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Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland photomontage 2016.jpg
Seal of Cleveland, Ohio.png
The Forest City
(for more, see full list)
Progress & Prosperity
Cuyahoga County Ohio incorporated and unincorporated areas Cleveland highlighted.svg
Location in Ohio and Cuyahoga County
Usa edcp relief location map.png
Red pog.svg
Location in the contiguous United States
Coordinates: 41°28′56″N81°40′11″W / 41.48222°N 81.66972°W / 41.48222; -81.66972 Coordinates: 41°28′56″N81°40′11″W / 41.48222°N 81.66972°W / 41.48222; -81.66972
Country United States
State Ohio
County Cuyahoga
FoundedJuly 22, 1796
IncorporatedDecember 23, 1814 (village)
 March 6, 1836 (city) [1]
Named for Moses Cleaveland
  Type Mayor–council
  Body Cleveland City Council
   Mayor Frank G. Jackson (D)
   City 82.47 sq mi (213.60 km2)
  Land77.70 sq mi (201.24 km2)
  Water4.77 sq mi (12.35 km2)
653 ft (199 m)
 (2010) [4]
   City 396,698
(2018) [5]
  RankUS: 52nd
  Density5,107.0/sq mi (1,971.8/km2)
1,780,673 (US: 25th)
2,055,612 (US: 32nd)
3,501,538 (US: 16th)
Demonym(s) Clevelander
Time zone UTC−5 (EST)
  Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP Codes
Area code 216
FIPS code 39-16000
GNIS feature ID 1066654

Cleveland ( /ˈklvlənd/ KLEEV-lənd) is a major city in the U.S. state of Ohio, and the county seat of Cuyahoga County. [7] The city proper has a population of 383,793, making it the 52nd-largest city in the United States, [5] making it the second-largest city in Ohio. [8] [9] Greater Cleveland is ranked as the 32nd-largest metropolitan area in the U.S., with 2,055,612 people in 2016. [10] The city anchors the Cleveland–Akron–Canton Combined Statistical Area, which had a population of 3,515,646 in 2010 and is ranked 15th in the United States.

U.S. state constituent political entity of the United States

In the United States, a state is a constituent political entity, of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a political union, each state holds governmental jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory and shares its sovereignty with the federal government. Due to this shared sovereignty, Americans are citizens both of the federal republic and of the state in which they reside. State citizenship and residency are flexible, and no government approval is required to move between states, except for persons restricted by certain types of court orders. Four states use the term commonwealth rather than state in their full official names.

Ohio State of the United States of America

Ohio is a Midwestern state in the Great Lakes region of the United States. Of the fifty states, it is the 34th largest by area, the seventh most populous, and the tenth most densely populated. The state's capital and largest city is Columbus.


The city is on the southern shore of Lake Erie, approximately 60 miles (100 kilometers) west of the Ohio-Pennsylvania state border. It was founded in 1796 near the mouth of the Cuyahoga River. It became a manufacturing center due to its location on both the river and the lake shore, as well as being connected to numerous canals and railroad lines. Cleveland's economy relies on diversified sectors such as manufacturing, financial services, healthcare, and biomedicals. Metro Cleveland is also home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland Orchestra, Cleveland Museum of Art, and Cleveland Museum of Natural History.

Lake Erie one of the Great Lakes in North America

Lake Erie is the fourth-largest lake of the five Great Lakes in North America, and the eleventh-largest globally if measured in terms of surface area. It is the southernmost, shallowest, and smallest by volume of the Great Lakes and therefore also has the shortest average water residence time. At its deepest point Lake Erie is 210 feet deep.

Pennsylvania State of the United States of America

Pennsylvania, officially the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a state located in the northeastern, Great Lakes and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The Appalachian Mountains run through its middle. The Commonwealth is bordered by Delaware to the southeast, Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, Lake Erie and the Canadian province of Ontario to the northwest, New York to the north, and New Jersey to the east.

Cuyahoga River river in the United States of America

The Cuyahoga River is a river in the United States, located in Northeast Ohio, that feeds into Lake Erie. The river is famous for having been so polluted that it "caught fire" in 1969. The event helped to spur the environmental movement in the US.

Cleveland residents are called "Clevelanders". The city has many nicknames, the oldest of which in contemporary use being "The Forest City". [11]

The Forest City is a nickname or alternate toponym for Cleveland, Ohio.


Cleveland was named on July 22, 1796, when surveyors of the Connecticut Land Company laid out Connecticut's Western Reserve into townships and a capital city. They named it "Cleaveland" after their leader, General Moses Cleaveland. Cleaveland oversaw design of the plan for what would become the modern downtown area, centered on Public Square, before returning home, never again to visit Ohio. The first settler in Cleaveland was Lorenzo Carter, who built a cabin on the banks of the Cuyahoga River. The Village of Cleaveland was incorporated on December 23, 1814. [9] In spite of the nearby swampy lowlands and harsh winters, its waterfront location proved to be an advantage, giving access to Great Lakes trade.

Connecticut Land Company

The Connecticut Company or Connecticut Land Company (e.-1795) was a post-colonial land speculation company formed in the late eighteenth century to survey and encourage settlement in the eastern parts of the newly chartered Connecticut Western Reserve of the former "Ohio Country" and a prized-part of the Northwest Territory)—a post-American Revolutionary period region, that was part of the lands-claims settlement adjudicated by the new United States government regarding the contentious conflicting claims by various Eastern Seaboard states on lands west of the gaps of the Allegheny draining into the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio Rivers. Under the arrangement, all the states gave up their land claims west of the Alleghenies to the Federal government save for parts parceled out to each claimant state. Western Pennsylvania was Pennsylvania's part, and the Connecticut Western Reserve was the part apportioned to Connecticut's claim. The specific Connecticut Western Reserve lands were the northeastern part of the greater Mississippi drainage basin lands just west of those defined as part of Pennsylvania's claims settlement.

Connecticut Western Reserve Area claimed by Connecticut until 1800.

The Connecticut Western Reserve was a portion of land claimed by the Colony of Connecticut and later by the state of Connecticut in what is now mostly the northeastern region of Ohio. The Reserve had been granted to the Colony under the terms of its charter by King Charles II.

Moses Cleaveland American general

Moses Cleaveland was a lawyer, politician, soldier and surveyor, from Connecticut who founded the U.S. city of Cleveland, Ohio, while surveying the Western Reserve in 1796.

The area began rapid growth after the 1832 completion of the Ohio and Erie Canal. This key link between the Ohio River and the Great Lakes connected the city to the Atlantic Ocean via the Erie Canal and Hudson River, and later via the St. Lawrence Seaway. Its products could reach markets on the Gulf of Mexico via the Mississippi River. Growth continued with added railroad links. [12] Cleveland incorporated as a city in 1836. [9]

Ohio and Erie Canal place in Ohio listed on National Register of Historic Places

The Ohio and Erie Canal was a canal constructed during the 1820s and early 1830s in Ohio. It connected Akron with the Cuyahoga River near its outlet on Lake Erie in Cleveland, and a few years later, with the Ohio River near Portsmouth. It also had connections to other canal systems in Pennsylvania.

Ohio River river in the midwestern United States

The Ohio River is a 981-mile (1,579 km) long river in the midwestern United States that flows southwesterly from western Pennsylvania south of Lake Erie to its mouth on the Mississippi River at the southern tip of Illinois. It is the second largest river by discharge volume in the United States and the largest tributary by volume of the north-south flowing Mississippi River that divides the eastern from western United States. The river flows through or along the border of six states, and its drainage basin includes parts of 15 states. Through its largest tributary, the Tennessee River, the basin includes several states of the southeastern U.S. It is the source of drinking water for three million people.

Great Lakes System of interconnected, large lakes in North America

The Great Lakes, also called the Laurentian Great Lakes and the Great Lakes of North America, are a series of interconnected freshwater lakes primarily in the upper mid-east region of North America, on the Canada–United States border, which connect to the Atlantic Ocean through the Saint Lawrence River. They consist of Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario. Hydrologically, there are only four lakes, because Lakes Michigan and Huron join at the Straits of Mackinac. The lakes form the Great Lakes Waterway.

In 1836, the city, then only on the eastern banks of the Cuyahoga River, nearly erupted into open warfare with neighboring Ohio City over a bridge connecting the two. [13] Ohio City remained an independent municipality until its annexation by Cleveland in 1854. [9]

Municipal annexation is a process by which a municipality expands its boundaries into adjacent areas not already incorporated into the municipality. This has been a common response of cities to urbanization in neighboring areas. It may be done because the neighboring urban areas seek municipal services or because a city seeks control over its suburbs or neighboring unincorporated areas.

