Downtown Landmarks Tour (Self Guided), Cleveland

Downtown Cleveland is renowned for its landmarks. Cleveland Mall is inseparable from the city's image and provides insight into the American culture. Take the following walk to discover Cleveland’s most notable landmarks.
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Downtown Landmarks Tour Map

Guide Name: Downtown Landmarks Tour
Guide Location: USA » Cleveland (See other walking tours in Cleveland)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 12
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 Km or 2.1 Miles
Author: JohnB
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Cuyahoga County Courthouse
  • Cleveland Mall
  • Fountain of Eternal Life
  • Key Tower
  • Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument
  • BP Tower
  • Cleveland Arcade
  • Guardian Bank Building
  • Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland
  • Public Auditorium
  • Great Lakes Science Center
  • Cleveland Browns Stadium
1
Cuyahoga County Courthouse

1) Cuyahoga County Courthouse

The Cuyahoga County Courthouse stretches along Lakeside Boulevard at the north end of the Cleveland Mall downtown. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places along with the mall district in 1975. Constructed from 1906 to 1912 by the architectural firm of Lehman & Schmitt, this Beaux Arts style building is constructed of Milford pink granite from Massachusetts. The rusticated masonry of the ground floor includes deeply recessed arched windows and doors. A protruding keystone tops each one. The front entrance is flanked by bronze statues of Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton, sculpted by Karl Bitter.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
Cleveland Mall

2) Cleveland Mall (must see)

The Cleveland Mall is a long public park in downtown Cleveland. It was conceived as part of the 1903 Group Plan by Daniel Burnham, John Carrère, and Arnold Brunner as a vast public space flanked by the city's major civic and governmental buildings, all built in the neoclassical style. In the spirit of the City Beautiful movement, formerly seedy areas were transformed into a "magnificent civic center", which was supposed to be crowned by the Union Terminal at the north end of the mall, on the shores of Lake Erie. The Mall was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975, and the Cleveland Restoration Society is pursuing a National Historic Landmark designation.

The Mall is divided into three sections, known as Malls A, B, and C. Mall A, the southernmost, is officially named Veterans' Memorial Plaza, and Mall C was dedicated as Strawbridge Plaza in 2003. The Memorial Plaza, which borders St. Clair Avenue, is the site of the Fountain of Eternal Life, also known as the War Memorial Fountain. The Cleveland Convention Center is underneath Malls B and C, and plans to extend the center north are under consideration as part of the Cleveland City Planning Commission's efforts to renovate or replace the existing facility. In January 2009, part of the mall was proposed to be the site of a medical mart.

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Sight description based on wikipedia
3
Fountain of Eternal Life

3) Fountain of Eternal Life (must see)

The Fountain of Eternal Life, also known as the War Memorial Fountain and Peace Arising from the Flames of War, is a statue and fountain in Cleveland designed by Cleveland Institute of Art graduate Marshall Fredericks and dedicated on May 30, 1964. The sculpture, which serves as the city's major memorial to its citizens that served in World War II, is situated on Memorial Plaza, which is part of the Cleveland Mall.

The fountain was initiated and promoted by the Cleveland Press. The centerpiece is a 35-foot (10.7 m) bronze figure representing man escaping from the flames of war and reaching skyward for eternal peace. The bronze sphere from which the figure rises represents the earth. Four granite carvings, representing the geographic civilizations of the world, are placed around the sphere. On the surface of the polished granite rim surrounding the fountain are bronze plates bearing the names of 4,177 Greater Clevelanders who perished in WWII and in the Korean War.

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Sight description based on wikipedia
4
Key Tower

4) Key Tower

Key Tower is a skyscraper on Public Square in downtown Cleveland designed by architect César Pelli. It is the tallest building in both the city and the state, the 18th tallest building in the United States and the 59th tallest building in the world. The top of the spire is the highest man-made point in Ohio. This 57-story building reaches 948 feet to the top of its spire, and it can be visible up to twenty miles away. It was originally built as the Society Center but was renamed when Key Bank acquired Society Bank. Society had recently acquired Ameritrust and canceled plans for an even taller building on Public Square. Key Tower was developed by the Richard E. Jacobs Group and is owned by Wells Real Estate Funds. Key Bank's headquarters occupy most of the tower.

