Forest Hill was once the summer home of John D. Rockefeller and his family. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. purchased the estate from his father in 1923 and planned an upscale residential and commercial development featuring distinctive French Norman style architecture. Before the Great Depression halted the development of his full vision, the Heights Rockefeller Building and 81 homes were constructed in East Cleveland and Cleveland Heights. Those beautiful brick French Norman homes constitute the Forest Hill Historic District. New York architect Andrew J. Thomas was responsible for the vision and execution of the development which was only partially realized. Following the second World War, Colonial and Ranch homes were constructed where the French Norman homes had been envisioned.