Bird's-eye view of Cleveland in 1877 Cleveland 1877.jpg
Bird's-eye view of Cleveland in 1877

The city's prime geographic location as a transportation hub on the Great Lakes has played an important role in its development as a commercial center. Cleveland serves as a destination for iron ore shipped from Minnesota, along with coal transported by rail. In 1870, John D. Rockefeller founded Standard Oil in Cleveland. In 1885, he moved its headquarters to New York City, which had become a center of finance and business. [14]

Cleveland emerged in the early 20th century as an important American manufacturing center. Its businesses included automotive companies such as Peerless, People's, [15] Jordan, Chandler, and Winton, maker of the first car driven across the U.S. [16] Other manufacturers in Cleveland produced steam-powered cars, which included White and Gaeth, as well as the electric car company Baker. Because of its significant growth, Cleveland was known as the "Sixth City" of the US during this period. [17] [18]

By 1920, due in large part to the city's economic prosperity, Cleveland became the nation's fifth-largest city. [9] The city counted Progressive Era politicians such as the populist Mayor Tom L. Johnson among its leaders. Its industrial jobs had attracted waves of European immigrants from southern and eastern Europe, as well as both black and white migrants from the rural South.

In commemoration of the centennial of Cleveland's incorporation as a city, the Great Lakes Exposition debuted in June 1936 along the Lake Erie shore north of downtown. Conceived as a way to energize the city after the Great Depression, it drew four million visitors in its first season, and seven million by the end of its second and final season in September 1937. [19] The exposition was housed on grounds now used by the Great Lakes Science Center, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and Burke Lakefront Airport, among others. [20]

Following World War II, Cleveland continued to enjoy a prosperous economy. In sports, the Indians won the 1948 World Series, the hockey team, the Barons, became champions of the American Hockey League, and the Browns dominated professional football in the 1950s. As a result, along with track and boxing champions produced, Cleveland was dubbed "City of Champions" in sports at this time.

Businesses proclaimed Cleveland was the "best location in the nation". [21] [22] [23] In 1940, non-Hispanic whites represented 90.2% of Cleveland's population. [24] Wealthy patrons supported development of the city's cultural institutions, such as the art museum and orchestra. The city's population reached its peak of 914,808, and in 1949 Cleveland was named an All-America City for the first time. [25] By the 1960s, the economy slowed, and residents sought new housing in the suburbs, reflecting the national trends of suburban growth following the subsidized highways. [26]

The Cuyahoga River winds through the Flats in a December 1937 aerial view of downtown Cleveland. Downtown Cleveland, Ohio, in winter, from the air, 12-1937 - NARA - 512842.jpg
The Cuyahoga River winds through the Flats in a December 1937 aerial view of downtown Cleveland.

In the 1950s and 1960s, African Americans worked in numerous cities to gain constitutional rights and relief from racial discrimination. As change lagged despite federal laws to enforce rights, social and racial unrest occurred in Cleveland and numerous other industrial cities. In Cleveland, the Hough riots erupted from July 18 to 23, 1966. The Glenville Shootout took place from July 23 to 25, 1968. In November 1967, Cleveland became the first major American city to elect a black mayor, Carl Stokes (who served from 1968 to 1971). [27]

Industrial restructuring, particularly in the railroad and steel industries, resulted in the loss of numerous jobs in Cleveland and the region, and the city suffered economically. In December 1978, Cleveland became the first major American city since the Great Depression to enter into a financial default on federal loans. [9] By the beginning of the 1980s, several factors, including changes in international free trade policies, inflation and the Savings and Loans Crisis, contributed to the recession that severely affected cities like Cleveland. [28]

While unemployment during the period peaked in 1983, [29] Cleveland's rate of 13.8% was higher than the national average due to the closure of several steel production centers. [30] [31] [32]

In the later 20th century, the metropolitan area began a gradual economic recovery under mayors George Voinovich and Michael R. White. Redevelopment within the city limits has been strongest in the downtown area near the Gateway Sports and Entertainment Complex—consisting of Progressive Field and Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse—and near North Coast Harbor, including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, FirstEnergy Stadium, and the Great Lakes Science Center. Cleveland was hailed in 2007 by local media as the "Comeback City". [33] Economic development of the inner-city neighborhoods and improvement of the school systems have been municipal priorities. [34] In 1999, Cleveland was identified as an emerging global city. [35]

Since the turn of the 21st century, the city has improved infrastructure, developed a more diversified economy, gained a national reputation in medical fields, and invested in the arts. Cleveland is generally considered to be an example of revitalization of an older industrial city. The city's goals include additional neighborhood revitalization and increased funding for public education. [36] In 2009, Cleveland was chosen to host the 2014 Gay Games, the fourth city in the United States to host this international event. [37] On July 8, 2014, Cleveland was chosen to be the host city of the 2016 Republican National Convention. [38]



According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 82.47 square miles (213.60 km2), of which 77.70 square miles (201.24 km2) is land and 4.77 square miles (12.35 km2) is water. [2] The shore of Lake Erie is 569 feet (173 m) above sea level; however, the city lies on a series of irregular bluffs lying roughly parallel to the lake. In Cleveland these bluffs are cut principally by the Cuyahoga River, Big Creek, and Euclid Creek.

The land rises quickly from the lake shores elevation of 569 feet. Public Square, less than one mile (1.6 km) inland, sits at an elevation of 650 feet (198 m), and Hopkins Airport, 5 miles (8 km) inland from the lake, is at an elevation of 791 feet (241 m). [39]


Public Square 1912.jpg
Panorama of Public Square in 1912
Cleveland Skyline Aug 2006.JPG
Skyline of Cleveland from Lake Erie in 2006, with the Key Tower, the 200 Public Square, and the Terminal Tower at the center


St. Theodosius Russian Orthodox Cathedral, one of Cleveland's many architectural landmarks. Saint Theodosius Russian Orthodox Cathedral (Cleveland, Ohio) - exterior photographed from A Christmas Story House property.jpg
St. Theodosius Russian Orthodox Cathedral, one of Cleveland's many architectural landmarks.

Cleveland's downtown architecture is diverse. Many of the city's government and civic buildings, including City Hall, the Cuyahoga County Courthouse, the Cleveland Public Library, and Public Auditorium, are clustered around an open mall and share a common neoclassical architecture. Built in the early 20th century, they are the result of the 1903 Group Plan. They constitute one of the most complete examples of City Beautiful design in the United States. [40]

The Terminal Tower, dedicated in 1930, was the tallest building in North America outside New York City until 1964 and the tallest in the city until 1991. [41] It is a prototypical Beaux-Arts skyscraper. The two newer skyscrapers on Public Square, Key Tower (currently the tallest building in Ohio) and the 200 Public Square, combine elements of Art Deco architecture with postmodern designs. Another of Cleveland's architectural treasures is The Arcade (sometimes called the Old Arcade), a five-story arcade built in 1890 and renovated in 2001 as a Hyatt Regency Hotel. [42]

Cleveland's landmark ecclesiastical architecture includes the historic Old Stone Church in downtown Cleveland and the onion domed St. Theodosius Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Tremont, along with myriad ethnically inspired Roman Catholic churches. [43]

Running east from Public Square through University Circle is Euclid Avenue, which was known for its prestige and elegance as a residential street. In the late 1880s, writer Bayard Taylor described it as "the most beautiful street in the world". [44] Known as "Millionaire's Row", Euclid Avenue was world-renowned as the home of such major figures as John D. Rockefeller, Mark Hanna, and John Hay. [45]


The west bank of the Flats and the Cuyahoga River in downtown Cleveland Bridge in Cleveland, Ohio.jpg
The west bank of the Flats and the Cuyahoga River in downtown Cleveland

Downtown Cleveland is centered on Public Square and includes a wide range of districts. It contains the traditional Financial District and Civic Center, as well as the Cleveland Theater District, which is home to Playhouse Square Center. Mixed-use neighborhoods, such as the Flats and the Warehouse District, are occupied by industrial and office buildings as well as restaurants and bars. The number of downtown housing units, in the form of condominiums, lofts, and apartments, has been on the increase since 2000. Recent developments include the revival of the Flats, the Euclid Corridor Project, and the developments along East 4th Street. [46] [47] Cleveland residents geographically define themselves in terms of whether they live on the east or west side of the Cuyahoga River. [48] The east side includes the neighborhoods of Buckeye-Shaker, Central, Collinwood, Corlett, Euclid-Green, Fairfax, Forest Hills, Glenville, Payne/Goodrich-Kirtland Park, Hough, Kinsman, Lee Harvard/Seville-Miles, Mount Pleasant, Nottingham, St. Clair-Superior, Union-Miles Park, University, Little Italy, and Woodland Hills. The west side includes the neighborhoods of Brooklyn Centre, Clark-Fulton, Detroit-Shoreway, Cudell, Edgewater, Ohio City, Tremont, Old Brooklyn, Stockyards, West Boulevard, and the four neighborhoods colloquially known as West Park: Kamm's Corners, Jefferson, Puritas-Longmead, and Riverside. Three neighborhoods in the Cuyahoga Valley are sometimes referred to as the south side: Industrial Valley/Duck Island, Slavic Village (North and South Broadway), and Tremont.