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Sight description based on wikipedia
5
Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument

5) Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument

The Cuyahoga County Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument is dedicated to Civil War soldiers and sailors. Located in the southeast quadrant of Public Square in downtown Cleveland, it was designed by architect Levi Scofield (1842–1917), who also created its sculptures. Opened in 1894, it consists of a 125-foot marble shaft erected on a dark granite and stone base, which houses a memorial building. The shaft is topped with a bronze statue of the Goddess of Liberty. Four bronze groupings at its base depict the four branches of the Union Army: the Navy, Cavalry, Infantry and Artillery. Inside the memorial building is a series of bronze tablets listing 9,000 Civil War veterans who served with Cuyahoga County regiments or were from Cuyahoga County. Also inside the base are four bronze relief sculptures depicting the Soldiers' Aid Society, Emancipation of the Slaves, Beginning of the War in Ohio and the End of the War.

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Sight description based on wikipedia
6
BP Tower

6) BP Tower

200 Public Square (also known as the Sohio Building, Standard Oil Building, the BP America Building, BP America Tower, BP Tower or the BP Building) is the third tallest skyscraper in Cleveland. Reaching 45 stories and 658 feet, it features 1.2 million square feet of office space. Beginning in 2011, the building will be the Cleveland headquarters for Huntington Bancshares. The structure was completed in 1985 and was officially opened in 1987 as the BP America Tower when British Petroleum purchased the remaining 45% of Sohio and merged its North American holdings to form BP America, Inc., headquartered in the new building. Prior to the construction of Key Tower, the BP Building was the second most prominent skyscraper in the city, often photographed next to the adjacent Terminal Tower as a twin emblem of Cleveland.

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Sight description based on wikipedia
7
Cleveland Arcade

7) Cleveland Arcade

The Arcade in downtown Cleveland is a Victorian-era structure of two nine-story buildings, joined by a five-story arcade with a glass skylight spanning over 300 feet (91 m), along the four balconies. Erected in 1890, it is identified as one of the earliest indoor shopping malls in the United States.

The Arcade is a cross between a lighted court and a commercial shopping street. The building is a complex of three structures: two nine-story office buildings facing out to Euclid and Superior Avenues, connected via the five-story iron-and-glass enclosed arcade. The Richardsonian arched entrance along Superior Avenue is original, but the Euclid Avenue front was remodeled in 1939. The arcade itself is a 300-foot (91 m)-long covered light court, ringed by four levels of balconies, which step back above the Euclid Avenue level. The vertical lines of the columns, rising nearly 100 feet (33 m) to the glass roof, create a spacious domed interior.

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8
Guardian Bank Building

8) Guardian Bank Building

The Guardian Bank Building, originally known as the New England Building and later known as the National City Bank Building, is a high-rise building on Euclid Avenue in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. It was built in 1896 and stands adjacent to National City Center. At 221 feet (67 m) tall, it was once one of the tallest buildings in America and tallest in Cleveland until 1922. The building was designed by the firm of Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge and remodeled by Walker and Weeks in 1915. It was converted to a Holiday Inn Express in 1999, and added to the National Register of Historic Places on September 8, 2000.

In January 2010, Rosetta, the largest independent interactive agency in America, announced plans to move into the Guardian Bank Building. The plans, announced in conjunction with the signing of a 10-year lease, include stripping and remodeling the top five floors, building a new penthouse suite on the roof, and renaming the building. In March 2012, developers announced plans to convert five stories into 85 apartments.

