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Thread: Cleveland ("dying city") and the surrounding North Coast Metropolis

  1. #1

    Default Cleveland ("dying city") and the surrounding North Coast Metropolis

    Suffice it to say, I have quickly fallen in love with my new city of Cleveland, where at last I landed a good job along with a position at one of the area universities. I'm excited because the city fits my personality pretty well, the people were so amazingly friendly all over, and I think it's somewhere that design professionals actually make a significant difference.

    I'll divide these pics by neighborhood, but these are also just a cursory glance. I spent a whole day touring the Case campus and University Circle part of Cleveland, and since I was chaperoned I didn't pull my camera out as much. I meant to make it back to University Circle, probably the most impressive part of Cleveland, but those pics will have to be another time. I also thought Cleveland has a TON of similarities and lessons for OKC, just as I think OKC has a ton of lessons for Cleveland.

    Edgewater is a trendy residential area near Lakewood, which is a wealthy enclave suburb. Edgewater starts at about W100 Street and flows seamlessly into Lakewood which continues for about another 90 blocks to the west.


    Skyline view from Edgewater Park


    Lake Erie at sunset


    Apt building in Edgewater



    Lakewood has people walking around EVERYWHERE




    West End of Lakewood (around 19000 W. Detroit)

    Downtown Lakewood is a 3-mile stretch of Detroit Avenue lined with awesome bars and restaurants like The Melt


    Murray Hill (Little Italy) - Cleveland has supposedly the 3rd largest Little Italy, which is actually in Cleveland Heights proper



    An Irish flag in Little Italy?




    Mayfield Road is a busy street linking University Circle (CLE proper) to Cleveland Heights, cutting through Murray Hill/Little Italy


    Presti's was recommended by several on the street, and it lived up to its rep, at least for lunch



    Midtown - this is a revitalizing stretch of Euclid Avenue (formerly Rockefeller's "Millionaire's Row") along a new BRT line, between E26 and E55 or so







    Downtown Cleveland - these pictures just show a fraction of the enormous downtown area

    Did not like these apts for some reason

    This is a new pocket park a little smaller than the Myriad Gardens

    These decorative pieces of guitar public art were on nearly every street corner

    Euclid Avenue streetscape downtown


    The wedding cake skyscraper, Tower City, is part new casino (a huge recent project) and part rail terminal



    The glass structure is actually a parking garage built to accommodate 20 more floors of residential at a later date



    Fourth Street is a former industrial alley turned into a restaurant and bar hotspot


    CSU Thurgood Marshall School of Law

    Brutalism on the CSU campus downtown


    Euclid Avenue in an area where mostly students live


    This outdoor green hosts a huge weekly farmer's market

    This is actually the CSU Student Center

    Gotta love juicy union disputes

    Euclid Avenue as it cuts through the downtown college campus



    Tower City decked out in red white and blue


    I'm going to go ahead and say this is not a dying city.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Cleveland ("dying city") and the surrounding North Coast Metropolis

    You are moving permanently to Cleveland? If so, when??


    I, too, love Cleveland. Very similar to my beloved Milwaukee but it was at one time one of the biggest cities (#5 in the 1920's) and MSA's in the U.S. and while it's still pretty big, it's taken a big hit in terms of out-migration.

    Only been a couple of times but was very impressed by what I saw. At the same time, I've spent a bunch of time in Detroit and absolutely hated that city; easily my least favorite in the U.S. Of course, they have been decimated by the auto industry but they also still have a good chunk of jobs there devoted to it.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Cleveland ("dying city") and the surrounding North Coast Metropolis

    Yeah I am Pete (accepted the position on an exploratory visit a month or so ago, signed for my new apt last week, moving at the end of August) - kept it a secret from most of this board, except for a few friends I have on here, but time for the cat to leave the bag so that people can once again criticize me as an absentee urban critic.

    Yeah, it's not that there's something cool about dying cities, but more that I think there's a real schism emerging between a lot of old rust belt cities. Not sure I buy into the "rust belt chic" movement and all, but you can clearly tell that Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, etc., are thriving right now. A lot of cities just aren't doing too well right now and they are noticeably less enjoyable places to be.

    I think it also helps that Cleveland typified the City Beautiful movement of the time it was built - truly the period in which we did our best city building and urban design.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Cleveland ("dying city") and the surrounding North Coast Metropolis

    All those old factories, foundries and breweries create massive holes but also really cool opportunities.

    As far as Milwaukee has come, they still have huge properties that are slightly inland from the central core that are sitting there with no immediate salvation at hand.

    Again, it's the nature of these waterfront cities, in that you can start there and kind of work your way out concentrically. It not only provides a focus, there are also built in barriers that make it easy to compartmentalize and build out most everything in one area before leap-frogging into the next. If OKC had this, Bricktown would have been fully realized a decade ago, then we would have moved on to AA or Midtown, come back and filled in DD and then started attacking the others.

