Experience the grandeur and magnificence in these grand old spaces

Cleveland, Ohio

By Dawn Woolcott


Grand spaces can make a visitor feel small, or they can invite you in to look further. These spaces beckon you in – come take a look at the amazing details. Look up to see the attention given to the ceiling and chandeliers. Look at the craftsmanship that went into the detailing on the simplest furnishings such as handrails or elevator buttons. These grand spaces in Cleveland were meant to impress, and impress they do. Take a walk around Cleveland and discover the magnificent buildings built during the golden turn of the century era. Architects and civil engineers did not skimp on style when they built these grand spaces:

Severance Hall

The entrance to this concert hall heightens your anticipation of a grand evening when you walk in under the magnificent gold oval ceiling. Designed with Art Deco and Egyptian influences, the interior has a recurring lotus motif throughout. Opened in 1931, the hall is home to the Cleveland Orchestra. Located across from the Art Museum in the University Circle, an area surrounding a large, peaceful pond lined with cherry trees and wide walkways perfect for a quiet stroll.

Cleveland Severance Hall Lobby
Severance Hall - Photo by Erik Drost

Heinen’s Grocery Store (former Cleveland Trust Building)

This has to be the most beautiful grocery store in the world. Once the Cleveland Trust Building, and then later the Ameritrust Bank, this 1907 rotunda is a mix of Beaux-Arts and Neoclassical architectural styles. The building was closed for over twenty years, until it was repurposed in 2015 as a grocery store. Carefully retaining its historical architectural elements, the designers had a challenging job of combining the physical needs of a grocery store while retaining this historic landmark for a new generation.

Cleveland bank converted to a grocery store
Heinen's Grocery Store - Photo by Erick Drost

The Cleveland Arcade

Behind the dark glass, wood, and brass entrance, you step inside one of the most magnificent indoor shopping areas ever constructed. Under a giant glass paneled ceiling and adorned with magnificent art deco embellishments, this arcade was the answer to a winter-weary shopper’s dream. This Victorian era building was built in 1890 at the princely sum of $875,000.  At the time of its opening, it was billed as the first indoor shopping center in America. It still is a wonderful place to come in from the weather and wander the shops at leisure as you marvel at this impressive space.

The Cleveland Arcade Victorian era shopping center
The Cleveland Arcade - photo by Erik Drost

The West Side Market

This beautiful covered marketplace has been serving up a variety of goods to the public for well over a century. Built in 1912 to serve a growing city, it replaced an older market across the street that had stood since 1840. The grand structure has a 44-ft high tile vaulted ceiling and a magnificent 137 ft clock tower. Inside holds over 60 market stalls offering specialty baked goods, items perfect for a lunch or picnic, and also has a market cafe. 

Cleveland's West Side Market
West Side Market - photo by Erik Drost

The Garfield Memorial 

Located in Lake View Cemetery, a historic cemetery with a grand memorial dedicated to President James A. Garfield. A circular tower 180 ft. high is richly decorated and features red granite columns, a golden mosaic dome, and stained glass windows. Garfield was the 20th president, and shortest-serving president, dying two months after he was shot in July 1881 by an assassin. He only served as president six months, but worked nine terms in the House of Representatives. Climb the stairs and you will be rewarded with outstanding skyline views from the observation deck.

The President Garfield Memorial and Burial Spot in Cleveland
The Garfield Memorial - photo by Erik Drost

Tower City Center

Don’t forget to look up when wandering around this special place. Located in the center of downtown, this shopping mall is part of a complex of art deco styled buildings which includes the beautiful wedding-cake style skyscraper at its center. The Terminal Tower is a 52 story landmark built in 1927. The Tower City Center was once the Cleveland Union Train Terminal, designed to rival Rockefeller Plaza in NYC. The train terminal went into slow decline, until finally closing in 1977. The space was transformed into a shopping mall space, yet retains many of its early glory including the beautiful ceiling near the elevators and large expansive glass windows which overlook downtown.

Cleveland Tower City Center elegant elevator lobby ceiling
Tower City Center Elevator Lobby - photo by Tim Evanson

Visit Cleveland and discover these grand spaces on one of these Great Lakes cruises:

Great Lakes Collection

Duluth, MN to Toronto, ON

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