The History of Our Cleveland, Ohio Landmark
The Arcade Cleveland opened in May of 1890 as the first indoor shopping center in America. It quickly became one of downtown Cleveland’s most popular landmarks, and was nicknamed Cleveland’s Crystal Palace.
This historic retail center was built at East 4th Street, between Euclid and Superior Avenues in the Historic Gateway District— within close proximity of major Cleveland attractions, including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the House of Blues, Quicken Loans Arena (home of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Lake Erie Monsters), PlayhouseSquare, the Horseshoe Casino, Progressive Field (home of the Cleveland Indians), Tower City Center, Heinen’s, Cleveland’s Medical Mart and Convention Center, and more.
How It All Started
John M. Eisenmann and George H. Smith designed it as a big-city mercantile center and modeled it after the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan, Italy. Back then, it cost $875,000 to build, and was financed by Cleveland’s most esteemed businessmen of the late 19th century, including John D. Rockefeller, Steven V. Harkness, Louis Severance, Charles Brush and Marcus Hanna. You can see Harkness and Brush featured on gold emblems on The Arcade’s Euclid Avenue exterior.
The Arcade was the first building in Cleveland and the ninth in the country to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Arcade offered unique shops, services, and fine restaurants throughout five stories, with unique finishes like iron balconies and a stunning glass ceiling. Offices and businesses were also housed in the two attached 10-story towers.
Restoring The Arcade’s Glory
Over time, The Arcade Cleveland began to deteriorate, raising concerns about the landmark’s future. Many developers struggled to design a practical restoration solution, until finally, in an unparalleled public/private partnership, Related Midwest and Hyatt Development Corporation worked closely with former 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, and The Arcade never looked better.
Today, Hyatt Regency Cleveland at The Arcade Celevland occupies the top three levels of the atrium and the two towers. Boutique retail, services, a food court, and fine dining comprise the lower two levels, which are open to the public daily. Improvements are still being made to The Arcade to transform it into a destination for epicurean and shopping delights.