Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Cleveland, Ohio

As I mentioned previously, I live in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio.  Cleveland is located on the southern shore of Lake Erie in northeast Ohio.  It was founded in 1796, and became a major industrial city.  It's population peaked in the 1940's with nearly a million people.  With a decline of industry, and the growth of the suburbs, the city's population has declined to under 400,000.  It is no longer the largest city in Ohio. (That distinction now belongs to Columbus, the state capital.)  But Greater Cleveland, with a population of around two million, still remains the largest metropolitan area in the state.

Cleveland has been maligned as a declining "rust belt" city, and has been the butt of jokes.  The city certainly has its share of problems, but Cleveland has much to be proud of.

For a long time the skyline of Cleveland was dominated by the Terminal Tower.  When it was completed in the 1930's it was the tallest skyscraper in the world outside of New York City.

On the other side of Public Square from the Terminal Tower, is the city's oldest church.  Old Stone Church was built in 1855.  Its beautiful interior includes several stained glass windows by Tiffany.

On the lake shore is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, probably the city's most popular tourist attraction.  The term "rock and roll" was first used by a radio disc jockey here in Cleveland.
Downtown Cleveland also boasts Playhouse Square.  Four beautiful old movie theaters along Euclid Avenue were saved from the wrecker's ball, and restored to their former grandeur.  Today a wide variety of theatrical productions are presented here.  It is the second largest performing arts center in the country, surpassed only by Lincoln Center in New York City.

Farther down Euclid Avenue is the University Circle area.  It has one of the largest concentrations of cultural, educational and medical institutions in the world.  One of the gems of University Circle is the Cleveland Museum of Art.  The museum is considered one of the finest in the country, and its collection spans the entire history of art, from ancient Egypt to the 21st century.

The museum has recently finished a complete renovation which includes this enclosed atrium.

Admission to the museum is free.
Near the art museum are the lovely Cleveland Botanical Gardens.

One of the city's greatest treasures is the Cleveland Orchestra.  I am not exaggerating when I say that it is considered to be the finest symphony orchestra in the country, and one of the best in the entire world.  Concerts are performed in beautiful Severance Hall, next door to the art museum.

A short drive from University Circle brings you to Lakeview Cemetery.  Many famous people, including John D. Rockerfeller, and President James Garfield, are buried here.  In the cemetery is Wade Chapel.  The entire interior of this chapel, including its stained glass window, were designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany.

I could continue, but I think you can see that Cleveland has a lot to offer the visitor!


  1. I recently found out we now have a contemporary art museum.


  2. The Cleveland Symphony is a national treasure. I've enjoyed many a recording of them. I've always wanted to visit Cleveland, now you've laid out a nice roadmap for me.


    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where we definitely appreciate the Boston Symphony.

    1. Cleveland isn't thought of as a tourist destination, but there are some very nice things to see here. I try to make it to at least one orchestra concert at Severance Hall each year, and at least one summer concert at Blossom Music Center (our equivalent of your Tanglewood).
      Let me know if you ever come to Cleveland. If I'm not away traveling somewhere, I enjoy playing "tour guide"..