Map of villages and other land annexed to the City of Cleveland Cleveland Annexation Map 4-Color Final.png
Map of villages and other land annexed to the City of Cleveland

Several neighborhoods have begun to attract the return of the middle class that left the city for the suburbs in the 1960s and 1970s. These neighborhoods are on both the west side (Ohio City, Tremont, Detroit-Shoreway, and Edgewater) and the east side (Collinwood, Hough, Fairfax, and Little Italy). Much of the growth has been spurred on by attracting creative class members, which in turn is spurring new residential development. [49] Furthermore, a live-work zoning overlay for the city's near east side has facilitated the transformation of old industrial buildings into loft spaces for artists. [50]

NASA photograph of Cleveland and its surrounding suburbs Greater Cleveland 2.JPG
NASA photograph of Cleveland and its surrounding suburbs


Cleveland's older, inner-ring suburbs include Bedford, Bedford Heights, Brook Park, Brooklyn, Brooklyn Heights, Cleveland Heights, Cuyahoga Heights, East Cleveland, Euclid, Fairview Park, Garfield Heights, Hudson, Lakewood, Linndale, Maple Heights, Newburgh Heights, Parma, Parma Heights, Shaker Heights, Solon, South Euclid, University Heights and Warrensville Heights. Many of the suburbs are members of the Northeast Ohio First Suburbs Consortium. [51]


Typical of the Great Lakes region, Cleveland exhibits a continental climate with four distinct seasons, which lies in the humid continental (Köppen Dfa) [52] zone. Summers are warm and humid while winters are cold and snowy. The Lake Erie shoreline is very close to due east–west from the mouth of the Cuyahoga west to Sandusky, but at the mouth of the Cuyahoga it turns sharply northeast. This feature is the principal contributor to the lake effect snow that is typical in Cleveland (especially on the city's East Side) from mid-November until the surface of Lake Erie freezes, usually in late January or early February. The lake effect also causes a relative differential in geographical snowfall totals across the city: while Hopkins Airport, on the city's far West Side, has only reached 100 inches (254 cm) of snowfall in a season three times since record-keeping for snow began in 1893, [53] seasonal totals approaching or exceeding 100 inches (254 cm) are not uncommon as the city ascends into the Heights on the east, where the region known as the 'Snow Belt' begins. Extending from the city's East Side and its suburbs, the Snow Belt reaches up the Lake Erie shore as far as Buffalo. [54]

The all-time record high in Cleveland of 104 °F (40 °C) was established on June 25, 1988, [55] and the all-time record low of −20 °F (−29 °C) was set on January 19, 1994. [56] On average, July is the warmest month with a mean temperature of 73.5 °F (23.1 °C), and January, with a mean temperature of 28.1 °F (−2.2 °C), is the coldest. Normal yearly precipitation based on the 30-year average from 1981 to 2010 is 39.1 inches (990 mm). [57] The least precipitation occurs on the western side and directly along the lake, and the most occurs in the eastern suburbs. Parts of Geauga County to the east receive over 44 inches (1,100 mm) of liquid precipitation annually. [58]


Historical population
1820 606
1830 1,07577.4%
1840 6,071464.7%
1850 17,034180.6%
1860 43,417154.9%
1870 92,829113.8%
1880 160,14672.5%
1890 261,35363.2%
1900 381,76846.1%
1910 560,66346.9%
1920 796,84142.1%
1930 900,42913.0%
1940 878,336−2.5%
1950 914,8084.2%
1960 876,050−4.2%
1970 750,903−14.3%
1980 573,822−23.6%
1990 505,616−11.9%
2000 478,403−5.4%
2010 396,815−17.1%
Est. 2018383,793 [63] −3.3%
[64] [65]
Racial composition2010 [66] 1990 [24] 1950 [24] 1900 [24]
White 37.3%49.5%83.7%98.4%
Black or African American 53.3%46.6%16.2%1.6%
Hispanic or Latino (of any race)10.0%4.6%n/an/a
Asian 1.8%1.0%0.2%

2010 census

Map of racial distribution in Cleveland, 2010 U.S. Census. Each dot is 25 people: White, Black, Asian Hispanic, or Other (yellow) Race and ethnicity 2010- Cleveland (5560462500).png
Map of racial distribution in Cleveland, 2010 U.S. Census. Each dot is 25 people: White, Black, AsianHispanic, or Other (yellow)

As of the census [4] of 2010, there were 396,698 people, 167,490 households, and 89,821 families residing in the city. The population density was 5,107.0 inhabitants per square mile (1,971.8/km2). There were 207,536 housing units at an average density of 2,671.0 per square mile (1,031.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 53.3% African American, 37.3% White, 0.3% Native American, 1.8% Asian, 4.4% from other races, and 2.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.0% of the population. [66]

There were 167,490 households of which 29.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 22.4% were married couples living together, 25.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 6.0% had a male householder with no wife present, and 46.4% were non-families. 39.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.29 and the average family size was 3.11.

The median age in the city was 35.7 years. 24.6% of residents were under the age of 18; 11% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 26.1% were from 25 to 44; 26.3% were from 45 to 64; and 12% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.0% male and 52.0% female.

2000 census

Built as the Second Church of Christ, scientist, this building on Cleveland's East Side, now known as The True Holiness Temple, a Pentecostal church on Euclid Avenue, serves a primarily African American congregation. True Holiness Temple on East Superior Ave. in Cleveland, Ohio.jpg
Built as the Second Church of Christ, scientist, this building on Cleveland's East Side, now known as The True Holiness Temple, a Pentecostal church on Euclid Avenue, serves a primarily African American congregation.

As of the census of 2000, there were 478,403 people, 190,638 households, and 111,904 families residing in the city. The population density was 6,166.5 inhabitants per square mile (2,380.9/km2). There were 215,856 housing units at an average density of 2,782.4 per square mile (1,074.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 51.0% African American, 41.5% White, 0.3% Native American, 1.3% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 3.6% from other races, and 2.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latinos of any race were 7.3% of the population. [67] Ethnic groups include Germans (15.2%), Irish (10.9%), English (8.7%), Italian (5.6%), Poles (3.2%), and French (3.0%). Out of the total population, 4.5% were foreign born; of which 41.2% were born in Europe, 29.1% Asia, 22.4% Latin American, 5.0% Africa, and 1.9% Northern America. [68]

There are also substantial communities of Slovaks, Hungarians, French, Slovenes, [69] Czechs, Ukrainians, Arabs, Dutch, Scottish, Russian, Scotch Irish, Croats, Macedonians, Puerto Ricans, West Indians, Romanians, Lithuanians, and Greeks. [70] The presence of Hungarians within Cleveland proper was, at one time, so great the city boasted the highest concentration of Hungarians in the world outside of Budapest. [71] The availability of jobs attracted African Americans from the South. Between 1920 and 1960, the black population of Cleveland increased from 35,000 to 251,000. [72]

Out of 190,638 households, 29.9% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 28.5% were married couples living together, 24.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.3% were nonfamilies. 35.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.1% had someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 3.19. The age distribution of the population shows 28.5% under the age of 18, 9.5% from 18 to 24, 30.4% from 25 to 44, 19.0% from 45 to 64, and 12.5% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was US$25,928, and the median income for a family was $30,286. Males had a median income of $30,610 versus $24,214 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,291. 26.3% of the population and 22.9% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 37.6% of those under the age of 18 and 16.8% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line. [73]


As of 2010, 88.4% (337,658) of Cleveland residents age 5 and older spoke English at home as a primary language, while 7.1% (27,262) spoke Spanish, 0.6% (2,200) Arabic, and 0.5% (1,960) Chinese. In addition 0.9% (3,364) spoke a Slavic language (1,279 – Polish, 679 Serbo-Croatian, and 485 Russian). In total, 11.6% (44,148) of Cleveland's population age 5 and older spoke another language other than English. [74]


Downtown Cleveland as viewed from Edgewater Park Cleveland Skyline (34826840941).jpg
Downtown Cleveland as viewed from Edgewater Park

Cleveland's location on the Cuyahoga River and Lake Erie has been key to its growth. The Ohio and Erie Canal coupled with rail links helped the city become an important business center. Steel and many other manufactured goods emerged as leading industries. [75]

The city diversified its economy in addition to its manufacturing sector. Cleveland is home to the corporate headquarters of many large companies such as Applied Industrial Technologies, Cliffs Natural Resources, Forest City Enterprises, NACCO Industries, Sherwin-Williams Company, and KeyCorp. NASA maintains a facility in Cleveland, the Glenn Research Center. Jones Day, one of the largest law firms in the U.S., was founded in Cleveland. [76] In 2007, Cleveland's commercial real estate market experienced rebound with a record pace of purchases, [77] [78] with a housing vacancy of 10%. [79] [80]

