C Cleveland

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Arcade, located downtown between Euclid and Superior Avenues near Public Square, is one of America's first indoor shopping malls. Built in 1890, it was designed by John Eisenmann and George H. Smith. The $875,000 cost was financed by wealthy Clevelanders, including John D. Rockefeller and Marcus Hanna.

Arcade circa 1940

This unique structure consists of two 9-story brick and masonry towers, one facing Euclid Avenue and one on Superior Avenue. The towers are connected by a 5-story atrium with a 100-foot high glass skylight ceiling. The inspiration for the Arcade was the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele in Milan, Italy.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele

The atrium is adorned with elaborate metalwork and railings, and the top floor is decorated with a series of gargoyles.

Arcade gargoyles

It was the first Cleveland building to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Original staircase

The Art deco influence of the 1940's was seen in the renovation of the Euclid Avenue facade and the Superior Avenue staircase. The Euclid Avenue facade was altered to allow two sculpted medallions of Charles F. Brush (the creator of the arc light, the first streetlight) and Stephen Harkness. Both men were former presidents of the Cleveland Arcade Company.

Arcade medallion for Charles F. Brush

The suburban flight of the 70's caused many merchants to leave the Arcade and it was actually threatened with demolition until a new owner had the sense to maintain the grandeur of days gone by.

The Arcade underwent another renovation in 2001 when a public/private partnership between Related Midwest and the Hyatt Corporation worked to renovate this gem at a cost of $60 million.

The Hyatt Regency redeveloped it into a hotel. The Regency occupies the two towers and the top three floors of the atrium. The lower floors remain open to the public with retail merchants and a food court. The atrium area is also rented out for events and weddings.

Hyatt Regency

Hotel suites top levels

Suite at the Hyatt

Detail of staircase

Detail of facade

Detail of metalwork


The Arcade is truly one of Cleveland's architectural wonders!


  1. Beautiful. A great idea to convert it into a hotel. Being multi-purpose saved it.

  2. Thanks for the reminder that it's there! Geez. What a bad Clevelander I've become. I think I'll take Boo down there and explore!

  3. The city of Clevelamd should pay you big money for promoting tourism!


  4. Kudos to Hyatt for saving this wonderful landmark. Thanks for sharing, Chrissy.

  5. Holy cow...this place is gorgeous!

    I would love to spend the night with one of my "tricks" in that hotel room!


    I know I keep saying this, but so much of what you share of Cleveland reminds me of Philly. The architecture is indentical.

    Love the first two shots. Before and after.

    Thanks for sharing, girl!

  6. Hey Chrissy!

    More fabulous photos from Cleveland. I. Must. Visit. I can't believe it was built back in the 1890s?! It must have been a bit ahead of its time. Wow.

    As ever, thank you. Indigo

  7. Breath taking pictures. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Well if there must be a mall, at least it's classy.

  9. @R. Jacob,
    Agreed. Thank goodness someone did something.

    You should, she'll love it! These posts make me feel like a tourist and I get to appreciate Cleveland all over again.

    Yeah, they should, shouldn't they?! :-)

    Long live the Hyatt!

    Glad you liked it.

    Funny! And if he pisses you off, just throw him off the balcony. Someone else told me the two cities had a lot of architectural similarities, too.

    @Indigo Wrath,
    I know. Can you imagine trying to build something like that now and what the cost would be? No one could do it.

    @Lily Johnson,
    Thanks, I'm glad you liked them!

    @C. Andres Alderete,
    Hey, there's food for the guys.

    @Loach of Chicago,

  10. Wow. That is beautiful! You're making me want to visit Cleveland.

  11. Are you a secret agent working for Cleveland Tourism Board or something? You are making me want to visit such a beautiful city indeed!!

    Cinnamon's Mum

  12. More amazing history! Love the tours you take us on! Another place I should visit, as everyone before me said!


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