52 stories of the Terminal Tower
Cleveland's Endearing Symbol

Cleveland's Endearing Symbol:

52 stories of the Terminal Tower

Generations of Clevelanders have looked to the spire of the Terminal Tower as a point of reference and as a beloved Cleveland icon. The 52-story landmark skyscraper located on Public Square in downtown Cleveland, Ohio has dominated the city skyline since it began to rise in the late 1920's, and it is arguably still the community's most recognized icon.

The power, beauty and importance of the tower to Cleveland's identity, history and economy was the subject of an exhibition hosted by the Galleries at Cleveland State University, which ran March 9th through April 21st, 2018.

The exhibition showcased hundreds of items illustrating those "stories": historical and newly-created photographs, artwork, and film, along with media exhibits, models, ephemera, and kitsch.

And a falcon, of course...Buckeye the Peregrine Falcon, on loan from the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.

All this material combined to highlight the innovativeness and national importance of the facility when it opened during the height of the Great Depression, and to chronicle its transformation from a simple building into a symbol of what it means to be a "Clevelander".

A city-wide collaboration

Curated and designed by Bill Barrow and Donna Stewart, originators of the Cleveland Memory Project at Cleveland State University's Michael Schwartz Library, the exhibit drew on that library's Special Collections, but it also featured newly created artworks and video, and material from a remarkable array of community partners, including

  • the Cleveland Museum of Art
  • IdeaStream
  • the Cleveland Museum of Natural History
  • the Cleveland International Film Festival
  • the Rock Hall
  • the Tower City archives, and even
  • the late lamented Cleveland Pickle Company.
No dry, dusty museum piece, the exhibition was an affectionate and informative look at the role of the tower in the life of the city.

Eglantyne Design