Downtown Cleveland from the Superior Viaduct Cleveland from Superior Viaduct.jpg
Downtown Cleveland from the Superior Viaduct

The Cleveland Clinic is the city's largest private employer with a workforce of over 37,000 as of 2008. [81] It carries the distinction as being among America's best hospitals with top ratings published in U.S. News & World Report . [82] Cleveland's healthcare sector also includes University Hospitals of Cleveland, a renowned center for cancer treatment, [83] MetroHealth medical center, and the insurance company Medical Mutual of Ohio. Cleveland is also noted in the fields of biotechnology and fuel cell research, led by Case Western Reserve University, the Cleveland Clinic, and University Hospitals of Cleveland. The city is among the top recipients of investment for biotech start-ups and research. [84] Case Western Reserve, the Clinic, and University Hospitals have recently announced plans to build a large biotechnology research center and incubator on the site of the former Mount Sinai Hospital, creating a research campus to stimulate biotech startup companies that can be spun off from research conducted in the city. [85]

City leaders promoted growth of the technology sector in the first decade of the 21st century. Mayor Jane L. Campbell appointed a "tech czar" to recruit technology companies to the downtown office market, offering connections to the high-speed fiber networks that run underneath downtown streets in several "high-tech offices" focused on the Euclid Avenue area. Cleveland State University hired a technology transfer officer to cultivate technology transfers from CSU research to marketable ideas and companies in the Cleveland area. Also, they appointed a vice president for economic development.


Performing arts

The Cleveland Museum of Art lies at the edge of Wade Lagoon in University Circle. Cleveland Museum of Art (8687300870).jpg
The Cleveland Museum of Art lies at the edge of Wade Lagoon in University Circle.

Cleveland is home to Playhouse Square, the second largest performing arts center in the United States behind New York City's Lincoln Center. [86] Playhouse Square includes the State, Palace, Allen, Hanna, and Ohio theaters within what is known as the Cleveland Theater District. [87] Playhouse Square's resident performing arts companies include Cleveland Play House, Cleveland State University Department of Theatre and Dance, the Great Lakes Theater Festival, and the Cleveland Ballet. The center hosts Broadway musicals, special concerts, speaking engagements, and other events throughout the year. [87]

One Playhouse Square, now the headquarters for Cleveland's public broadcasters, was initially used as the broadcast studios of WJW (AM), where disc jockey Alan Freed first popularized the term "rock and roll". [88] Cleveland gained a strong reputation in rock music in the 1960s and 70s as a key breakout market for nationally promoted acts and performers. The city hosted the "World Series of Rock" at Cleveland Municipal Stadium, which was notable high-attendance events. Located between Playhouse Square and University Circle is Karamu House, the oldest African-American theater in the United States, founded in the 1920s. [89]

Cleveland is home to The Cleveland Orchestra, widely considered one of the world's finest orchestras, and often referred to as the finest in the United States. [90] It is one of the "Big Five" major orchestras in the United States. The Orchestra plays at Severance Hall in University Circle during the winter and at Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls during the summer. [91] The city is also home to the Cleveland Pops Orchestra, the Cleveland Youth Orchestra, the Contemporary Youth Orchestra the Cleveland Youth Wind Symphony, and the biennial Cleveland International Piano Competition which has, in the past, often featured The Cleveland Orchestra.

Jazz has a long history in Cleveland. Many major jazz musicians, including Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, and Benny Goodman, performed in the city, and legendary pianist Art Tatum regularly played in Cleveland clubs during the 1930s. Prominent jazz artist Noble Sissle was a graduate of Cleveland Central High School and bandleader Phil Spitalny led his first orchestra in Cleveland. The Tri-C Jazz Fest has been held annually in Cleveland at Playhouse Square since 1979. [92] [93] Joe Siebert's documentary film Sax Man on the life of Cleveland street saxophonist Maurice Reedus Jr. was released in 2014. [94]

The city also has a history of polka music being popular both past and present, even having a subgenre called Cleveland-style polka named after the city, and is home to the Polka Hall of Fame. This is due in part to the success of Frankie Yankovic who was a Cleveland native and was considered the America's Polka King and the square at the intersection of Waterloo Rd. and East 152nd St. in Cleveland ( 41°34′08″N81°34′31″W / 41.569°N 81.5752°W / 41.569; -81.5752 ), not far from where Yankovic grew up, was named in his honor. [95]

There are two main art museums in Cleveland. The Cleveland Museum of Art is a major American art museum, [96] with a collection that includes more than 40,000 works of art ranging over 6,000 years, from ancient masterpieces to contemporary pieces. Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland showcases established and emerging artists, particularly from the Cleveland area, through hosting and producing temporary exhibitions. [97]

The Gordon Square Arts District on Detroit Avenue, in the Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood, is the location of the Capitol Theatre and an Off-Off-Broadway Playhouse, the Cleveland Public Theatre. Each spring, the campus of Cleveland State University hosts the Cleveland Thyagaraja Festival, the largest South Indian classical music festival next to Chennai's December Season. [98]

Cleveland's vibrant Playhouse Square is the second largest performing arts center in the United States after New York City. It was also the city's main movie theater district during the Golden Age of Hollywood. Cleveland Playhouse Square (13917560487).jpg
Cleveland's vibrant Playhouse Square is the second largest performing arts center in the United States after New York City. It was also the city's main movie theater district during the Golden Age of Hollywood.

Film and television

Cleveland has served as the setting for several major studio and independent films. Reflecting its position as one of the largest American cities at the time, Cleveland was referenced in numerous classic Hollywood films, such as Howard Hawks' Ceiling Zero (1936) with James Cagney and Pat O'Brien, and Hobart Henley's romantic comedy The Big Pond (1930) with Maurice Chevalier and Claudette Colbert, which introduced the hit song "You Brought a New Kind of Love to Me". The city also served as the setting for Michael Curtiz's 1933 pre-Code classic Goodbye Again with Warren William and Joan Blondell. Players from the 1948 Cleveland Indians, winners of the World Series, appeared in The Kid from Cleveland (1949). Cleveland Municipal Stadium features prominently in both that film and The Fortune Cookie (1966); written and directed by Billy Wilder, the picture marked Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon's first on-screen collaboration and features gameday footage of the 1965 Cleveland Browns. Director Jules Dassin's first American film in nearly twenty years, Up Tight! (1968) is set in Cleveland immediately following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. Set in 1930s Cleveland, Sylvester Stallone leads a local labor union in F.I.S.T. (1978). Paul Simon chose Cleveland as the opening for his only venture into filmmaking, One-Trick Pony (1980); He spent six weeks filming concert scenes at the Cleveland Agora. The boxing-match-turned-riot near the start of Raging Bull (1980) takes place at the Cleveland Arena in 1941. Clevelander Jim Jarmusch's critically acclaimed and independently produced Stranger Than Paradise (1984)—a deadpan comedy about two New Yorkers who travel to Florida by way of Cleveland—was a favorite of the Cannes Film Festival, winning the Caméra d'Or.

The cult-classic mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap (1984) includes a memorable scene where the parody band gets lost backstage just before performing at a Cleveland rock concert (origin of the phrase "Hello, Cleveland!"). Howard the Duck (1986), George Lucas' heavily criticized adaptation of the Marvel comic of the same name, begins with the title character crashing into Cleveland after drifting in outer space. Michael J. Fox and Joan Jett play the sibling leads of a Cleveland rock group in Light of Day (1987); directed by Paul Schrader, much of the film was shot in the city. Both Major League (1989) and Major League II (1994) reflected the actual perennial struggles of the Cleveland Indians during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. Kevin Bacon stars in Telling Lies in America (1997), the semi-autobiographical tale of Clevelander Joe Eszterhas, a former reporter for The Plain Dealer . Cleveland serves as the setting for fictitious insurance giant Great Benefit in The Rainmaker (1997); in the film, Key Tower doubles as the firm's main headquarters. A group of Cleveland teenagers try to scam their way into a Kiss concert in Detroit Rock City (1999), and several key scenes from director Cameron Crowe's Almost Famous (2000) are set in Cleveland. Antwone Fisher (2002) recounts the real-life story of the Cleveland native. Brothers Joe and Anthony Russo—native Clevelanders and Case Western Reserve University alumni—filmed their comedy Welcome to Collinwood (2002) entirely on location in the city. American Splendor (2003)—the biographical film of Harvey Pekar, author of the autobiographical comic of the same name—was also filmed on location throughout Cleveland, as was The Oh in Ohio (2006). Much of The Rocker (2008) is set in the city, and Cleveland native Nathaniel Ayers' life story is told in The Soloist (2009). Kill the Irishman (2011) follows the real-life turf war in 1970s Cleveland between Irish mobster Danny Greene and the Cleveland crime family. More recently, the teenage comedy Fun Size (2012) takes place in and around Cleveland on Halloween night, and the film Draft Day (2014) followed Kevin Costner as general manager for the Cleveland Browns. [99] [100] [101] [102] [103]

