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What is Cleveland's Nela Park?

By December 10, 2013

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Did you know that Northeast Ohio's Nela Park, located on Noble Road at the edge of East Cleveland, was America's first industrial park? Or that the facility, the world headquarters for GE Lighting, has made and donated the lights and ornaments for the National Christmas Tree in Washington DC for over 80 years?

Nela Park, best known to Cleveland residents for its spectacular holiday lighting display, was built in 1911 on a former abandoned vineyard in what was then rural Ohio. The campus includes more than 40, mostly Georgian Revival-style, buildings, all but two of which were designed in the early 1910s by the New York architectural firm of Wallis and Goodwillie. Nela Park was made a National Historic Site in 1975.

The location is proud of its connection to the National Christmas Tree. Each year, since 1922, the Nela Park has designed, produced, and donated the decorations for the tree.

(photo of Nela Park is a public domain photo)

Comments

May 10, 2011 at 9:07 pm
(1) James Thompson says:

My first job out of highschool was at Nela Park as a lab tech in r&d in the large lamp division. My immediate supervisor, Herman Froehlich, and his supervisor were prominent on the team that first developed practical flourescent lamps back in the 30′s. The campus atmosphere and the lunchtime activities are fond memories for me. Oh yes, I remember meeting Walt Disney on one of his annual visits to check out innovations in lighting. It was years later that I learned that Nela Park was the first industrial park. I treasure my time there and only regret that I was such a flaky kid at the time. I have never worked in a better place.
JET

June 3, 2011 at 11:30 pm
(2) Ray Ward says:

My mother’s parents owned the house across Noble Road from Nela Park (2114 It was sold by the family to the Eastern Star for a old folks home I believe.) When I was a small kid, my grandfather, Frank Majeska, would tell me stories of how he would sit on his front porch and shoot deer on the property now known as Nela Park. It is unclear to me if he owned the Nela property then or not. My mother was born in 1907 the youngest of the Majeska kids. She told me they farmed the land around 2114 Noble and she went to Shaw High. She and my dad were married at Christ The King Church on Noble. Her sister, Francis Salmon, lived just around the corner on Helmsdale. Her other sister and her husband, Bill Robertson, lived with and took care of my grandparents until they died. He was a civil engineer for the City of East Cleveland. After getting married my mom and dad lived in Cuyahoga Falls for years although we visited her parents weekly until they both passed away, except for the 2nd World War years when gas was rationed. I played in Nela with my cousin on many occasions.

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