The Most Iconic Building in Cleveland

It’s ironic that I live closer to Cleveland than Columbus but I spend more time in Columbus than Cleveland. However, Cleveland was the very first city I was introduced to as a child. I was about three years old when my mom was driving on I-480 to my aunt’s new appartmet in Willowick. I can remember her saying to me, Hey Alex, look out the window! That’s Cleveland!” My little self could barely see above the car door to look out the window (because we didn’t have car seats back then) but somehow I pulled myself up to look out, and there it was in all of its metropolitan glory. I was mesmerized!

The buildings were something I absolutely have never seen. You want to know why? They don’t exist out in the country! Neither does roads that over lap each other in the form of twisty bridges and super hair standing on edge curves. I guess if you live in the city its nothing out of the normal.

All the same I remember saying those exact words to my daughter years later… “Look out your window—that’s Cleveland! And that building in the center of it all is the Terminal Tower, Cleveland’s most iconic building!”

Short history lesson: The construction of the tower started in the 1930’s and it was fully completed in the 1960’s. It was one of the tallest buildings outside of New York City until the 1950’s. For more information about the Terminal Tower you can read about it here.

Before I continue on with this post I wanted to point out a absolute geek moment. The photo below was taken from the Public Square side. And for those of you who are a fan of those infamous Marvel movies you might just recongize this side of the building.

No. You don’t recongize it! WT????

Well let me refresh your memory. You see there was this little movie that was filmed here and this slimy scrawny looking guy who wears a black and green suit — you might know him better as the “Puny God.” Well he stood here in front of this building while proclaiming to be the new ruler of wherever and all subjects must adhere to him. Don’t worry he got interrupted before he could take over. Anyway my total geek moment went a little like this…..

Me: You know what would be cool to do?

Daughter: What?

Me: Acting out Loki’s scene from the Winter Soilder movie.

Daughter: Yeeaaahhhh. Then laughs out loud while shaking her head and then says; Ah…no! No, that would not cool at all.

Me: Party pooper!

Note: My daughter is the reason why I have seen every Marvel movie to date. Which is something I have not regretted at all!

Anyway, this is one of those trips where we had an appointment with the nonprofit organization whom my daughter is working with to receive a few of her scholarships. While she was at her appointment, I started to walk around the terminal. After all this is Cleveland’s Grand Centeral Station if you will. The architecture inside this building is petty phenomenal. That’s just my opinion though. But ya didn’t ask for it!

At one time this section used to be a very popular shopping mall. To be seen shopping at the Tower City Center said a lot back in the day. Fast forward to today. Well, there are barely any stores left to shop at. So that’s that and welcome to the digital age.

I do love this photo of the glass rotunda! It is kind of a hard shot to get because you have to balance yourself off a water fountain to get it. Mean while you hope and pray that you do not fall in while getting that photo.

From street level to the level that takes you down to the trains there is this playful water fountain in the middle of the City Center. It’s cascading arches are just as playful as the ones at Disney’s Epcot.

Those marble staircase in the background is where they take all the graduating valedictorian and salutatorian seniors of Northeast Ohio and run a commercial called “The Best of the Class this Year.” It is where they present the who is who of each high school. We asked my daughter last year who was the lucky two that got to go from her class. She said she did not know since they no longer have valedictorians or salutatorains at the high school.

When looking up, I can only imagine the greeting one would have received when getting off the trains here. Especially when coming up from the under ground area and to be welcomed by all this openness of white marble and to see the Terminal Tower standing right there just greeting you as you look toward the sky. Pretty impressive if you ask me. But ya didn’t!

Set in the background of this photo is the playful water fountain and if you look even farther back you can see the escalators that take you down to the platform.

Walking from the City Center and passing through the Tower hallways which lead to the Tower Lobby give an impressive view of the Key Bank Building.

The windows frames are intricate decorative brass. Oh, wait don’t quote me on that one. I am not 100% sure on it. Also don’t forget to look up at the ceiling as you are passing through the hallway!

I think that they are pretty neat. The only other time I have seen ceilings like this were in a catholic church.

A closer view of that window and the Key Bank Building. I love this photo too!

The one thing I could not help when walking through the main entrance of the Terminal Tower is to envision the 1940’s post war Cleveland. I couldn’t help to feel the need to being dressed in that era. Yep, hair, makeup, clothing, the whole shebang! I could also see cars rolling up to drop loved ones off to meet their train, etc, etc. Yep, I know its a by-gone era. Good thing I’ve got an imagination to see it all!

So if you find yourself in the Greater Cleveland area do take the time to walk through one of Cleveland’s most iconic buildings.

How iconic!

Alex Victoria