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The Arcade: 1901

Circa 1901. "The Arcade, Cleveland." Coming soon: Cinnabon and Sunglass Hut. 8x10 dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

Circa 1901. "The Arcade, Cleveland." Coming soon: Cinnabon and Sunglass Hut. 8x10 dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


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Below is the same view from July of 2016.

My favorite place

I used to work at The Old Arcade. I was responsible for the decorations of the atrium for the 100 year celebration in 1989. I absolutely love this building and its history. I visit it weekly as I still work in the downtown area. Of course it is not the same, but it brings back wonderful memories.

When I think of Home, THIS is where my mind goes!

I grew up in this building from 1971 to 1997 when they gave us the boot to make it a hotel. We were in room 310, then 319.

Fascinating history, built by Roebling Bros. (Brooklyn Bridge).

The Old Arcade represents everything that is American and good. Beauty, functionaity, community, longevity, class!

Jay Rosen - Rosen & Company

Apple Store on the left corner!

On the upper left corner, I see the Apple Store!

They sell Macintoshes, Granny Smiths, Pippins, and even the small Fujis!

The Emporium of Gold.

Careful examination of the windows will yield one glorious two-toned, split-blended shaded, embossed centered, gold-leaf sign after another (after another), each rendered in reverse directly upon the glass: the expert accomplishments of trained journeyman signpainters, in the halcyon days before the advent of the computer, and the end of beautiful window signage.

There exist today not one in a hundred display windows worthy of even a first glance, thanks to the digital degradation of the lettering craft. But once, artistic signs provided a delightful and inviting entree to the goods shown within -- in a more refined and genteel culture.


I always find it comical when I see claims that the Southdale mall near Minneapolis (circa 1960's) was the first enclosed shopping mall.

[A mall (Southdale) and an arcade (Cleveland) are two very different things. - Dave]


I remember this gorgeous spot when growing up in Cleveland. I'm so very happy it still exists.

Now in living color

The Arcade is celebrating its 120th birthday this coming May. It was built in 1890 for well under $1 million, and renovated in 2001 for $60 million. The lower two levels house shops and restaurants; the Hyatt Regency occupies the upper three. A very unique place to stay, within walking distance of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the Great Lakes Science Center, and the Browns and Indians stadiums.

The more things change ...

This is one of my favorite places in all of Cleveland. Tenants have come and gone, and the Cleveland Press is now defunct, but aside from the lamps and the items inside the stores the Arcade looks the same today as it did over a century ago. That even includes hand-lettering on the windows.

Edison Inexhaustible

Smart or shrewd was it to stack both the phonograph and below floor a music as well as phonograph storefronts; they both could "try" to out crank and outplay each other in a subdued and fully retrained late-Victorian challenge of musical Kings. At least they could prop their respective front doors open! The $30 Edison on the wall would be equivalent to $680 today. Save up for that!

Come on get fluffy

I spy a few ghosts I think, including one in a smart straw boater. Beautiful lamps, I love the alternating clear and colored bulbs! And the store on the right, offering "COME IN - Have your (what?) made FLUFFY"?

[Have your HAT made fluffy! - Dave]

Dr. I. Yankem

Ah yes! A stop by the "Painless Dentist" to end your day shopping at the Mall.

Something missing

Oh yeah. The mall rats.

This Mall Is EPIC!

One of my hobbies is viewing websites of the malls and dead malls here in the USA and abroad. I came upon this picture and was positively struck by how beautiful and ornate this mall was, and frankly had no idea that such spaces existed that far back in time. It really reminds me of some of the more ornate malls I've seen photographs of that are in Canada and in Europe. Who knew back then that malls would take such a tacky and lowbrow turn as many of them have today. This photo is truly indicative of a time when people had some decorum; the ornamentation and details of a mall such as the one you feature here demonstrate an era where people actually gave a damn about presentation and creating a space that elevates, rather than demeans, humanity. Truly a special and unexpected find for me here today!

[Strictly speaking, it wasn't really a "mall." It was a retail arcade. - Dave]

Still Beautiful

The Arcade is still open for business in downtown Cleveland and is still just as beautiful as ever. Near the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Space and Science Center. Man I miss Cleveland!!

Beautiful space

The designers of the Mall of America should have looked at this photo.

Ahhh! That Edison window

I just love it! I saw many pics of gramophones and the like but never such detailed and natural everyday windows like this one. Thanks!

Ravel in Montreal

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