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The Cleveland Mall is a long public park in downtown Cleveland, Ohiomarker. It was conceived as part of the 1903 Group Plan by Daniel Burnham, John Carrère, and Arnold Brunner as a vast public room flanked by the city's major civic and governmental buildings, all built in the neoclassical style. Many of those buildings were built over the following three decades, including the Metzenbaum Courthouse (1910), Cuyahoga County Courthousemarker (1912), Cleveland City Hall (1916), Public Auditoriummarker (1922), the Cleveland Public Librarymarker main building (1925), and the Cleveland Public Schools Board of Education building (1931). Other buildings include Key Towermarker, the Cuyahoga Countymarker Administration Building, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Clevelandmarker.

The Group Plan of 1903
In the spirit of the City Beautiful movement, formerly seedy areas were transformed into a "magnificent civic center", which was supposed to be crowned by the Union Terminalmarker at the north end of the mall, on the shores of Lake Eriemarker. However, the location of the station was eventually moved south and west, to Public Squaremarker, where it was finally born as the Terminal Towermarker. Even though the plan was never fully carried out, it was one of the few City Beautiful plans to be realized to a large extent, and remains one of the most complete examples in the United States. The Mall was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975, and the Cleveland Restoration Society is pursuing a National Historic Landmark designation.

The Mall is divided into three sections, known as Malls A, B, and C. Mall A, the southernmost, is officially named Veterans' Memorial Plaza, and Mall C was dedicated as Strawbridge Plaza in 2003. The Memorial Plaza, which borders St. Clair Avenue, is the site of the Fountain of Eternal Lifemarker, also known as the War Memorial Fountain. The Cleveland Convention Centermarker is underneath Malls B and C, and plans to extend the center north are under consideration as part of the Cleveland City Planning Commission's efforts to renovate or replace the existing facility. This would create a new Mall D above the Amtrak stationmarker, abutting the Shoreway. Another proposal would put an above-ground welcoming facility on the western side of Mall B. In order to "complete the Group Plan of 1903", both of these plans call for a reconstruction of the original park, replacing the classical landscaping with a more modern design that includes foot paths across the lawns and skylights for the underground exhibition halls. In January 2009, part of the mall was proposed to be the site of a medical mart.

Public art

Cleveland Public Art has sponsored a series of temporary public art installations on Mall B. In 2004, New Yorkmarker artist Brian Tolle installed For the gentle wind doth move Silently, invisibly. The work featured eight nine-foot-tall styrofoam neoclassical urns standing atop pedestals, warped to reflect actual wind data collected from Lake Erie. The sculptures were taken down in 2006. In May 2008, Peter North and Alissa North of North Design Office in Torontomarker installed a work titled The Verdant Walk. It features plantings of native grasses and seven fabric-covered sculptures. The sculptures are illumitated at night via a solar-powered LED system. They will remain in place until 2010.

References

  1. Cleveland's Group Plan, conference paper by Arnold Brunner, June 1916.
  2. "Public art warps reality on Cleveland mall", The Plain Dealer, October 1, 2004. Accessed October 8 2006.
  3. Mall Lakefront Site, Cleveland City Planning Commission. Accessed October 8 2006.
  4. Leedy, Walter. "Cleveland's Terminal Tower - The Van Sweringens' Afterthought". Accessed October 6 2006.
  5. Lawrence, Michael G. Make No Little Plans, Western Reserve Historical Society, 1980. ISBN 978-0-911704-24-2
  6. National Register Information System, National Park Service. Accessed 2007-04-25.
  7. Cleveland Restoration Society - Current Advocacy Efforts. Accessed 2007-04-25.
  8. "GCVM History and Mission", Greater Cleveland Veterans Memorial. Accessed October 8 2006.
  9. From parking lot to park, EcoCity Cleveland. Accessed October 9, 2006.
  10. "Cleveland Convention Center Comparative Analysis, Mall Lakefront Site." Cleveland City Planning Commission. Accessed October 8 2006.
  11. "Cleveland Convention Center Comparative Analysis, Mall West Block Site." Cleveland City Planning Commission. Accessed October 8 2006.
  12. http://blog.cleveland.com/architecture/2009/01/chosen_medical_mart_site_offer.html


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