Cleveland has often doubled for other locations in the film. The wedding and reception scenes in The Deer Hunter (1978), while set in the small Pittsburgh suburb of Clairton, were shot in the Cleveland neighborhood of Tremont; U.S. Steel also permitted the production to film in one of its Cleveland mills. Francis Ford Coppola produced The Escape Artist (1982), much of which was shot in Downtown Cleveland near City Hall and the Cuyahoga County Courthouse, as well as the Flats. A Christmas Story (1983) was set in Indiana, but drew many of its external shots—including the Parker family home—from Cleveland. Much of Double Dragon (1994) and Happy Gilmore (1996) were also shot in Cleveland, and the opening shots of Air Force One (1997) were filmed in and above Severance Hall. A complex chase scene in Spider-Man 3 (2007), though set in New York City, was filmed along Cleveland's Euclid Avenue. Downtown's East 9th Street also doubled for New York in the climax of The Avengers (2012); in addition, the production shot on Cleveland's Public Square as a fill-in for Stuttgart, Germany. More recently, Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa (2013), Miss Meadows (2014) and Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) each filmed in Cleveland. Future productions in the Cleveland area are the responsibility of the Greater Cleveland Film Commission. [99] [100] [101] [104]

In television, the city is the setting for the popular network sitcom The Drew Carey Show , starring Cleveland native Drew Carey. Real-life crime series Cops , Crime 360 , and The First 48 regularly film in Cleveland and other U.S. cities. Hot in Cleveland , a comedy airing on TV Land, premiered on June 16, 2010. [105] [106] [107] Later episodes of the reality show Keeping Up With the Kardashians have been partially filmed in Cleveland, after series star Khloe Kardashian began a relationship with Cleveland Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson. [108]


The American modernist poet Hart Crane was born in nearby Garrettsville, Ohio in 1899. His adolescence was divided between Cleveland and Akron before he moved to New York City in 1916. Aside from factory work during the first world war, he served as reporter to The Plain Dealer for a short period, before achieving recognition in the Modernist literary scene. A diminutive memorial park is dedicated to Crane along the left bank of the Cuyahoga in Cleveland. In University Circle, a historical marker sits at the location of his Cleveland childhood house on E. 115 near the Euclid Ave intersection. On Case Western Reserve University campus, a statue of him stands behind the Kelvin Smith Library.

Langston Hughes, preeminent poet of the Harlem Renaissance and child of an itinerant couple, lived in Cleveland as a teenager and attended Central High School in Cleveland in the 1910s. He wrote for the school newspaper and started writing his earlier plays, poems and short stories while living in Cleveland. [109] The African-American avant garde poet Russell Atkins also lived in Cleveland. [110]

Cleveland was the home of Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel, who created the comic book character Superman in 1932. [111] Both attended Glenville High School, and their early collaborations resulted in the creation of "The Man of Steel". [112] D. A. Levy wrote: "Cleveland: The Rectal Eye Visions". Mystery author Richard Montanari's first three novels, Deviant Way, The Violet Hour, and Kiss of Evil are set in Cleveland. Mystery writer, Les Roberts's Milan Jacovich series is also set in Cleveland. Author and Ohio resident, James Renner set his debut novel, The Man from Primrose Lane in present-day Cleveland.

Harlan Ellison, noted author of speculative fiction, was born in Cleveland in 1934; his family subsequently moved to the nearby suburb of Painesville, though Ellison moved back to Cleveland in 1949. As a youngster, he published a series of short stories appearing in the Cleveland News ; he also performed in a number of productions for the Cleveland Play House.

The Cleveland State University Poetry Center serves as an academic center for poetry. Cleveland continues to have a thriving literary and poetry community, [113] [114] with regular poetry readings at bookstores, coffee shops, and various other venues. [115]

Cleveland is the site of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, established by poet and philanthropist Edith Anisfield Wolf in 1935, which recognizes books that have made important contributions to understanding of racism and human diversity. [116] Presented by the Cleveland Foundation, it remains the only American book prize focusing on works that address racism and diversity. [117] In an early Gay and lesbian studies anthology titled Lavender Culture, [118] a short piece by John Kelsey "The Cleveland Bar Scene in the Forties" discusses the gay and lesbian culture in Cleveland and the unique experiences of amateur female impersonators that existed alongside the New York and San Francisco LGBT subcultures. [119]


The historic West Side Market is in Cleveland's Ohio City neighborhood. WSmarket.jpg
The historic West Side Market is in Cleveland's Ohio City neighborhood.

Cleveland's melting pot of immigrant groups and their various culinary traditions have long played an important role in defining the local cuisine. Examples of these can particularly be found in neighborhoods such as Little Italy, Slavic Village, and Tremont.

Local mainstays of Cleveland's cuisine include an abundance of Polish and Central European contributions, such as kielbasa, stuffed cabbage and pierogies. [120] Cleveland also has plenty of corned beef, with nationally renowned Slyman's, on the near East Side, a perennial winner of various accolades from Esquire Magazine , including being named the best corned beef sandwich in America in 2008. [121] Other famed sandwiches include the Cleveland original, Polish Boy, a local favorite found at many BBQ and Soul food restaurants. [120] [122] With its blue-collar roots well intact, and plenty of Lake Erie perch available, the tradition of Friday night fish fries remains alive and thriving in Cleveland, particularly in church-based settings and during the season of Lent. [123] Ohio City is home to a growing brewery district, which includes Great Lakes Brewing Company (Ohio's oldest microbrewery); Market Garden Brewery next to the historic West Side Market and Platform Beer Company. [124]

Cleveland is noted in the world of celebrity food culture. Famous local figures include chef Michael Symon and food writer Michael Ruhlman, both of whom achieved local and national attentions for their contributions in the culinary world. On November 11, 2007, Symon helped gain the spotlight when he was named "The Next Iron Chef" on the Food Network. In 2007, Ruhlman collaborated with Anthony Bourdain, to do an episode of his Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations focusing on Cleveland's restaurant scene. [125]

The national food press—including publications Gourmet, Food & Wine, Esquire and Playboy—has heaped praise on several Cleveland spots for awards including 'best new restaurant', 'best steakhouse', 'best farm-to-table programs' and 'great new neighborhood eateries'. In early 2008, the Chicago Tribune ran a feature article in its 'Travel' section proclaiming Cleveland, America's "hot new dining city". [125]


The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on the shores of Lake Erie Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.jpg
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on the shores of Lake Erie

Five miles (8.0 km) east of downtown Cleveland is University Circle, a 550-acre (2.2 km2) concentration of cultural, educational, and medical institutions, including the Cleveland Botanical Garden, Case Western Reserve University, University Hospitals, Severance Hall, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, and the Western Reserve Historical Society. A 2011 study by Walk Score ranked Cleveland 17th most walkable of fifty largest U.S. cities. [126] Cleveland is home to the I. M. Pei-designed Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on the Lake Erie waterfront at North Coast Harbor downtown. Neighboring attractions include Cleveland Browns Stadium, the Great Lakes Science Center, the Steamship Mather Museum, and the USS Cod, a World War II submarine. [127] Cleveland has an attraction for visitors and fans of A Christmas Story : A Christmas Story House and Museum to see props, costumes, rooms, photos and other materials related to the Jean Shepherd film.

Cleveland is home to many festivals throughout the year. Cultural festivals such as the annual Feast of the Assumption in the Little Italy neighborhood, the Harvest Festival in the Slavic Village neighborhood, and the more recent Cleveland Asian Festival in the Asia Town neighborhood are popular events. Vendors at the West Side Market in Ohio City offer many ethnic foods for sale. Cleveland hosts an annual parade on Saint Patrick's Day that brings hundreds of thousands to the streets of downtown. [128]

The glass house at the Cleveland Botanical Garden recreates a Costa Rican rain forest. Cleveland Botanical Garden - interior 2.jpg
The glass house at the Cleveland Botanical Garden recreates a Costa Rican rain forest.

Fashion Week Cleveland, the city's annual fashion event, is the third-largest fashion show of its kind in the United States. [129] In addition to the cultural festivals, Cleveland hosted the CMJ Rock Hall Music Fest, which featured national and local acts, including both established artists and up-and-coming acts, but the festival was discontinued in 2007 due to financial and manpower costs to the Rock Hall. [130] The annual Ingenuity Fest, Notacon and TEDxCLE conference focus on the combination of art and technology. [131] [132] The Cleveland International Film Festival has been held annually since 1977, and it drew a record 66,476 people in March 2009. [133] Cleveland also hosts an annual holiday display lighting and celebration, dubbed Winterfest, which is held downtown at the city's historic hub, Public Square. [134]

Cleveland also has the Jack Cleveland Casino. Phase I opened on May 14, 2012, on Public Square, in the historic former Higbee's Building at Tower City Center. Phase II will open along the bend of the Cuyahoga River behind Tower City Center.