    It must be said that the impression of a city can be completely shaped by it's downtown and perhaps only one other cool urban neighborhood along with a bunch of nice suburbs. Cleveland and several of those rust belt cities have had all that for a while now; will be interesting to see if they can keep momentum moving forward.


    Spartan, have you spent much time in Pittsburgh? It's the one city that most interests me (love the hilly terrain and river focus) but I've never been.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Cleveland ("dying city") and the surrounding North Coast Metropolis

    Been to Pittsburgh but never Milwaukee, so perhaps we can trade perspectives there.

    But Pitt is so much more shaped by the hills than anything else.

  6. Default Re: Cleveland ("dying city") and the surrounding North Coast Metropolis

    I've always been fond of Cleveland, and I've routed two road trips in such a way as to spend multiple days there. It has the infrastructure of a city of a million - it's accommodated 900k or more, though now it's down to 400k - and it's gorgeous in the summer, if a trifle scary in the winter. (Think "lake-effect snow.") Still have friends in the metro area.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Cleveland ("dying city") and the surrounding North Coast Metropolis

    Congratulations on your new position! I've never been to Cleveland, but these pictures remind me so much of St. Louis that it's scary. Lots of similarities between the cities (age, size, problems of out-migration, industrial mix, sense of history, etc.)

  8. #8

    Default Re: Cleveland ("dying city") and the surrounding North Coast Metropolis

    My oldest daughter lives near Pittsburgh, so, I have spent some time there. Except for when you are right downtown, you never feel like you are in a big city. It is the hills and the whole river thing. You can be in magnificent old ethnic neighborhoods, with picturesque streetscapes and still feel like you are in a small to medium size town in the east or midwest. You just don't get a "I'm surrounded by a huge city" feel. I like it a lot. The hills and trees and rivers are incredible. If you ever make to Pitt, be sure and eat at Primanti Brothers in the old warehouse/strip district, the original.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Cleveland ("dying city") and the surrounding North Coast Metropolis

    The Midtown pics show that they have added bicycle lanes in one area anyway. Unless I missed something that was the only place you showed bicycle lanes on any streets. That type of configuration is what I'm hoping for in OKC for the "boulevard" (with street parking added and no roundabouts, of course LOL).

  10. #10

    Default Re: Cleveland ("dying city") and the surrounding North Coast Metropolis


  11. Default Re: Cleveland ("dying city") and the surrounding North Coast Metropolis

    Oh I miss that lake. Enjoy living up there. One thing about that area is you start to take for granted the water, trees, and winters. You start to miss them being stuck here in the dry desert. LOL

    The entire "north coast" has a lot of natural beauty and historical highlights about it, just a shame the economies aren't more vibrant just yet.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Cleveland ("dying city") and the surrounding North Coast Metropolis

    Spartan- I live about 30 minutes south of CLE (Cuyahoga Falls). Really have grow to love the city (moved up here 2 yrs ago from OKC). If you haven't already been you need to make your way over to the Westside Market. A true CLE original (don't miss Steve's Gyros, the absolute BEST). Plus, the Ohio City/Tremont neighborhoods house some of the better restaurants in the area (Momocho, Tremont Tap House, Bar Cento, Flying Fig, Lolita...). Just a heads up, we've had two "mild" Winters in a row, so we're due to get rocked this year... Yay!

  13. #13

    Default Re: Cleveland ("dying city") and the surrounding North Coast Metropolis

    I actually started out looking for a loft in the Ohio City area, but I was wise to check out how sketchy the areas abutting Ohio City are and decided against that. To the south of there... oooh (shudders). Cleveland is a lot like Philly in that the center city is almost all gentrified, and the inner city areas outside of there are really hit and miss, with some really amazing areas, and some really awful areas. I just wish that the Rapid Transit was in a little better shape, but I may still use the red line for the entirety of my commute across town.

    The Westside Market, which apparently Drew Carey wants the city to stop operating on some tea party kick that he's on, is the heart and soul of Cleveland IMO. There's nothing like it anywhere else in the country - reminds me a lot of the huge indoor marketplaces in major European cities. Of course, the heavy slavic ancestry around NE Ohio is probably the tradition that developed and maintained it the way it is today. In short, one of the first things that I fell in love with about Cleveland is what a foodie city it is, from Little Italy, to the Westside Market, fine dining, etc., just a great place to be hungry in, because an amazing meal can be had almost anywhere for so cheap.

