Journeys through Time

December 1, 2015
Journeys through Time

Self-guided tours of Cleveland's Historical Sites

Looking to delight your inner history buff? Cleveland's history is both eclectic and remarkable. Here are a few places around the city where you can take a peek back in time.

Never out of style: Iconic Architecture

From 1930 until 1967, the Terminal Tower was the tallest skyscraper in the world outside of New York City. In Downtown, you'll discover three European-style shopping arcades, and an Art Deco bridge featuring four iconic "Guardians of Transportation," one of the nation's most complete expressions of the classically-inspired "City Beautiful" movement. From a monument to a fallen U.S. President to a reputedly haunted "castle," Cleveland is steeped in architectural history.

Must sees:

1. Terminal Tower - Signature landmark of Cleveland's skyline, 50 Public Square, Downtown Cleveland

2. The Arcade - Considered one of the world's first shopping "malls," 401 Euclid Avenue, Downtown Cleveland

3. James A. Garfield Monument - On the National Register of Historic Places, Lake View Cemetery, 12316 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland Heights

4. Cleveland Grays Armory Museum - Historic home of Cleveland Grays independent militia, 1234 Bolivar Road, Downtown Cleveland

5. Franklin Castle - Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, 4308 Franklin Boulevard, Ohio City

A city with a spectacular soundtrack.

Cleveland is well known for its Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but music pervades the history of this Great Lakes city. From the establishment of the Cleveland Opera Company and Cleveland Orchestra in the early 20th century to Alan Freed and the Moon Dog Coronation Ball in 1952, the polka craze of the early 1960s, the star-making glory days of WMMS radio, and the pioneering proto-punk sounds of the 1970s, Cleveland's musical culture and history has been both diverse and distinctive, as well as nationally significant.

The sites for sounds:

1. Severance Hall - The home of the Cleveland Orchestra, 11001 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland's University Circle neighborhood

2. Nighttown - Major jazz venue nationally, 12387 Cedar Road, Cleveland Heights

3. The Cleveland Agora - Rock ‘n' roll proving ground, 5000 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland's Midtown neighborhood

4. Euclid Tavern - Pivotal punk music site, 11601 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland's University Circle neighborhood

5. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame & Museum - 1100 E. 9th Street, Downtown Cleveland

In a league of its own.

Venues where Cleveland's teams play have changed. Some have been torn down to make way for new stadiums, while others remain as relics of past glory. You may know the Browns, Cavaliers, and Indians, but the city also was home to the namesake for the Heisman Trophy, an amateur baseball game that reportedly drew 115,000 spectators (in 1915!), and a boxing champion with a neighborhood named for him.

Fan favorites:

1. League Park - Site of America's historical ballpark, 6601 Lexington Avenue, Cleveland's Hough neighborhood

2. John W. Heisman Home - Namesake of the Heisman Trophy, 3928 Bridge Avenue, Cleveland's Ohio City neighborhood

3. Kilbane Town - Named in honor of boxing champion Johnny Kilbane, W. 74th Street near Herman Avenue, Cleveland's Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood

4. Municipal Stadium - Currently the site of FirstEnergy Stadium, 100 Alfred Lerner Way, Downtown Cleveland

5. Pro Football Hall of Fame - Where football heroes and history live on display, 2121 George Halas Drive NW, Canton, Ohio (about 50 miles south of Cleveland)

Come hungry: A culinary mecca.

The clock tower of the West Side Market marks the spot where thousands of shoppers and vendors converge. The century-old market is a testament to a city that takes its food very seriously. Throughout Cleveland, you'll find corner taverns, ethnic eateries, food trucks, and innovative farm-to-table restaurants. Clevelanders are justifiably proud of its recent Iron Chef accolades, but this city has a long, colorful and delicious food past.

Get a taste of these:

1. West Side Market - Cleveland's oldest public market, 1979 W. 25th Street, Cleveland's Ohio City neighborhood

2. Bertman Ballpark Mustard - Nationally known, locally prized, available at Progressive Field and area grocery stores

3. Stone Mad Pub - Constructed as a tavern by Cleveland's Leisy Brewing Company in 1912, 1306 W. 65th Street, Cleveland's Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood

4. Hotz Café - Iconic bar since 1919, Babe Ruth drank here, 2529 W. 10th Street, Cleveland's Tremont neighborhood

5. Great Lakes Brewing Company - Began a new era of Cleveland brewing, 2516 Market Avenue, Cleveland's Ohio City neighborhood

A wealth of wow: World-class experiences without the world-class ego.

Visit Cleveland's museum mecca. See garden after garden proudly representing our immigrant nation. Stop by an ethnic neighborhood with wonderful old-world flavor. Encounter stunning art in a breathtaking museum. Throughout Cleveland's history, forward-thinking industrialist families contributed their wealth from industry and commerce to the establishment of Cleveland's arts and culture scene.

Where to be enlightened:

1. Playhouse Square - Largest performing arts center outside of New York, several theaters, 15th Street & Euclid Avenue, Downtown Cleveland

2. University Circle - Home of several museums, parks, universities and gardens, Visitor Center 11330 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland's University Circle neighborhood

3. The Cultural Gardens - Beautiful representations of our immigrant nation, East Boulevard and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Cleveland's University Circle neighborhood

4. Little Italy - Restaurants and galleries galore, centered on E. 120th & Mayfield Road, Cleveland's University Circle neighborhood

5. Cleveland Museum of Art - A masterpiece in itself, 11150 East Boulevard, Cleveland's University Circle neighborhood

Looking for even more historical sites? Cleveland Historical is a free mobile app for iPhone and Android that puts Cleveland history at your fingertips. Developed by the Center for Public History + Digital Humanities at Cleveland State University, Cleveland Historical lets you explore the people, places, and moments that have shaped the city's history. Learn about the region through layered, map-based, multimedia presentations, use social media to share your stories, and experience curated historical tours of Northeast Ohio. Download the Cleveland Historical app today or visit

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Download the Destination Cleveland App

The Destination Cleveland app is your guide to art, culture and rock ‘n’ roll in a city that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Grit meets sophistication in a town with world-class experiences without the world-class ego. And for that, you’re welcome.

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Cleveland, OH 44114
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