The new Greater Cleveland Aquarium is on the west bank of the Cuyahoga River near Downtown. [135]


Cleveland Cavaliers pregame festivities at Quicken Loans Arena Cavs Opener 6512.jpg
Cleveland Cavaliers pregame festivities at Quicken Loans Arena

Cleveland's current major professional sports teams include the Cleveland Indians (Major League Baseball), Cleveland Browns (National Football League), and Cleveland Cavaliers (National Basketball Association). Local sporting facilities include Progressive Field, FirstEnergy Stadium, Quicken Loans Arena and the Wolstein Center.

The Cleveland Indians won the World Series in 1920 and 1948. They also won the American League pennant, making the World Series in the 1954, 1995, 1997, and 2016 seasons. Between 1995 and 2001, Progressive Field (then known as Jacobs Field) sold out 455 consecutive games, a Major League Baseball record until it was broken in 2008. [136]

Cleveland Browns games attract large crowds to FirstEnergy Stadium. Browns Stadium-2.jpg
Cleveland Browns games attract large crowds to FirstEnergy Stadium.

Historically, the Browns have been among the most successful franchises in American football history, winning eight titles during a short period of time—1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1954, 1955, and 1964. The Browns have never played in a Super Bowl, getting close five times by making it to the NFL/AFC Championship Game in 1968, 1969, 1986, 1987, and 1989. Former owner Art Modell's relocation of the Browns after the 1995 season (to Baltimore creating the Ravens), caused tremendous heartbreak and resentment among local fans. [137] Cleveland mayor, Michael R. White, worked with the NFL and Commissioner Paul Tagliabue to bring back the Browns beginning in 1999 season, retaining all team history. [138] In earlier NFL history, the Cleveland Bulldogs won the NFL Championship in 1924, and the Cleveland Rams won the NFL Championship in 1945 before relocating to Los Angeles.

The Cavaliers won the Eastern Conference in 2007, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 but were defeated in the NBA Finals by the San Antonio Spurs and then by the Golden State Warriors, respectively. The Cavs won the Conference again in 2016 and won their first NBA Championship coming back from a 3–1 deficit, finally defeating the Golden State Warriors. Afterwards, an estimated 1.3 million people attended a parade held in the Cavs honor on June 22, 2016. This was the first time the city had planned for a championship parade in 50 years. [139] Basketball, the Cleveland Rosenblums dominated the original American Basketball League winning three of the first five championships (1926, 1929, 1930), and the Cleveland Pipers, owned by George Steinbrenner, won the American Basketball League championship in 1962.

A notable Cleveland athlete is Jesse Owens, who grew up in the city after moving from Alabama when he was nine. He participated in the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, where he achieved international fame by winning four gold medals. A statue commemorating his achievement can be found in Downtown Cleveland at Fort Washington Park. [140]

Cleveland State University alum and area native, Stipe Miocic, won the UFC World Heavyweight Championship at UFC 198 in 2016. Miocic has defended his World Heavyweight Champion title at UFC 203, the first ever UFC World Championship fight held in the city of Cleveland, [141] and again at UFC 211 and UFC 220.

The AHL Cleveland Monsters won the 2016 Calder Cup, becoming the first Cleveland pro sports team to do so since the 1964 Cleveland Barons. [142]

The city is also host to the Cleveland Gladiators of the Arena Football League, Cleveland Fusion of the Women's Football Alliance and Cleveland SC of the National Premier Soccer League.

Collegiately, NCAA Division I Cleveland State Vikings have 16 varsity sports, nationally known for their Cleveland State Vikings men's basketball team. NCAA Division III Case Western Reserve Spartans have 19 varsity sports, most known for their Case Western Reserve Spartans football team. The headquarters of the Mid-American Conference (MAC) are in Cleveland. The conference also stages both its men's and women's basketball tournaments at Quicken Loans Arena.

Several chess championships have taken place in Cleveland. The second American Chess Congress, a predecessor the current U.S. Championship, was held in 1871, and won by George Henry Mackenzie. The 1921 and 1957 U.S. Open Chess Championship also took place in the city, and were won by Edward Lasker and Bobby Fischer, respectively. The Cleveland Open is currently held annually.

The Cleveland Marathon has been hosted annually since 1978.

Parks and gardens

Cleveland is home to four of the parks in the countywide Cleveland Metroparks system, as well as the: Washington Park, Brookside Park and parts of the Rocky River and Washington Reservations. Known locally as the "Emerald Necklace", the Olmsted-inspired Metroparks encircle Cuyahoga county. Included in the system is the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Located in Big Creek valley, the zoo contains one of the largest collection of primates in North America. [143] In addition to the Metroparks system, the Cleveland Lakefront State Park district provides public access to Lake Erie. [144] This cooperative between the City of Cleveland and the State of Ohio contains six parks: Edgewater Park, on the city's near west side between the Shoreway and the lake; East 55th Street Marina, Euclid Beach Park and Gordon Park. The Cleveland Public Parks District is the municipal body that oversees the city's neighborhood parks, the largest of which is the historic Rockefeller Park, notable for its late-19th century historical landmark bridges and Cultural Gardens. [145]

Law and government

Cleveland City Hall Cleveland City Hall.jpg
Cleveland City Hall

Cleveland's position as a center of manufacturing established it as a hotbed of union activity early in its history. While other parts of Ohio, particularly Cincinnati and the southern portion of the state, have historically supported the Republican Party, Cleveland commonly breeds the strongest support in the state for the Democrats. [146] At the local level, elections are nonpartisan. However, Democrats still dominate every level of government. Cleveland is split between two congressional districts. Most of the western part of the city is in the 9th District, represented by Marcy Kaptur. Most of the eastern part of the city, as well as most of downtown, is in the 11th District, represented by Marcia Fudge. Both are Democrats.

During the 2004 Presidential election, although George W. Bush carried Ohio by 2.1%, John Kerry carried Cuyahoga County 66.6%–32.9%, [147] his largest margin in any Ohio county. The city of Cleveland supported Kerry over Bush by the even larger margin of 83.3%–15.8%. [148]

The city of Cleveland operates on the mayor–council (strong mayor) form of government. [149] The mayor is the chief executive of the city, and the office has been held by Frank G. Jackson since 2006. Previous mayors of Cleveland include progressive Democrat Tom L. Johnson, World War I era War Secretary and founder of BakerHostetler law firm Newton D. Baker, United States Supreme Court Justice Harold Hitz Burton, Republican Senator George V. Voinovich, two-term Ohio Governor and Senator, former United States Representative Dennis Kucinich of Ohio's 10th congressional district, Frank J. Lausche, and Carl B. Stokes, the first African American mayor of a major American city. [150] The state of Ohio lost two Congressional seats as a result of the 2010 Census, which affects Cleveland's districts in the northeast part of the state. [151]


Between about 1935 to 1938, the Cleveland Torso Murderer killed and dismembered at least a dozen and perhaps twenty people in the area. No arrest was ever made.

From 2002 to 2013, Ariel Castro held three women as sex slaves in his home in Cleveland. Police became aware of the crime when one of the women escaped. Castro was sentenced to one thousand years in jail, but committed suicide.

Based on the Morgan Quitno Press 2008 national crime rankings, Cleveland ranked as the 7th most dangerous city in the nation among US cities with a population of 100,000 to 500,000 and the 11th most dangerous overall. [152] Violent crime from 2005 to 2006 was mostly unchanged nationwide, but increased more than 10% in Cleveland. The murder rate dropped 30% in Cleveland, but was still far above the national average. Property crime from 2005 to 2006 was virtually unchanged across the country and in Cleveland, with larceny-theft down by 7% but burglaries up almost 14%. [153]

In September 2009, the local police arrested Anthony Sowell, who was known in press reports as the Cleveland Strangler. He was convicted of eleven murders as well as other crimes and sentenced to death.

