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Culture
 
 
 

Architecture

Cleveland's downtown architecture is diverse. Many of the city's government and civic buildings, including City Hall, the Cuyahoga County Courthouse, the Cleveland Public Library, and Public Auditorium, are clustered around an open mall and share a common neoclassical architecture. Built in the early 20th century, they are the result of the 1903 Group Plan, and constitute one of the most complete examples of City Beautiful design in the United States. The Terminal Tower, dedicated in 1930, was the tallest building in North America outside New York City until 1967 and the tallest in the city until 1991. It is a prototypical Beaux-Arts skyscraper. The two newer skyscrapers on Public Square, Key Tower (currently the tallest building in Ohio) and the BP Building, combine elements of Art Deco architecture with postmodern designs.

Another of Cleveland's architectural treasures is The Arcade (sometimes called the Old Arcade), a five-story arcade built in 1890 and renovated in 2001 as a Hyatt Regency Hotel. Cleveland's landmark ecclesiastical architecture includes the historic Old Stone Church in downtown Cleveland and the onion domed St. Theodosius Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Tremont.

Running east from Public Square through University Circle is Euclid Avenue, which was known for its prestige and elegance. In the late 1880s, writer Bayard Taylor described it as "the most beautiful street in the world". Known as "Millionaire's Row", Euclid Avenue was world-renowned as the home of such internationally known names as Rockefeller, Hanna and Hay.

Cleveland is home to four parks in the countywide Cleveland Metroparks system, the "Emerald Necklace" of Olmsted-inspired parks that encircles the region. In the Big Creek valley sits the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, which contains one of the largest collection of primates in North America. The other three parks are Brookside Park and parts of the Rocky River and Washington Reservations.

Apart from the Metroparks is Cleveland Lakefront State Park, which provides public access to Lake Erie. Among its six parks are Edgewater Park, located between the Shoreway and Lake Erie just west of downtown, and Euclid Beach Park and Gordon Park on the east side. The City of Cleveland's Rockefeller Park, with its many Cultural Gardens honouring the city's ethnic groups, follows Doan Brook across the city's east side.

Fine Arts

Cleveland is home to Playhouse Square Center, the second largest performing arts centre in the US behind New York's Lincoln Center. Playhouse Square includes the State, Palace, Allen, Hanna and Ohio theatres within what is known as the Theater District of Downtown Cleveland. Playhouse Square's resident performing arts companies include the Cleveland Opera, the Ohio Ballet and the Great Lakes Theater Festival. The centre also hosts various Broadway musicals, special concerts, speaking engagements and other events throughout the year. One Playhouse Square, now the headquarters for Cleveland's public broadcasters, was originally used as the broadcast studios of WJW Radio, where disc jockey Alan Freed first popularised the term "rock and roll". Located between Playhouse Square and University Circle are the Cleveland Play House and Karamu House, a well-known African American performing and fine arts centre, both founded in the 1920s.

Cleveland is also home to the Cleveland Orchestra, widely considered one of the finest orchestras in the world, and often referred to as the finest in the US. It is one of the "Big Five" major orchestras in the US. The Orchestra plays in Severance Hall during the winter and at Blossom Music Center during the summer. The city is also home to the Cleveland Pops Orchestra.

There are two main art museums in Cleveland. The Cleveland Museum of Art is a major American art museum, with a collection that includes more than 40,000 works of art ranging over 6,000 years, from ancient masterpieces to contemporary pieces. Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland showcases established and emerging artists, particularly from the Cleveland area, through hosting and producing temporary exhibitions.


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