A stroll through the rich history of a unique Lakewood neighborhood awaits on Sunday, June 12, when LakewoodAlive and the Lakewood Historical Society join forces to host the inaugural Historic Birdtown Walk & Picnic from noon to 4 p.m. at the Madison Park Pavilion.
The celebratory event kicks off with a community picnic from noon to 2 p.m. at the pavilion near Madison Park’s George Usher Field. Food and drinks will be provided, courtesy of The Gorilla Lakewood.
The festivities continue with guided walking tours of the Historic Birdtown neighborhood commencing at 1 p.m. The tours will depart from the corner of Madison and Halstead Avenues every half-hour until 2:30 p.m., affording participants an enriched perspective of this proud, working-class neighborhood in eastern Lakewood.
Following a tour of the neighborhood, participants will also have a chance to walk through the Templar Motors Factory display within the Lake Erie Building at the south-end of Madison Park.
“We’re thrilled to be able to partner with the Lakewood Historical Society and offer Lakewood residents this exciting opportunity to explore one of our city’s beloved neighborhoods,” said Allison Urbanek, LakewoodAlive’s Housing Outreach Director. “It’s yet another example of how we here at LakewoodAlive are committed to our ongoing mission to foster and sustain vibrant neighborhoods in Lakewood.”
Steeped in history, the origins of the Birdtown neighborhood date back to the late 19th century. In 1892, the National Carbon Company (now GrafTech) – a manufacturing company located near the Lakewood-Cleveland border – sought to ease its employees’ commutes to work in order to reduce staff tardiness.
The factory acquired 115 acres extending west along Madison Avenue to Bunts Road and soon established the Pleasant Hill Allotment, which was divided into 424 lots and later become known as Birdtown. The present-day name is believed to have been derived from the various streets within the neighborhood named after indigenous bird species.
Sponsored by Citizens Bank, the City of Lakewood, Dollar Bank, First Federal Lakewood and The Gorilla Lakewood, the Historic Birdtown Walk & Picnic is being orchestrated by LakewoodAlive’s Housing Outreach Community Engagement Program. Through developing community outreach and engagement initiatives for homeowners and residents in low-to-moderate income neighborhoods, this program seeks to cultivate a heightened sense of pride and ownership.
For more detailed information leading up to the Historic Birdtown Walk & Picnic on June 12, please visit the event’s Facebook page.