In October 2010, Cleveland had two neighborhoods appear on ABC News's list of 'America's 25 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods': both in sections just blocks apart in the city's Central neighborhood on the East Side. Ranked 21st was in the vicinity of Quincy Avenue and E. 40th Streets, while an area near E. 55th and Scovill Avenue ranked 2nd in the nation, just behind a section of the Englewood neighborhood in Chicago, which ranked 1st. [154] [155]

A study in 1971–72 found that although Cleveland's crime rate was significantly lower than other large urban areas, most Cleveland residents feared crime. [156] In the 1980s, gang activity was on the rise, associated with crack cocaine. A task force was formed and was partially successful at reducing gang activity by a combination of removing gang-related graffiti and educating news sources to not name gangs in news reporting. [157]

The distribution of crime in Cleveland is highly heterogeneous. Relatively few crimes take place in downtown Cleveland's business district, but the perception of crime in the downtown has been pointed to by the Greater Cleveland Growth Association (now the Greater Cleveland Partnership ) as damaging to the city's economy. [158] More affluent areas of Cleveland and its suburbs have lower rates of violent crime than areas of lower socioeconomic status. A study, published online in 2006, pointed to higher incidences of violent crimes in some parts of Cleveland with higher populations of African Americans in 1990. [159] A study of the relationship between employment access and crime in Cleveland found a strong inverse relationship, with the highest crime rates in areas of the city that had the lowest access to jobs. Furthermore, this relationship was found to be strongest with respect to economic crimes. [160] A study of public housing in Cleveland found criminals tend to live in areas of higher affluence and move into areas of lower affluence to commit crimes. [161]

In 2012, Cleveland's crime rate were 84 murders, 3,252 robberies, and 9,740 burglaries. [162] In 2014, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) published a report that investigated the use of force by the Cleveland Police Department from 2010 to 2013. The Justice Department found a pattern of excessive force including the use of firearms, tasers, fists, and chemical spray that unnecessarily escalated nonviolent situations, including against the mentally ill and people who were already restrained. As a result of the Justice Department report, the city of Cleveland has agreed to a consent decree to revise its policies and implement new independent oversight over the police force. [163]

On May 26, 2015, the City of Cleveland and the DOJ released a 105-page agreement addressing concerns about Cleveland Division of Police (CDP) use-of-force policies and practices.

The agreement follows a two-year Department of Justice investigation, prompted by a request from Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, [164] to determine whether the CDP engaged in a pattern or practice of the use of excessive force in violation of the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution and the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act (1994), 42 U.S.C § 14141 (Section 14141"). Under Section 14141, the Department of Justice is granted authority to seek declaratory or equitable relief to remedy a pattern or practice of conduct by law enforcement officers that deprives individuals of rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution or federal law.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and U.S. Attorney Steven Dettelbach announced the findings of the DOJ investigation in Cleveland on December 4, 2014. [165] After reviewing nearly 600 use-of-force incidents from 2010 to 2013 and conducting thousands of interviews, the investigators found systemic patterns, insufficient accountability mechanisms, inadequate training, ineffective policies, and inadequate community engagement. [165] [166]

At the same time as the announcement of the investigation findings, the City of Cleveland and the Department of Justice issued a Joint Statement of Principles agreeing to begin negotiations with the intention of reaching a court-enforceable settlement agreement.

The details of the settlement agreement, or consent decree, were released on May 26, 2015. The agreement mandates sweeping changes in training for recruits and seasoned officers, developing programs to identify and support troubled officers, updating technology and data management practices, and an independent monitor to ensure the decree's goals are met. The agreement is not an admission or evidence of liability, nor is it an admission by the city, CDP, or its officers and employees that they have engaged in unconstitutional, illegal, or otherwise improper activities or conduct. Pending approval from a federal judge, [167] the consent decree will be implemented and the agreement is binding.

At least some of the provisions have been identified as unique to Cleveland:

  • a civilian inspector general who will review the work of the police officers. This position will be appointed by the Mayor but report to the Police Chief. It is intended to provide an additional layer of accountability and scrutiny. [168]
  • an equipment inventory that must result in a study by the police that shows what is needed. [169]

On June 12, 2015, Chief U.S. District Judge Solomon Oliver Jr. approved and signed the consent decree. [170] The signing of the agreement starts the clock for numerous deadlines that must be met in an effort to improve the department's handling of use-of-force incidents. [171]

Fire department

Cleveland Division of Fire (CFD)
Agency overview
EstablishedApril 9, 1863
Fire chief Angelo Calvillo
EMS level First Responder BLS
Facilities and equipment
Stations 22
Engines 22
Trucks 11
Rescues 2
Fireboats 1 (closed)

Cleveland is served by the firefighters of the Cleveland Division of Fire. [172] The fire department operates out of 22 active fire stations throughout the city in five battalions. Each Battalion is commanded by a Battalion Chief, who reports to an on-duty Assistant Chief. [172] [173]

The Division of Fire operates a fire apparatus fleet of twenty-two engine companies, eight ladder companies, three tower companies, two task force rescue squad companies, hazardous materials ("haz-mat") unit, and numerous other special, support, and reserve units. The current Chief of Department is Patrick Kelly. [174]

Cleveland EMS is operated by the city as its own municipal third-service EMS division. Cleveland EMS is the primary provider of Advanced Life Support and ambulance transport within the city of Cleveland, while Cleveland Fire assists by providing fire response medical care. [175] Although a merger between the fire and EMS departments was proposed in the past, the idea was subsequently abandonded. [176]


Public schools

The Cleveland Metropolitan School District is the largest K–12 district in the state of Ohio, with 127 schools and an enrollment of 55,567 students during the 2006–2007 academic year. [177] It is the only district in Ohio under direct control of the mayor, who appoints a school board. [178]

Approximately 1 square mile (2.6 km2) of Cleveland, adjacent the Shaker Square neighborhood, is part of the Shaker Heights City School District. The area, which has been a part of the Shaker school district since the 1920s, permits these Cleveland residents to pay the same school taxes as the Shaker residents, as well as vote in the Shaker school board elections. [179]

Private and Parochial Schools

Adelbert Hall on the campus of Case Western Reserve University Adelbert Hall.jpg
Adelbert Hall on the campus of Case Western Reserve University

Colleges and universities

Cleveland is home to a number of colleges and universities. Most prominent among these is Case Western Reserve University, a world-renowned research and teaching institution in University Circle. A private university with several prominent graduate programs, CWRU was ranked 42nd in the nation in 2019 by U.S. News & World Report . [181] University Circle also contains Cleveland Institute of Art and the Cleveland Institute of Music. Cleveland State University (CSU), based in Downtown Cleveland, is the city's public four-year university. In addition to CSU, downtown hosts the metropolitan campus of Cuyahoga Community College, the county's two-year higher education institution. Ohio Technical College is also based in Cleveland. [182]

The diverse collection of fixed and movable bridges that cross the Cuyahoga River can be seen in the Flats. West bank of the flats in Cleveland, Ohio, (view from lower deck of Detroit-Superior Bridge).jpg
The diverse collection of fixed and movable bridges that cross the Cuyahoga River can be seen in the Flats.



Cleveland's primary daily newspaper is The Plain Dealer . Defunct major newspapers include the Cleveland Press , an afternoon publication which printed its last edition on June 17, 1982; and the Cleveland News , which ceased publication in 1960. Additional newspaper coverage includes: The Morning Journal , which serves suburbs bordering directly on the western Cleveland border; the News-Herald which serves the smaller suburbs in the east side; the Thursdays-only Sun Post-Herald , which serves a few neighborhoods on the city's west side; and the Call and Post , a weekly newspaper that primarily serves the city's African-American community. The city is also served by Cleveland Magazine , a regional culture magazine published monthly; Crain's Cleveland Business , a weekly business newspaper; Cleveland Jewish News , a weekly Jewish newspaper; and Cleveland Scene , a free alternative weekly paper which absorbed its competitor, the Cleveland Free Times , in 2008. In addition, nationally distributed rock magazine Alternative Press was founded in Cleveland in 1985, and the publication's headquarters remain in the city. [183] [184] [185]


Combined with nearby Akron and Canton, Cleveland is ranked as the 19th-largest television market by Nielsen Media Research (as of 2013–14). [186] The market is served by 10 full power stations, including: WEWS-TV (ABC), WJW (Fox), WKYC (NBC), WOIO (CBS), WVIZ (PBS), WUAB (The CW), WVPX-TV (Ion), WQHS-DT (Univision), WDLI-TV (Ion Life), and the independent WBNX-TV.

The Mike Douglas Show , a nationally syndicated daytime talk show, began in Cleveland in 1961 on KYW-TV (now WKYC), while The Morning Exchange on WEWS-TV served as the model for Good Morning America . Tim Conway and Ernie Anderson first established themselves in Cleveland while working together at KYW-TV and later WJW-TV (now WJW). Anderson both created and performed as the immensely popular Cleveland horror host Ghoulardi on WJW-TV's Shock Theater, and was later succeeded by the long-running late night duo Big Chuck and Lil' John. [187] [188] [189] [190]


Cleveland is directly served by 31 AM and FM radio stations, 22 of which are licensed to the city. Commercial FM music stations are frequently the highest rated stations in the market: WAKS (contemporary hit radio), WDOK (adult contemporary), WENZ (mainstream urban), WHLK (adult hits), WGAR-FM (country), WMJI (classic hits), WMMS (active rock/hot talk), WNCX (classic rock), WQAL (hot adult contemporary), and WZAK (urban adult contemporary). WCPN public radio functions as the local NPR affiliate, and sister station WCLV airs a classical music format. College radio stations include WBWC (Baldwin Wallace University), WCSB (Cleveland State University), WJCU (John Carroll University), and WRUW-FM (Case Western Reserve University).

