Adventures written by the VAMONDE Team
In case you have not heard yet, Cleveland is a hub of community artists and grassroots activists initiating social change on the shores of Lake Eerie. Terminal Tower, located in Public Square, represents the struggles the city has experienced. The tower opened in 1930 after a decade of construction. At 52-floors, it was the tallest building in the United States outside of New York City.
After celebrating half a century of success, Cleveland fell into economic decline in the 1970s. In an attempt to rejuvenate hope, a 1986 event called “Balloonfest” released 1.5 million balloons into Public Square. Unfortunately, wind and rain ruined the spectacle. Balloons rained from the sky onto the streets and into Lake Eerie, floating as far away as Canada.
As the Great Recession reached its turn toward recovery in 2009, Public Square was beginning to show signs of positive movement. Large scale renovations on the square were underway, and upon project completion in 2015, a green space now offers families on picnics and yogis alike stunning views of the historical architecture.
After being closed to the public for nearly a century, the Tower's observation deck has finally reopened. Today, travelers on a budget can pay $5 for a 25-minute tour that reveals a 360-degree view of the city. From the 43rd floor, a visitor can see for 30 miles, past the urban core, and into the suburbs. The stunningly ornate architecture links the past with the present and visually represents 100 years of transformation. Cleveland thrives on a sense of renewed hope, and Terminal Tower is a symbol of the resilience that transported the city through its history - and now into its future.
Cover image: Eastward View of Terminal Tower by Amanda Lynn Barker.