Will Cleveland Merge With the City Next Door?
A decision in the next month could put the two on a path to regional cooperation. Here’s what’s in it for them.
Nine years ago, Trevelle Harp made a fateful choice. He bought a house in the town where he grew up: East Cleveland, Ohio, once the home of John D. Rockefeller, and now Cleveland’s troubled neighbor. “I love East Cleveland,” Harp says, “but it was the worst financial decision I ever made.”
Harp was a single, 30-year-old machinist when he bought his 1916 brick colonial with elegant stained-glass windows. He’d just spent a summer renting a flat in East Cleveland, next to a drug house where unfed dogs barked all night and an addict often begged for a fix. His downstairs neighbors were a single mother and her smart, inquisitive daughter. “I thought, how can this girl grow up in this situation and have opportunity?” Harp says. Others would’ve left, but Harp’s conscience called him to plant roots in his hometown. “I wanted to be part of its renaissance,” he says.
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