Tower City Center

One milestone in the evolution of Public Square happened in 1990.  Plans to redevelop the Terminal Tower complex failed in the 70’s but were revisited in the late 80’s with better results.  Tower City Center was unveiled on Thursday , March 29, 1990.  This $400 million renovation of the Terminal Tower complex represented a “cooperation among local, regional, state and federal officials to create the three-level, retail and business complex which included more than 100 stores under a domed skylight between Public Square and the Cuyahoga River”  Albert Ratner, president of Forest City Enterprises,  reflected on the project stating; “Over 60 years ago, the Van Sweringens had a dream to make this complex a great mixed-use facility, and we built upon the Van Sweringens’ dream and the complex’s foundation to create this exciting world-class center.”

Tower City’s shopping area became known as The Avenue and contained many glamorous spots.   The fountains were designed by the same company that does water effects for Epcot Center; the movie theaterwas new and there was also the addition of  the food court view of the industrial area known as  the Flats.

Still, the changes did not stop there.  In 1994, Jacobs Field and Gund Arena opened and Tower City became linked to both sites by walkways making for convenient use of the Rapid system to attend sports events.  In 1995, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum opened and a Waterfront line was added to the Terminal station.  Even in January 2012, the Greater Cleveland Aquarium opened and is accessible by using the Rapid Lines.  There are many great reasons to visit the Terminal Tower and Tower City and there are many ways to get there.

999094-Timothy Misny-Renovation

999094-Timothy Misny-Offices

Tower City Center Tunnel

 

The RTA – Tower City partnership combined public and private funding, giving Clevelanders a shopping center thatwas both grandly functional and aesthetically pleasing and a transit station to match the style created in the original Terminal Tower complex.

Image Courtesy of the Library of Congress

The Ferro Mural

Steel was not only a structural resource in the Terminal project but artistic as well.  The mural “man’s struggles against the elements” created in Cleveland for the World’s Fair in New York in 1939 became part of the Terminal Tower concourse in 1941.  Plain Dealer writer, Jim Strang remembered the mural.  “My first memory of this city, circa the late 1940’s was of the giant ceramic mural, “Man’s struggle against the elements in his search for better living,” that dominated the south wall of the cavernous waiting room.  Its men and women in gauzy gowns poured water, hurled lightning bolts and otherwise impressed the bejabbers out of children waiting for the trains once listed by the dozens on a giant chalkboard.”  The 10 ton mural was removed in 1980 when the terminal was redeveloped.   Eventually, the mural was added to the Western Reserve Historical Society Museum.

Image Courtesy of the Western Reserve Historical Society

Tower City Center Fountains

 

Tower City’s shopping area became known as The Avenue and  the fountains became a wonderous spectacle with the water dancing to match classical and jazz music selections.

Image courtesy of Lisa Alleman

Renaisance Hotel

The newest incarnation of the hotel that was once the Hotel Cleveland is now the Renaisance Hotel.  The luxury guests experienced in the 1920’s is not lost.  The updated lobby still offers areas for guests to chat and relax.  There is a great deal of marble and rich furnishings to enjoy.

Image courtesy of  Lisa Alleman

Portico Detail Restored

The ornate multi-colored plaster ceiling that was originally part of the Termianal Tower portico was restored in the late 1980’s as part of the Tower City Project.  Other historic elements that remain from the early days of the building are noted throughout Tower City with a plaque and photo.  Seven murals by Jules Guerin can be seen overhead in semi-circular panels formed by the arches on the walls of the Portico.

Image courtesy of Lisa Alleman

Winter in Cleveland

The Terminal Tower was always known for its striking illumination but the image became even brighter after the Tower City renovation.  Not merely the peak of the tower was lit but the entire structure was bathed in floodlights which could be color coordinated for the seasons festivities.

Image courtesy of Cleveland Memory

Public Square Postcard

image courtesy of Cleveland Memory

Postcards are a staple of tourism.  Images of Public Square and Tower City Center are popular images from Cleveland.  Christmas in Downtown Cleveland makes an especially good postcard because of the elaborate decoration used inside Tower City and out on Public Square and the surrounding area.

Celebration in Tower City

Tower City continues to be a place for Cleveland to celebrate all that it has to offer.  Additions to the city like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame share displays with the public inside Tower City.  Tower City has also become home for special events in the city.  The Cleveland International Film Festival uses Tower City as its location.

