The original West-Side Romanian neighborhood around Detroit Avenue and W. 58th Street began losing its Romanian character after World War II. Slowly but steadily families began moving out to “better” neighborhoods. They left their old environs mainly to live in newer, better built homes, equipped with up-to-date facilities.
When they left Little Romania they remained on the West Side, but moved farther west. A few Romanian families who had their homes on the East Side along Buckeye Road, also came to the newer settlement on Cleveland’s far West Side.
What gave the greatest impetus to the disintegration of Little Romania was the relocation of St. Mary Romanian Orthodox Church from its old place, 6201 Detroit Avenue to 3256 Warren Road. Leaders of St. Mary’s parish, headed by Father John Trutza began planning to move from the Detroit Avenue location in 1940. The American-born generation in the church wanted modern facilities and more room than they had at 6201 Detroit Avenue.
For nearly 14 years, parishioners discussed a possible site for the new church. Finally, the parish bought the old Regnatz property at 3256 Warren Road for $100,000 on April 15, 1954.
The movement of Romanian families from Little Romania accelerated after the new church on Warren Road opened its doors on August 21, 1960.
This move to a new neighborhood resulted in the closing of most stores which used to serve the West Side Romanians. None of these stores followed the Romanians’ exodus to the Warren Road vicinity.
Today the Warren Road neighborhood includes many homes owned by Romanians. Most of the St. Mary parish leaders now live in this area.
The streets of Little Romania are now populated by other nationalities. There are some exceptions, notably W. 64th Street north of Detroit Avenue which has remained mostly Romanian. Many of its residents are Romanians who have come to this country recently.
Another notable exception is St. Helena Romanian Catholic Church of Byzantine Rite whose parishioners decided not to move the church from its present location, 1367 W. 65th Street. In fact, currently a $100,000 improvement program to the church facilities is in progress. The Romanian Baptist Church on W. 57th Street also decided to stay at its old location.
Businesses which have remained in Little Romania include Craciun Funeral Home and Pioneer Savings and Loan Company.