"Designed by John M. Eisenmann and George H. Smith, as a big-city mercantile center, The Arcade features five stories of galleries connected to the ten story towers located on Cleveland’s two main thoroughfares. Of unique architectural design and daring construction, its exterior is Romanesque Revival, a popular Victorian style from 1875-1900.” - The Architects Society of Ohio 1965.
In May of 1890, The Arcade opened its doors as one of the first indoor shopping centers in America. It was designed as a big-city mercantile center by John M. Eisenmann and George H. Smith who modeled it after the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan, Italy. The cost to construct The Arcade was $875,000 then, and was financed by many of Cleveland’s most esteemed businessmen of the late 19th century—among them: John D. Rockefeller, Steven V. Harkness, Louis Severance, Charles Brush and Marcus Hanna. Harkness and Brush are featured on gold emblems on the Arcade’s Euclid Avenue exterior.
Once known as Cleveland’s Crystal Palace The Arcade has always been one of Cleveland’s best-known landmarks. For more than 100 years, The Arcade offered unique shops, services and restaurants among the five indoor balconies and offices in the two ten-story towers. The Arcade was the first building in Cleveland and the ninth in the country to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Over time, The Arcade began to deteriorate raising concerns about the landmark’s future. Many developers struggled to design a practical restoration solution. Finally, in an unparalleled public/private partnership, Related Midwest and Hyatt Development Corporation worked closely with then Mayor, Michael White, and his economic development staff, to develop a creative financing plan that would allow for the complete renovation of this historic jewel. The $60 million renovation was completed in May of 2001.
Today, the Hyatt Regency Cleveland occupies the top three levels in The Arcade’s atrium and the two towers. Boutique retail, services, a food court and fine dining comprise the lower two levels which remain open to the public. The Arcade, which is located at East Fourth Street, between Euclid and Superior Avenues in the Historic Gateway Neighborhood, is within close proximity of all major attractions in Cleveland from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to Progressive Field, Home of the Cleveland Indians.
Learn more about The Cleveland Arcade in this episode of "Made in America". It's host, John Ratzenberger (yes that's Cliff of "Cheers" fame), takes a historical visit through the Cleveland Arcade. Watch now.