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Looking down the length of The Arcade

The Arcade in downtown Cleveland, Ohiomarker, is a Victorian-era structure of two nine-story buildings, joined by a five-story arcade with a glass skylight spanning over 300 feet (91 m), along the four balconies.Erected in 1890, at a cost of $867,000, the Arcade opened on Memorial Day (May 31, 1890), and is identified as the first indoor shopping mall in the United States. The Arcade was modified in 1939, remodeling the Euclid Avenue entrance and adding some structural support.


The Arcade was built in 1890 by Detroit Bridge Co., run by Stephen V. Harkness. It is a unique architectural treasure of 19th century urban America. Designed by John Eisenmann, the Arcade is one of the few remaining arcades of its kind in the United States. Modeled after the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele IImarker located in Milanmarker, the Arcade comprises two nine-story towers with a skylight, 100 feet (30 m) high, made of 1,800 panes of glass spanning over 300 feet (91 m). The construction was financed by John D. Rockefeller, Marcus Hanna, Charles F. Brush and several other wealthy Clevelanders of the day.

The Arcade is a cross between a lighted court and a commercial shopping street. The building is a complex of three structures: two nine-story office buildings facing out to Euclid and Superior Avenues, connected via the five-story iron-and-glass enclosed arcade. The Richardsonian arched entrance along Superior Avenue is original, but the Euclid Avenue front was remodeled in 1939 by the firm of Walker and Weeks. The level of the Superior Avenue entrance is about lower than the Euclid entrance, so that there are two bottom arcade floors, joined by staircases at each end. Since Euclid and Superior avenues are not parallel, a passage leads, at a 23-degree angle, off the Euclid entrance to a rotunda at the southern end of the Arcade. The arcade itself is a -long covered light court, ringed by four levels of balconies, which step back above the Euclid Avenue level. The vertical lines of the columns, rising nearly 100 feet (33 m) to the glass roof, create a spacious domed interior.

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.


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