Friday 7 April 2017

Cleveland: Part of the City Beautiful Movement

Daniel Burnham, who designed the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893, also designed a plan for the city of Cleveland in 1903.  The plan was part of the City Beautiful Movement of the early 1900's which believed that "beautification, personified by ample park space and grand, dignified buildings, would instill civic and moral virtue in city residents and revitalize urban areas that were increasingly perceived by the wealthy as undesirable places to work and live."(

Following the Roman Classicism School of Beaux Arts, Burnham sketched out six buildings clustered around a Mall, similar to the Washington Mall.  The buildings included:

  • the Federal Building of 1910 (now the Howard Metzenbaum US Courthouse
  • the Cuyahoga County Courthouse (1911)
  • City Hall (1916)
  • Public Auditorium (1922)
  • Cleveland Public Library (1926)
  • The Board of Education Building (1930)
  • a 7th building, the Cuyahoga Administration Building (1957) was torn down in 2014 to make way for a Hilton Hotel
While Cleveland has lost much of its former glory and population after the decline of the steel industry, all six buildings from the original city plan remain intact.  For more information about Cleveland, visit

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