We couldn't leave Cleveland without a sightseeing day. We found a city of great contrasts. There are discouraging slums in the inner city and on the east side close to the Cultural Center, just as there were forty years ago. Cleveland State University and Cleveland Clinic have introduced new buildings Fountain in memorial square and more visitors to the area. We really liked the architecture of the Applied Industrial Technologies World Headquarters building. Don't know what it does, though we think its name is nifty.
One of the interesting things was the great collection of unusual churches: Ukrainian Catholic, Ukrainian Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox, Serbian Orthodox, a mosque, a synagogue, all within a radius of a half-mile. Seems like freedom of religion is alive and well in Cleveland!
Downtown Cleveland is being gentrified. We were especially impressed by the new (1990s) memorial square with a magnificent fountain that seemed as if it would be appreciated for centuries. It rivalled many of the fountains of Europe.
The old Arcade has been remade into a Hyatt Regency Hotel. Apparently the old shops are now hotel rooms. We're not sure how the hotel is working out, but the beautiful interior architecture of the Arcade has been preserved. Finney Chapel, Oberlin
There's a new giant high-rise, put up by Key Bank, downtown. From a distance it's shaped like the Washington monument, but the pyramid on top shines white. There are not a lot of skyscrapers, which frankly makes the Cleveland skyline very interesting. Even the new state office building was attractive.
The busy waterfront amazed us, with the Cleveland Browns' stadium, the science museum, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, hundreds of boats, and the Lakefront airport, where, coincidentally, we watched an air show on Sunday.
The Terminal Tower has been nicely remodeled into an indoor shopping mall, along with Dillards' Department Store (the old Cleveland standbys of Halles, Higbees, and Mays are gone) and the Ritz-Carlton Hotel.
Another sightseeing trip was to Oberlin College, our alma mater. A freeway took us within three miles of town, where students were arriving for the Geauga County Fair exhibit fall semester. We drove around and took pictures of all the dorms we had lived in and some of the classroom buildings. We realized as we photographed the College that there was absolutely no way our pictures could reveal the intellectual health of the institution, merely its financial status -- still quite solvent.
Finally, we made it to a County Fair before we left town. Chiefly we walked through the barns full of animals -- horses and cattle and sheep and goats and pigs and poultry and even llamas and alpacas -- and watched some of the judging in the two small arenas. We walked the midway and had a County Fair luncheon before returning to our hotel.
We have many more photos to share, so if you would like to see more Cleveland, more Oberlin, or even more Great Geauga County Fair, email us and we'll be happy to provide more.