News/talk station WTAM serves as the AM flagship for both the Cleveland Cavaliers and Cleveland Indians. WKNR and WWGK cover sports via ESPN Radio, while WKRK-FM covers sports via CBS Sports Radio (WKNR and WKRK-FM are also co-flagship stations for the Cleveland Browns). As WJW (AM), WKNR was once the home of Alan Freed − the Cleveland disc jockey credited with first using and popularizing the term "rock and roll" to describe the music genre. News/talk station WHK was one of the first radio stations to broadcast in the United States and the first in Ohio; its former sister station, rock station WMMS, dominated Cleveland radio in the 1970s and 1980s and was at that time one of the highest rated radio stations in the country. In 1972, WMMS program director Billy Bass coined the phrase "The Rock and Roll Capital of the World" to describe Cleveland. In 1987, Playboy named WMMS DJ Kid Leo (Lawrence Travagliante) "The Best Disc Jockey in the Country". [191] [192] [193] [194] [195] [196]



Cleveland is home to several major hospital systems, two of which are in University Circle. Most notable is the world renowned Cleveland Clinic, which is supplemented by University Hospitals and its Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital. Additionally MetroHealth System, which operates the level one trauma center for northeast Ohio, has various locations throughout greater Cleveland. Cleveland's Global Center for Health Innovation opened with 235,000 square feet (21,800 m2) of display space for healthcare companies across the world.


The city of Cleveland has a higher than average percentage of households without a car. In 2016, 23.7 percent of Cleveland households lacked a car, while the national average was 8.7 percent. Cleveland averaged 1.19 cars per household in 2016, compared to a national average of 1.8. [197]


Cleveland Hopkins International Airport is the city's major airport and an international airport that served as a main hub for United Airlines. It holds the distinction of having the first airport-to-downtown rapid transit connection in North America, established in 1968. In 1930, the airport was the site of the first airfield lighting system and the first air traffic control tower. Originally known as Cleveland Municipal Airport, it was the first municipally owned airport in the country. Cleveland Hopkins is a significant regional air freight hub hosting FedEx Express, UPS Airlines, United States Postal Service, and major commercial freight carriers. In addition to Hopkins, Cleveland is served by Burke Lakefront Airport, on the north shore of downtown between Lake Erie and the Shoreway. Burke is primarily a commuter and business airport. [198]


1992 aerial view of the Cleveland harbor, with the mouth of the Cuyahoga River in the foreground (view towards the east) Cleveland Ohio aerial view.jpg
1992 aerial view of the Cleveland harbor, with the mouth of the Cuyahoga River in the foreground (view towards the east)
Cleveland as viewed from Edgewater Park on 4 July 2010 Cleveland 4thOfJuly KDH.jpg
Cleveland as viewed from Edgewater Park on 4 July 2010

The Port of Cleveland, at the Cuyahoga River's mouth, is a major bulk freight terminal on Lake Erie, receiving much of the raw materials used by the region's manufacturing industries. [199]


Amtrak, the national passenger rail system, provides service to Cleveland, via the Capitol Limited and Lake Shore Limited routes, which stop at Cleveland Lakefront Station. Cleveland has also been identified as a hub for the proposed Ohio Hub project, which would bring high-speed rail to Ohio. [200] Cleveland hosts several inter-modal freight railroad terminals. [201] [202] There have been several proposals for commuter rail in Cleveland, including an ongoing (as of January 2011 [203] ) study into a Sandusky–Cleveland line. [204]

Transit systems

An RTA train arrives at the Shaker Square station Tcleverta.jpg
An RTA train arrives at the Shaker Square station

Cleveland has a bus and rail mass transit system operated by the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA). The rail portion is officially called the RTA Rapid Transit, but local residents refer to it as The Rapid. It consists of four light rail lines, known as the Blue, Green, and Waterfront lines, and a heavy rail line, the Red Line. In 2008, RTA completed the HealthLine, a bus rapid transit line, for which naming rights were purchased by the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals. It runs along Euclid Avenue from downtown through University Circle, ending at the Louis Stokes Station at Windermere in East Cleveland. [205] In 2007, the American Public Transportation Association named Cleveland's mass transit system the best in North America. [206] Cleveland is the only metropolitan area in the Western Hemisphere with its rail rapid transit system having only one center-city area rapid transit station (Tower City-Public Square). During construction of the Red Line rapid transit line in the 1950s the citizens of Cleveland voted to build the Downtown Distributor Subway which would have provided a number of Center City stations. The plan was quashed by highway promoting County Engineer Albert S. Porter and the full development and growth of center city Cleveland has since been significantly impeded due to the resulting inaccessibility.

Inter-city bus lines

National intercity bus service is provided at a Greyhound station, just behind the Playhouse Square theater district. Megabus provides service to Cleveland and has a stop at the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Transit Center on the east side of downtown. [207] Akron Metro, Brunswick Transit Alternative, Laketran, Lorain County Transit, and Medina County Transit provide connecting bus service to the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority. Geauga County Transit and Portage Area Regional Transportation Authority (PARTA) also offer connecting bus service in their neighboring areas. [208]


Cleveland's road system consists of numbered streets running roughly north–south, and named avenues, which run roughly east–west. The numbered streets are designated "east" or "west", depending where they lie in relation to Ontario Street, which bisects Public Square. [209] The numbered street system extends beyond the city limits into some suburbs on both the west and east sides. The named avenues that lie both on the east side of the Cuyahoga River and west of Ontario Street receive a "west" designation on street signage. The two downtown avenues which span the Cuyahoga change names on the west side of the river. Superior Avenue becomes Detroit Avenue on the west side, and Carnegie Avenue becomes Lorain Avenue. The bridges that make these connections are often called the Detroit–Superior Bridge and the Lorain–Carnegie Bridge.


Three two-digit Interstate highways serve Cleveland directly. Interstate 71 begins just southwest of downtown and is the major route from downtown Cleveland to the airport. I-71 runs through the southwestern suburbs and eventually connects Cleveland with Columbus and Cincinnati. Interstate 77 begins in downtown Cleveland and runs almost due south through the southern suburbs. I-77 sees the least traffic of the three interstates, although it does connect Cleveland to Akron. Interstate 90 connects the two sides of Cleveland, and is the northern terminus for both I-71 and I-77. Running due east–west through the west side suburbs, I-90 turns northeast at the junction with and I-490, and is known as the Innerbelt through downtown. At the junction with the Shoreway, I-90 makes a 90-degree turn known in the area as Dead Man's Curve, then continues northeast, entering Lake County near the eastern split with Ohio State Route 2. Cleveland is also served by two three-digit interstates, Interstate 480, which enters Cleveland briefly at a few points and Interstate 490, which connects I-77 with the junction of I-90 and I-71 just south of downtown. [210]

Two other limited-access highways serve Cleveland. The Cleveland Memorial Shoreway carries State Route 2 along its length, and at varying points also carries US 6, US 20 and I-90. The Jennings Freeway (State Route 176) connects I-71 just south of I-90 to I-480 near the suburbs of Parma and Brooklyn Heights. A third highway, the Berea Freeway (State Route 237 in part), connects I-71 to the airport, and forms part of the boundary between Cleveland and Brook Park. [211]


In 2011, Walk Score ranked Cleveland the seventeenth most walkable of the fifty largest cities in the United States. [212] As of 2014, Walk Score increased Cleveland's rank to being the sixteenth most walkable US city, with a Walk Score of 57, a Transit Score of 47, and a Bike Score of 51. Cleveland's most walkable and transient areas can be found in the Downtown, Ohio City, Detroit-Shoreway, University Circle, and Buckeye-Shaker Square neighborhoods. [213]

Energy and climate

The city's two main electrical utilities are FirstEnergy and Cleveland Public Power. Cleveland's climate action plan, updated in December 2018, has a 2050 target of 100 percent renewable power, along with reduction of greenhouse gases to 80 percent below the 2010 level. [214]

Sister cities and international relations

As of 2019, Cleveland maintains cultural, economic, and educational ties with 23 sister cities around the word. [215] It concluded its first sister city partnership with Lima, Peru in 1964. [215] Additionally, Cleveland is home to the Consulate General of the Republic of Slovenia, and Northeast Ohio's Jewish community has an unofficial supportive relationship with the State of Israel. [216] [217]

Sister cities [215]

See also


  1. Official records for Cleveland kept at downtown from January 1871 to May 1941, and at Hopkins Airport since June 1941. For more information, see Threadex.

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General references