    Venture - speaking of the natural beauty, did you ever do the Cuyahoga Valley National Park towpath trail? Supposedly it's some of the most scenic biking in the country, especially close to a major urban area. I'm excited to do it one way and take the scenic railway back if I get tired.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Cleveland ("dying city") and the surrounding North Coast Metropolis

    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan View Post
    Yeah I am Pete (accepted the position on an exploratory visit a month or so ago, signed for my new apt last week, moving at the end of August) - kept it a secret from most of this board, except for a few friends I have on here, but time for the cat to leave the bag so that people can once again criticize me as an absentee urban critic.

    Yeah, it's not that there's something cool about dying cities, but more that I think there's a real schism emerging between a lot of old rust belt cities. Not sure I buy into the "rust belt chic" movement and all, but you can clearly tell that Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, etc., are thriving right now. A lot of cities just aren't doing too well right now and they are noticeably less enjoyable places to be.

    I think it also helps that Cleveland typified the City Beautiful movement of the time it was built - truly the period in which we did our best city building and urban design.
    Just curious... In what sense is Cleveland "thriving" right now. The latest Census estimates showed Cleveland 2nd only to Detroit in population loss. The 2011 metropolitan area estimates show Cleveland metro losing population at a faster rate than any other of the 51 largest metro areas; yes, faster than Detroit.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Cleveland ("dying city") and the surrounding North Coast Metropolis

    Oops, forgot these two:



  16. #16

    Default Re: Cleveland ("dying city") and the surrounding North Coast Metropolis

    Ahh, 4th street, right? I'm a Youngstown Native, and spent a lot of time up there. I really recommend any of Michael Symon's restaurants, and Great Lakes brewing in Ohio City for both the food and beer. Wait until fall, you'll see people standing in line for their Christmas Ale.
    Last edited by Chadanth; 07-16-2012 at 06:26 PM. Reason: Spelling

  17. Default Re: Cleveland ("dying city") and the surrounding North Coast Metropolis

    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan View Post
    Venture - speaking of the natural beauty, did you ever do the Cuyahoga Valley National Park towpath trail? Supposedly it's some of the most scenic biking in the country, especially close to a major urban area. I'm excited to do it one way and take the scenic railway back if I get tired.
    Never got a chance to. I spent most of my time on the west side of the lake and southern Michigan. Sounds fun though!

    Also don't forget to take some time to head to Put-in-Bay while it is warm. The islands are a blast to spend a weekend on. It is a bit of a drive since they are just on the east side of Toledo, but not to bad since it is all turnpike to Port Clinton (though I think there is limited service from Sandusky now which is closer to you) where you catch Jet Express (http://www.jet-express.com/) for the boat ride to the islands.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Cleveland ("dying city") and the surrounding North Coast Metropolis

    Yessir, and Great Lakes is absolutely on my list. Michael Symon is the guy who was on the Food Channel and moved from NYC, right? Christmas Ale sounds delicious, especially when it gets cold. Cold locales always produce the best booze.

    And Pete, could I ask for a favor regarding something sensitive in this thread? I'm sending you a PM now..

  19. #19

    Default Re: Cleveland ("dying city") and the surrounding North Coast Metropolis

    Great pics. Love that parking garage.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Cleveland ("dying city") and the surrounding North Coast Metropolis

    Spartan, thanks for sharing wonderful images. I hope to visit Cleveland someday for the R&R Hall of Fame.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Cleveland ("dying city") and the surrounding North Coast Metropolis

    How is Westside Market any better than say Reading Terminal in Philly or any other large public market across the country?

  22. #22

    Default Re: Cleveland ("dying city") and the surrounding North Coast Metropolis

    Really love all the outdoor seating and the ambiance in front of House of Blues. Great photos.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Cleveland ("dying city") and the surrounding North Coast Metropolis

    Cleveland isn't so much dying, it has a great food and music scene, mediocre sports, and a good housing market. Job growth hasn't been amazing, but it's improving. I'm from NE Ohio and may make my way back eventually to live again.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Cleveland ("dying city") and the surrounding North Coast Metropolis

    Quote Originally Posted by metro View Post
    How is Westside Market any better than say Reading Terminal in Philly or any other large public market across the country?
    I think Food Network declared Westside Market the best, but good question, obviously those are great too. I'm also reminded of the open fish market at Pike's Place in Seattle...an amazing memory.

    The architecture of the Westside Market also makes it great. The building is a great landmark and anchor for Ohio City, a large historic neighborhood between downtown and W45th. Ohio City has a really cool history as a separate city that was competitive with Cleveland and later annexed... A la Capitol Hill. Today the neighborhood feels a lot like Georgetown in DC or Society Hill in Philly, speaking of the Reading Terminal

  25. #25

    Default Re: Cleveland ("dying city") and the surrounding North Coast Metropolis

    The OKC Chamber of Commerce is hosting a breakfast next week that I'm going to which will promote United Airline's new nonstop service between OKC and Cleveland. I'm hoping that someone from Cleveland will be here to promote their city and give reasons why we would visit.

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