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9
Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

9) Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland is the Cleveland-based headquarters of the U.S. Federal Reserve System's Fourth District. The bank building, located at Superior Avenue and East 6th Street in downtown Cleveland was designed by the Cleveland firm of Walker and Weeks and completed in 1923. Its exterior architecture emulates an Italian Renaissance palazzo, is clad in pink Sienna marble. An extension to the building designed by HOK was completed in 1998, providing new facilities for check processing and cash handling. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The building's entrances feature allegorical sculptures by Henry Hering representing Security and Integrity flanking the East Sixth Street entrance, while his Energy watches the Superior Avenue entry. Its original 100 short tons (91 t) bank vault door is the largest in the world. The hinge has an overall height of 19 feet (5.8 m) and weighs over 47 short tons (43 t) fully assembled. The door casting itself was 20 short tons (18 t). It incorporates the largest hinge ever built. The vault's use was discontinued in 1997, though it is preserved intact for posterity.

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10
Public Auditorium

10) Public Auditorium

Public Auditorium is a multi-purpose performing arts, entertainment, and exposition facility located in the central business district of Downtown Cleveland. Although Public Auditorium was planned and funded prior to World War I, construction did not begin until 1920, and the structure did not open until 1922. Designed by city architect J. Harold McDowell and Frank Walker of Walker and Weeks in a neoclassical style matching the other Group Plan buildings, it was the largest of its kind when opened.

The seating capacity of the main auditorium, including the main floor and the U-shaped balcony, was more than 11,500. The Music Hall seated 2,800, the ballroom 1,500, the north exhibition hall 1,500, the Little Theatre 600 and other halls from six to 500. The basement Exhibition Hall provided more than 28,500 square feet of exhibit space.

Public Auditorium has hosted many notable events, including the 1924 and 1936 Republican National Conventions, General Eisenhower's address on Sept. 23, 1952 to 15,000 supporters immediately after Richard Nixon's successful Fund Speech, and the 1993 Cleveland Orchestra 75th anniversary concert. Public Auditorium has also served as site for many rock and roll acts, including such legendary performers as Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, and The Rolling Stones.

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11
Great Lakes Science Center

11) Great Lakes Science Center (must see)

The Great Lakes Science Center is a museum and educational facility in downtown Cleveland. It's exhibits focus on helping visitors to understand science, technology, and their interdependence with the environment. Many of the exhibits document the features of the natural environment in the Great Lakes region of the United States. The facility includes signature and traveling exhibits, meeting space, a restaurant, and an Omnimax theater.

The museum opened in July 1996. The center's signature exhibits concentrate in three major areas: Great Lakes environment, technology, and science phenomenon. During the 2005/2006 school year, a new Outreach program made its debut, and Great Summer Science, the museum's summer science camps, started summer 2006. Also during the summer 2006, the Science Center installed a wind turbine in its front yard. The Science Center estimates the turbine would provide around 7% of the Center's power. In Summer 2007 they also completed the installation of a 156 panel solar array forming a semicircle at the entrance of the Science Center.

Opening hours: Monday - Saturday- 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday: noon to 5 p.m.

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12
Cleveland Browns Stadium

12) Cleveland Browns Stadium

Cleveland Browns Stadium, home of the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League, is located on North Coast Harbor, near the Great Lakes Science Center and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The stadium sits on 31 acres between Lake Erie and the Cleveland Memorial Shoreway (Ohio State Route 2). It has a capacity of over 73,200. The stadium hosts other events, such as college and high school football games, soccer and concerts. It is a concrete and glass structure, using precast concrete. Natural stone accents were used at the base of the stadium.

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Walking Tours in Cleveland, Ohio

Create Your Own Walk in Cleveland

Create Your Own Walk in Cleveland

Creating your own self-guided walk in Cleveland is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
World-Class Museums in Cleveland

World-Class Museums in Cleveland

Cleveland has some of the best museums in the world. The Children's Museum, Museum of Art, Dunham Tavern Museum and the Museum of Natural History are just a few of these extraordinary places. Discover Cleveland’s great museums in the following tour.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.8 Km or 4.2 Miles
Downtown Orientation Walk

Downtown Orientation Walk

Downtown Cleveland holds a number of impressive landmarks of cultural, historic and national importance. Among them one of the U.S first shopping malls; some of the country's highest skyscrapers, such as the Key Tower; the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; the Great Lakes Science Center, and many others. To see them all in one go, follow this orientation walk and make the most of your time in...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 Km or 2.4 Miles