It was made official yesterday. Cleveland was named the home of the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame, beating out Philadelphia and Chicago strictly on the tenacity of the Ohio city's population. This is such big news for Cleveland that yesterday's news conference for the official announcement was made up of a group of Ohio officials including Gov. Richard Celeste, Cleveland Mayor George Voinovich and Rep. Mary Rose Oakar.

It probably is a big deal for Cleveland, since officials estimate that the rock museum would bring 200 to 300 jobs and about $25 million annually to the city. Among the cities Cleveland beat out were Memphis and Nashville, Tenn., San Francisco, New Orleans, Philadelphia and Chicago. The first giants of rock were inducted into the hall of fame in January -- the Everly Brothers, Ray Charles, Buddy Holly, Sam Cooke, Elvis Presley, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino, Chuck Berry and James Brown. End Notes

Former president Richard M. Nixon was in town Saturday to attend a memorial service at the Foundry Methodist Church for Loy W. Henderson, one of the country's most respected diplomats, who died in late March at 93. A foreign service officer for 39 years, Henderson was involved in some of this country's most controversial foreign policy decisions -- recognizing the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 and working to stop the communist takeover in Greece after World War II -- and served as President Eisenhower's special representative to Egypt during the Suez crisis. Nixon sat in the front row, but he was not a participant at the services . . .

It looks as if Claus von Bulow faces another trial. A federal judge said yesterday that von Bulow must stand trial on a $56 million civil suit brought by the children of his comatose wife, who accuse him of trying to kill her. Von Bulow was acquitted last year of criminal charges of attempting to murder his wife, Martha (Sunny) von Bulow . . .

Smooth society pianist Peter Duchin is apparently about to bring cafe' society back to New York. Duchin said yesterday that along with his fellow band leader Mike Carney and New York nightclub owners Toby Beavers and John Muller, he plans to open a new night spot straight out of the 1930s and 1940s, when his father, the late Eddy Duchin, was the darling of New York society. Nothing is decided yet, he said, but the group has been looking at locations around Manhattan. Duchin, who has performed on past New Year's Eves here, said: "A lot of people would love to go to an elegant place with live dance music. There is a distinct need and that's all this is about" . . .

Former Soviet dissident Anatoly Shcharansky, who spent nine years in Soviet prison and labor camps, will be traveling to the United States alone this week because his wife Avital is pregnant. Apart since the day after they married in 1974, the couple were reunited after Shcharansky was released in an East-West spy swap Feb. 11. They now live in Jerusalem, where Shcharansky goes by the Hebrew name Natan. He will be in New York City Thursday and will meet with President Reagan and congressional leaders May 13 . . .

Fred Grandy, best known from his days as Gopher on television's popular "The Love Boat," is in town this week for a political fundraiser. Grandy is running for Congress from Iowa's 6th District, a seat being vacated by the retirement of Berkley Bedell. The fund-raising reception for Grandy is tonight at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill and is being hosted by Grandy's old friend and former classmate from Exeter Academy, David Eisenhower. Grandy was also best man at Eisenhower's marriage to Julie Nixon . . .

Elizabeth Taylor will be in Thursday to testify before Sen. Lowell P. Weicker's labor, health and human services, education and related agencies subcommittee. Taylor, who has devoted considerable energy to AIDS research since the death of her longtime friend Rock Hudson, will be discussing AIDS. Since she strongly supports funding for biomedical research, she is also expected to speak in behalf of the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation . . .

Washington developer Alan Kay and his wife Dianne showed off their newly renovated home, Merrywood, Saturday at a reception for some of the stars who were in town for Sunday's American Cancer Society fund-raising concert. The Kays are the cochairs of the annual Cancer Ball. Merrywood is where Jackie Kennedy Onassis grew up and where President Kennedy wrote "Profiles in Courage." The Kays bought the historic house from C. Wyatt and Nancy Dickerson. The home's interior designer, Victor Shargai, gave "Dynasty" star John Forsythe and his wife Julie a private tour, and when they looked into the Kays' dressing room, Julie observed: "Even Blake Carrington doesn't have a dressing room like this" . . .