Image courtesy of Lisa Alleman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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5 Responses to Tower City Center

  1. Avatar of Mark Souther Mark Souther says:

    Another milestone in the evolution of Public Square happened in 1990. Plans to redevelop the Terminal Tower complex failed in the 70s but were revisited in the late 80s with better results. Tower City Center was unveiled on Thursday , March 29, 1990. This $400 million renovation of the Terminal Tower complex represented a “cooperation among local, regional, state and federal officials to create the three-level, retail and business complex which included more than 100 stores under a domed skylight between Public Square and the Cuyahoga River” Albert Ratner, president of Forest City Enterprises, reflected on the project. “Over 60 years ago, the Van Sweringens had a dream to make this complex a great mixed-use facility, and we built upon the Van Sweringens’ dream and the complex’s foundation to create this exciting world-class center.”

    Tower City’s shopping area became known as The Avenue and contained many glamorous spots. “The city’s center has plenty of places that can make you feel rich in spirit, part of a grander deeper community. The Ritz has a lovely afternoon tea. The fountains are cleverly designed by the same company that does water effects for Epcot Center; the movie theater is new and the food court view of the industrial Flats and its bridges is heavy metal-mighty.” There is luxury even in the small details. “The red marble information desk at Tower City Center yields a tiny, spiral cephalopod or two for the diligent scanner.”

    Still, the changes did not stop there. In 1994, Jacobs Field and Gund Arena opened and Tower City became linked to both sites by walkways making for convenient use of the Rapid system to attend sports events. In 1995, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum opened and a Waterfront line was added to the Terminal station. Even in January 2012, the Greater Cleveland Aquarium opened and is accessible by using the Rapid Lines. There are many great reasons to visit the Terminal Tower and Tower City and there are many ways to get there.

    The first sentence’s beginning with “Another” makes it sound like something should come before this. I suggest making it sound more like a standalone piece.

    The liberal use of quotes is discouraged, mainly because they’re rather extensive as a proportion of the whole. Also, it is unclear what is attributed to Albert Ratner and what is just a quote from elsewhere in newspapers.

    Watch punctuation. I see just a few typos. Abbreviated years should be avoided, but if they’re abbreviated, use an apostrophe before: ’70s, ’80s, etc.

    Captions:

    “The RTA – Tower City partnership combining public and private funding, has given Clevelanders a shopping center that is both grandly functional and aesthetically pleasing and a transit station to match.”

    This is awkward as a disembodied quote with no sense of whose voice it is.

    The second image and caption are great.

    Tower City’s shopping area became known as The Avenue and contained many glamorous spots. “The city’s center has plenty of places that can make you feel rich in spirit, part of a grander deeper community. The Ritz has a lovely afternoon tea. The fountains are cleverly designed by the same company that does water effects for Epcot Center; the movie theater is new and the food court view of the industrial Flats and its bridges is heavy metal-mighty.” There is luxury even in the small details.

    Whose voice is this? The information on the fountains is repetitive of the main description, which is acceptable, but it would be a good addition to go beyond this if there’s any other related detail about their design or function. I think I’d begin with the part about luxury in the details and focus only on design, esp. the fountains.

    In the next caption about the portico, I’d add a line about the murals on the ends of it by Jules Guerin. He was really an outstanding muralist of his time. He did the well-known color paintings of the 1909 Plan of Chicago (Burnham) and murals in other office buildings nationally, including our own Union Commerce Building (where Huntington was until last year).

    The Terminal Tower was always known for its striking illumination but the image became even brighter after the Tower City renovation. Not merely the peak of the tower was lit but the entire structure was bathed in floodlights which could be color coordinated for the seasons festivities.

    According to my research, the tower was fully illuminated beginning in 1981, not the early 1990s. I found references to its being an important symbol of the city’s comeback.

    Can you include a new or old image of the Banking Room where Brooks Brothers is now located? There’s an informational plaque by it in Tower City, and it’s interesting enough to warrant something extra if it’s not too obscure to find.

    On the last caption about celebrations, I think this warrants a line or two about special events in Tower City each year like the Cleveland International Film Festival.

  2. Avatar of cciullafaup cciullafaup says:

    I see now some images of the interior of the tower (as in tower city center). I think I would like a tad more info in the description? However, it is good. I really like the images/captions.

  3. Avatar of rjprice88 rjprice88 says:

    Tower City is to me the thing I think most of when I think about Cleveland. Though I actually haven’t been there in a long time, it makes me think of the times as a kid going there prior to the Indians and Cavs games and around Christmas time to see the lights. Your description is excellent, with me being so young when it opened I did not realize how young Tower City actually is only opening in the 90’s. For some reason I thought It was much older. It’s great to know that the center is adapting to changes around the city as you mentioned the lines being added when the Rock Hall and Aquarium were built. I wonder how the new casino coming will affect the Tower City center, maybe with an increase in business as more tourists potentially come in to our city. It will be interesting to keep an eye on.

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