Lagoons, Lakes, & Ponds

Rockefeller Lagoon

Rockefeller Lagoon is located in Rockefeller Park near where Martin Luther King Jr. Drive crosses East 105th Street in University Circle. The lagoon had a boathouse with rowboats, but once African Americans became the majority in the surrounding Glenville neighborhood, the city removed the rowboats in 1953, prompting protests of racial discrimination, but the decision was never overturned.

Additional information coming soon.

A fleeting moment in a time of flux: Black and white children enjoyed the lagoon’s rowboats before their removal in 1953 | Source: Cleveland Press Collection


  • Michney, Todd. Surrogate Suburbs: Black Upward Mobility and Neighborhood Change in Cleveland, 1900–1980. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2017.
  • Miller, Marilyn. “Glenville’s Racial Transition.” Cleveland Historical.
  • “Protest Removal of Boats from Lagoon.” Call & Post. June 6, 1953.
  • Rotman, Michael. “Rockefeller Park.” Cleveland Historical.
  • Seawell, Stephanie L. “The Black Freedom Movement and Community Planning in Urban Parks in Cleveland, Ohio, 1945-1977.” Ph.D. dissertation, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, 2014. 172.

Martin Luther King Jr Dr, Cleveland, OH

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Many of the locations documented on Green Book Cleveland are not well-documented in the historical record. If you have additional information about Rockefeller Lagoon, please let us know by sharing a memory, correction, or suggestion using the comment form below.

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