Golf"
district is bounded roughly by Coventry Road on the East, Scarborough
Road on the South, the Cedar/Fairmount intersection on the West and Cedar
Road on the North.
Deming was born in Windsor, Canada, in 1875. His father, Hubert V. Deming,
was originally from Watertown, New York, and had settled in Canada, where
he became involved in the mercantile and lumber business. Barton was the
ninth of ten children. He was educated in Sarnia, Canada, and graduated
from its high school in 1892. In 1893 he followed several of his brothers
Ten years later, in partnership
with brothers Hubert, Grant, Orville and Cecil, he formed The Deming
Brothers Company, which developed a variety of high-quality allotments,
primarily in East Cleveland. In 1905, Grant Deming organized the
separate Deming Realty Company, whose first Cleveland Heights project
was the Hyde Park Allotment near Lee Road. In 1909, related companies
run by Grant Deming developed the Forest Hill Allotment on land
previously owned by John D. Rockefeller (bounded roughly by Euclid
Heights Boulevard to the North, Coventry Road to the West, Lee Road
and Superior to the East, and Cedar Road to the South)
In 1912, barely 10 years after its formation, the prestigious Euclid
Golf Club (formed by Patrick Calhoun, but located partially on land
owned by John D. Rockefeller) was disbanded. At that time, Deming
convinced Rockefeller that the upper nine holes of his portion (the
space noted above) could be transformed into one of
finest residential neighborhoods
in the country. Deming's allotment plan called for a grand boulevard on
either side of the streetcar right-of-way that would connect to the Van
Sweringen's Fairmount Boulevard district (east of Coventry). Picturesque
homes would be developed on the side streets--not so big as to be impractical,
but big enough to ensure a "fine class of house." Deming relied
on Rockefeller's influence and prestige, as well as his bankroll, to develop
Deming's House (2485 Fairmount), c. 1919.
The streetcar line caused some irregularly shaped
lots, not the least of which was a steep and rocky sliver of land at the
entrance to the allotment, where Fairmount Boulevard meets Cedar Road. Here,
Deming and his astute architects, Carl Eugene Howell and James William Thomas,
Jr., constructed a four-story French Eclectic mansion. The house served
as a gateway and advertisement for the fine quality homes in Euclid Golf.
Deming lived in the home (2485 Fairmount Boulevard) from 1914 until the
death of his wife, Helen, in March of 1934 and the marriage of his only
daughter, Elaine Allen, to Weston Schmitt the same year. He later lived
in the Heights Rockefeller Building apartments on Mayfield Road and Lee
Road and, just prior to his death in 1956, at Overlook House, a Christian
Science Home in Cleveland Heights.
The Fairmount Rail Line with the Deming
house in the background, c. 1940.
Working with architects Howell and Thomas, as
well as Maxwell Norcross, Frank Meade, Charles Schneider and others, Deming
built numerous homes within Euclid Golf. Deed restrictions, in place until
1950, spelled out setbacks and minimum investment levels. They prohibited
many of the commercial uses that had driven Cleveland's elite from their
Euclid Avenue homes. And, as prominent Clevelanders made their homes in
Euclid Golf, Fairmount Boulevard became known as "The Euclid Avenue
of the Heights."