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.
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.
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.