Arts and Culture

Meet the man who stilled the wrecking ball before the nation’s largest performing arts center outside New York City was lost, the Hungarian-born metalworker whose ironwork adorned America’s richest street, the place where the Wicked Witch of the West had her theatrical debut, and a Clevelander whose industrial design shaped everything from bicycles to toasters. With some of the nation’s foremost arts and cultural institutions, America’s second-largest theater complex, and the incomparable University Circle, Cleveland is truly a world-class cultural center.

Playhouse Square emerged in 1921-22 with the opening of the State, Ohio, Allen, Palace, and Hanna theaters near the intersection of Euclid Avenue and East Fourteenth Street. The brainchild of Joseph Laronge, four of the five theaters were interconnected. The largest theater, the Palace, was built…
View Story | Show on Map

Parklike University Circle is the cultural, medical, and educational center of Cleveland's east side. Named after a streetcar turnaround on Euclid Avenue just east of East 107th Street, University Circle attracted Western Reserve University from Hudson, Ohio in the 1880s. The university was…
View Story | Show on Map

The Palace Theater at the B.F. Keith Building opened in 1922. Owner Edward Albee II (the grandfather of American playwright Edward Albee) named it for his late business partner B.F. Keith who had died in 1914. Originally named Keith's Palace Theater, the building was designed to be the…
View Story | Show on Map

The Rose Iron Works, opened in 1904 on Cleveland's east side. The oldest continually-operating decorative metalwork company in the United States, it was founded by Martin Rose, a Hungarian immigrant who worked in Budapest and Vienna before moving to Cleveland. Rose provided craft metalwork…
View Story | Show on Map

With the dedication of a bust of the poet Virgil, the Italian Cultural Garden was opened on October 12, 1930 before a crowd of 3000 local Italians celebrating Columbus Day and the 2000th anniversary of Virgil's birth. Over the next decade, the Italian Garden Delegation added sculptures, and…
View Story | Show on Map

R. Guy Cowan opened Cowan Pottery on Nicholson Avenue in Lakewood in 1912. The studio produced mainly architectural tiles, but also made a line of vases and bowls called "Lakewood Ware." Work from this period can be found in the East Cleveland Public Library and in some private homes.…
View Story | Show on Map

Nottingham-Spirk Innovation Center looms high above University Circle, its stiletto-like tower visible from miles away. Originally built in 1930 as First Church of Christ Scientist, the classically inspired building that served as a model for Severance Hall later became home to a firm opened by…
View Story | Show on Map

One of Cleveland's most enduring ethnic neighborhoods, Little Italy was established in the late 19th century by immigrants largely from Italy's Abruzzi region. Giuseppe Carabelli, an Italian artisan came to Cleveland via New York to open a sculpting and stone masonry business.…
View Story | Show on Map

The Cleveland Museum of Art is one of the foremost art museums in the world, having outstanding collections of Pre-Columbian, medieval European, and Asian art. It opened to the public in 1916 on Jeptha H. Wade's Wade Park property in University Circle. Constructed in the Neoclassical Revival…
View Story | Show on Map