Cleaveland was founded in 1796 by General Moses Cleaveland. The extra ‘a’ was dropped from the name in 1831 in order to fit it on the masthead of the Cleveland Advertiser newspaper. With its location on Lake Erie, Cleveland soon developed into a port, and growth accelerated  after the completion in 1832 of the Ohio and Erie Canal and again after the arrival of the railroad in 1855. Cleveland became a major industrial centre, including the production of steel from ore shipped across the Great Lakes from Minnesota.  Cleveland’s heavy industries began to decline in the 1960s but major redevelopment starting in the 1980s arrested the decline. The city is now  home to the headquarters of several major corporations and has a population of just under half a million.



The Arcade

The first indoor shopping mall in the USA was not in New York or Chicago, it was in Cleveland. The Arcade was designed by John Eisenmann and George Smith, opening its doors to the public in 1890. With a glass roof ensuring plenty of natural light, The Arcade was known as Cleveland’s Crystal Palace.  Fortunately it did not burn down like the original Crystal Palace, but it did eventually go into decline.The Arcade closed for renovation in 1999 and it reopened in 2001. The ground floor remains a small shopping mall, but the upper floors are now a Hyatt Regency Hotel with the former shops converted into guest rooms.

Cleveland from 9th Street Pier

This picture of downtown Cleveland from 9th Street Pier encompasses both Cleveland’s history as a port and its modern reincarnation as a skyscraper city for corporate headquarters. The white building rising from the water is the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, see below.

‘Free Stamp', Willard Park

Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen are well known for their giant sculptures of common items. In the early 1980s Cleveland’s Standard Oil Corporation commissioned a sculpture from Oldenburg and van Bruggen to be sited outside a new headquarters building. The sculptors came up with the idea of a giant stamp bearing the word ‘FREE’ to represent liberty and independence.  The company was taken over before the sculpture could be completed and the new owners were not keen on the design so they stopped work on it. After much debate about location the City Authorities stepped in and  the design was adapted for new a site in Willard Park.  The sculpture was inaugurated in 1991.

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Cleveland claims to be the birthplace of Rock & Roll. This is not because the style music was invented here but because in 1951 local DJ Alan Freed was the first to apply that name to the music. It is tempting to compare the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame to the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville,  established back in 1967, which gives an excellent insight into the evolution of that music. In comparison, the Rock & Roll version gives a rather patchy story but it has only been open since 1995. We found that it had a lot of Beatles memorabilia and told their story well, but it had much less on Elvis Presley. Admittedly the best Elvis memorabilia is at Graceland, but that is not an excuse to skimp the story.

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 Cleveland from 9th Street Pier, OH, USA
 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland, OH, USA
 The Arcade, Cleveland, OH, USA
 'Free Stamp' (Oldenburg and van Bruggen), Willard Park, Cleveland, OH, USA

War Memorial Fountain

Cleveland’s memorial to those who served in World War II is known as the Fountain of Eternal Life. It was designed by Cleveland Institute of Art graduate Marshall Fredericks. The 10.7 metre (35 foot) high statue represents a man escaping from the flames of war and reaching skyward for eternal peace. The memorial was dedicated in 1964.

 War Memorial Fountain (Marshall Fredericks), Cleveland, OH, USA

Soldiers & Sailors Monument

This monument on Public Square commemorates the Union Soldiers and Sailors ho took part in the Civil War from Cuyahoga County, Ohio. Completed in 1894, the Soldiers and Sailors Monument was designed by architect Levi T. Scofield. The 38 metre (125 foot) high marble shaft is topped with a bronze statue of the ‘Goddess of Liberty’. It is open daily apart from Sundays and admission is free.

 Soldiers & Sailors Monument, Cleveland, OH, USA



- The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, but we are from that generation!
-  There is not a lot to dislike about Cleveland.
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