The Arcade in Cleveland, Ohio was built in 1890 and designed by John Eisenmann. The construction was financed by John D. Rockefeller, Marcus Hanna and several other wealthy Clevelanders of the day. The cost of the project was approximately $875,000 - today it would be impossible to replicate. The inspiration of the project is said to be the Vittorio Emanuele in Milan, Italy. Although pedestrian arcades exist in several North American cities, few - if any, compare to the grandeur of the Arcade in Cleveland.

The Arcade was the first building in Cleveland to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The structure features a five story high atrium with extensive metal decorative work. The top floor features gargoyles which circle the entire atrium area. The structure includes the famous skylighted atrium as well as two 9-story towers, one each on Euclid Avenue and Superior Avenue. In 1940, the Arcade underwent renovation which included two major changes - the Euclid Avenue facade and the Superior Avenue staircase. Both were redesigned in an Art Deco fashion which was a timely style of the period. The Euclid Avenue facade was altered to allow two sculpted "medallions" of Charles Brush and Stephen Harkness, former presidents of the Cleveland Arcade Company. The Superior Avenue staircase was redesigned to accomodate a small retail space.

By the 1970s, the Arcade had suffered along with the decline of Euclid Avenue and downtown Cleveland. Although it never lost its opulence, the retail tenants felt the effects of much of Cleveland's population fleeing to the suburbs (and taking business with them). The Arcade was actually threatened with demolition as some myopic developers had plans to erect a 20-story office tower. Fortunately, a more sensible owner stepped forward and the Arcade was maintained for several decades until it was redeveloped once again. In 2001, The Hyatt corporation redeveloped the Arcade into Cleveland's first Hyatt Regency hotel. The Hyatt Regency occupies the two towers and the top three floors of the atrium area. The two lower floors of the atrium area remain open to the public with retail merchants and a food court. In addition, the Hyatt's lobby and offices are located near the Superior Avenue entrance.

Whether you're an area resident or visiting Cleveland, you owe it to yourself to see this gem of a building.

Construction Views
The following images were taken during the Arcade's restoration:
View from the third floor of the atrium area.
View of the railings.
Another view of the railings, from the first floor.
View of the top (fifth) floor of the atrium area.
View showing the skylight as viewed from the Superior Avenue tower.
View from the third floor of the atrium area.
View of the gargoyles that circle the top floor.
View showing the top (fifth) floor of the atrium area.
Current views
These images were taken following the Arcade's grand reopening in 2001.
View showing the Superior Avenue tower.
Image courtesy of Michael Dery.
View from the 1st floor.
View showing the metalwork on the Euclid-side staircase. View from the 2nd floor.
View from the 2nd floor.
View showing railing and metalwork on the 2nd floor doorways.
View showing the 2nd floor "bridge". View from the 1st floor.
View from the first floor, showing the "bridge".
View from the 2nd floor.
View from the first floor. Image courtesy of Frank Gerlak, AICP View of decorative gargoyles
View showing the 2nd floor "bridge".
View showing the decorative column tops.
View of the skylight during the day. Detail view of metalwork - Superior side staircase
View showing the metalwork on the Euclid-side staircase.
Detail view of metalwork - Superior side
Detail view of metalwork - entry to first level retail Detail view of metalwork - Superior side staircase
View showing the stairwell at the Superior side entrance.
Arcade atrium during the holidays
View from Euclid side, 2nd floor showing main atrium area.
Arcade atrium during the holidays
View from Superior Side, 2nd floor showing main atrium area during the holiday season. View from Superior Side, 2nd floor showing main atrium area
View from the second floor. Image courtesy of Frank Gerlak, AICP
View from 2nd floor, showing Superior side staircase and main atrium area.
View from third floor, showing Superior Avenue staircase View from third floor, showing main atrium area
View of the skylight at night.
View of exterior facade
View of exterior facade, Euclid entrance View of exterior facade, Euclid entrance
Arcade - exterior detail
Detail view of exterior facade, Euclid entrance
View of emblem, Euclid facade - depiction of Charles Brush, noted Cleveland inventor and former president of the Cleveland Arcade Company.
View of emblem, Euclid facade - depiction of Stephen V. Harkness, Cleveland financier and former president of the Cleveland Arcade Company. This rare postcard view shows the original Superior Avenue staircase. If you visit the Arcade today, you can still see marks on the second level cornice where the original staircase once was.
Arcade -West Elevation
Elevation from west.
Arcade - Euclid Elevation
Euclid Avenue elevation.
Arcade -Superior Elevation
Superior Avenue elevation. Arcade -Cutaway View Cutaway view.