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The Arcade – Cleveland’s Crystal Palace was one of the first indoor shopping centres in America

May 2023

The Arcade in Cleveland, Ohio, is a visually stunning, Victorian-era, shopping centre, that has the distinction of being one of the first indoor shopping centres in America.

Opened on 30 May 1890 and known as Cleveland’s Crystal Palace, The Arcade consists of two nine-storey office buildings facing out to Euclid and Superior Avenues, connected by a five-storey arcade that is topped with a curved glass roof, 100 feet high, that features 1800 glass panes and spans over 300 feet, along the four balconies. Designed as an urban mercantile center, The Arcade was modeled after the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan, Italy.

It’s construction, which cost $867,000 (about $28,902,826 in 2023 dollars), by Detroit Bridge Company, was funded by several of America’s most prominent late 19th Century businessmen, including John D. Rockefeller, Steven V. Harkness, Louis Severance, Charles Brush and Marcus Hanna. It quickly became a very popular landmark in downtown Cleveland.

In 2001, a much-needed $60 million renovation was completed, restoring the mall to its 1890s glory. Hyatt Corporation converted the two towers and the top three floors of the atrium area into Cleveland’s first Hyatt Regency Hotel. The two lover floors remain in use as retail space and a food court.

The Arcade was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1975.

Sources: The Arcade Cleveland | Historic Shopping Center in Cleveland, Ohio (theclevelandarcade.com), Cleveland Arcade – Wikipedia.

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

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