The historic American Colonial-Georgian shopping center, which was largely influenced by European town squares, was built between 1927 and 1929 by the Van Sweringen brothers. The two brothers, who also developed much of the land to the east of the neighborhood as the planned community of Shaker Heights, envisioned Shaker Square as its gateway between the urban and suburban living spaces represented in the early 20th century.
Four large buildings around the perimeter of the grass lawns make up the second planned shopping center in the United States, after Country Club Plaza in Kansas City. They were designed in a Neo-Georgian style by Phillip Small and Charles Bacon Rowley, and together form an octagonal area that is said to have been inspired by the eight-sided plaza at the center of the Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen, Denmark. Since 2004 the Square has been owned by The Coral Company whose offices are in Shaker Square.
Today, Shaker Square is the heart of the neighborhood. Near the square are more than 4,000 units of rental and condominium apartments (the largest concentration of multi-family housing in Cleveland), townhouses and many private homes.