At the invitation of the Bishop of Cleveland, four Ursuline Sisters and one lay woman from Boulogne sur Mer, France arrive to address the need for Catholic education in northern Ohio. Their school is housed in the home provided for them by the bishop on Euclid Street in Cleveland just west of the square. The building not only marks the beginning of the Catholic school system in northern Ohio; it also serves as the first Ursuline motherhouse. [Photo: Euclid Ave. Property 1850 - 1893]
Because of overcrowding and changing needs of the congregation, the sisters leave the motherhouse. The sisters are moved to their second home in Cleveland at East 55th and Scovill Avenue. [Photo: East 55th St. Property 1893 -1941]
By mid-1920’s the Scovill Avenue area has deteriorated badly; it is determined that a new site will soon be needed for the motherhouse. Ursulines purchase 50 acres of property on Lander Road in Pepper Pike.
Because of the stock market crash and the Depression, the Scovill property is not successfully sold until 1941. Sisters from the motherhouse move into a temporary home at Villa Angela boarding school in Cleveland when they finally vacate the Scovill property. [Photo: Villa Angela Property 1941 - 1958]
Ursulines purchase 62.5 acres of land in Pepper Pike adjacent to its earlier Lander Road purchase, now owning 112 acres of undeveloped land.
Ursulines make the long-awaited move into a 250,000 square-foot motherhouse in Pepper Pike, designed as a living space for 200 sisters. For 60 years, the Ursuline Educational Center serves as a living, prayer, and ministry space for the sisters. [Photo: Lander Rd. Property 1958 - 2019]
Ursuline College moves from its previous location into several buildings the sisters built on the Pepper Pike property.
It is mutually determined that Ursuline College is separately incorporated as an independent, non-profit organization. Governance is now managed by a Board of Trustees, separate from the Sisters’ corporation.
The Ursulines deed 66 acres of land fronting Lander Road and sell the buildings in which the college is operating to Ursuline College for a sum total of $10.
In response to changing demographics, the sisters initiate a three-part plan for their Pepper Pike campus: construction of a new sisters’ residence; establishment of a conservation easement; and sale of 24-acre parcel for future development. Meanwhile, parents and representatives of Medina Creative Housing meet with city officials to discuss prospects for a housing development for individuals with disabilities; they are encouraged to speak with the Ursulines about their property.
Sisters move into their new residence, Merici Crossings, and continue exploring potential development on the remaining acreage. Potential uses include selling a parcel to Fairmount Properties for a lifelong learning community for older adults, establishing a conservation easement, and working with Medina Creative Housing to build housing for adults with disabilities.
Dec. 2019: While the sisters are in negotiations about uses for their property, the city approves a moratorium halting any new development on property in the city zoned U-2. As a result, the sisters’ plans are paused while the city rewrites its U-2 zoning code.
[Photo: Merici Crossings, Pepper Pike Property, 2019 - Present]
Sisters meet with city officials and immediate neighbors to discuss a proposal to partner with Medina Creative Housing to build a 25-unit housing development for individuals with disabilities on three acres adjacent to Merici Crossings.
January 2021: Pepper Pike adopts a new zoning code for U-2 properties that doesn’t allow for residential use.
February 2021: Medina Creative Housing submits a request to the city for a use variance to allow development of housing for individuals with disabilities. The use variance is based on the historic use of the sisters’ property for mission-based activities, including housing.