The Village of Bratenahl in Cleveland, Ohio

A Bratenahl Estate
A Bratenahl Estate | Source

Embraced completely by the surrounding City of Cleveland and the bounding waters of Lake Erie, the Village of Bratenahl is one of America’s smallest communities, with a total land area of but a single square mile. This tiny village has, however, long been one of America’s wealthiest and most regal residential stretches, as evidenced in its historic housing stock.

Typical Entrance Gate
Typical Entrance Gate | Source

Lying within the northeastern portion of Cleveland, Bratenahl is bounded along its southern limit by the combined expressway of I-90 and Ohio State Route 2. The village consists of a number of short streets branching north and south from the sinuous Lake Shore Drive that runs the length of the community. The village is bracketed by its western neighbor of Gordon Park — once the site of a Minuteman missile site aimed across the pole toward Russia and any of its Ohio-bound ICBMs — and the beachside streets and cottages that line the lakeshore to its east.

Welcome Home!
Welcome Home! | Source

Early in its century-plus history, Bratenahl became famous for the many homes and estates of the über-wealthy that still line its streets in grand fashion. From Neoclassical to French Normandy to Colonial to British Cottage Style, these monumental mansions lie upon stately grounds beyond walls and fences of varied design, each overlooking the lake or other picturesque aspect of the local terrain.

In recent years, several of the larger domiciles have been converted to clusters of multiple condominium residences. Infill developments have also brought to the village more contemporary variations on the traditional architectural themes, along with a marina, a nature preserve and several modern high-rise towers.  

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Comments 4 comments

Stina Caxe profile image

Stina Caxe 5 years ago from Virginia

I grew up in the Cleveland area, I completely forgot about that neighborhood. Thanks for writing about it!

rickzimmerman profile image

rickzimmerman 5 years ago from Northeast Ohio Author

You're welcome, Stina!

Nick James 4 years ago

I grew up in Bratenahl till the age of 13 before moving to Santa Monica, Ca. These photos are awesome and bring back great memories. The one I see is my old friends house Duncan Cameron. Are there still a a lot of original residents there?

rickzimmerman profile image

rickzimmerman 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio Author

Yes, Nick. Many of the current residents are descendants of the old owners. A few of the larger properties have either been subdivided or converted into gated cluster homes for the affluent. There's also a great marina in the heart of the village.

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