Conference Tours

 

The conference includes several optional tours of Cleveland. The schedule begins with a pre-conference tour on Thursday, October 26, and concludes with three simultaneous tours on Sunday, October 29. See below for descriptions of each of the tours, including details on timing, location, means of travel and associated fees. You may sign up for the tours through the conference registration portal.

Thursday, October 26, 2:00 – 4:15pm
Pre-Conference Tour: Transformations in Downtown Cleveland

Sunday, October 29, 8:30 or 9:00am – Noon.

Tour 1: From Surrogate Suburbs to Shaker Heights: Exploring Black Middle-Class Mobility in Mid-Twentieth Century Cleveland

Tour 2: Tremont: The Ongoing Transformation of an Immigrant Neighborhood

Tour 3: Craft Manufacturing as Urban Revitalization



Thursday, October 26, 2:00 – 4:15 pm

Pre-Conference Tour: “Transformations in Downtown Cleveland”

This walking tour will explore the transformation in downtown Cleveland with special focus on some of its most notable public spaces and buildings. The tour will highlight the recently renovated Public Square, the historic city center dating to Cleveland’s founding, from which one can see the Cleveland Union Terminal complex, crowned by Terminal Tower, which was once the world’s tallest building outside New York. Public Square has long been a hub for transit, commemoration, and protest, and its history is marked by ongoing debate over how best to match form and function. The tour also spotlights the Group Plan, Cleveland’s “City Beautiful” concept. Participants will learn how, in the Progressive Era, Mayor Tom Johnson (selected as the nation’s second greatest mayor in a 1970s poll of urban historians) hired Daniel Burnham, known for his contributions to the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago, to fashion the Group Plan in 1903. The result was a large mall lined by grand buildings in the Beaux-Arts style. The tour will also include Cleveland’s onetime shopping street, Euclid Avenue, including the magnificent Arcade modeled on a similar building in Milan, Italy, an ornate bank building recently converted into a supermarket, and Playhouse Square, one of the nation’s largest concentrations of historic theaters whose restoration over the past few decades was arguably the linchpin in the revitalization of downtown.

Hosts: David J. Goldberg, Professor Emeritus of History, Cleveland State University, and Richard Klein, Professor Emeritus of Urban Studies, Cleveland State University
Means of travel: Walking
Start/Finish: Westin Cleveland Downtown (meet at hotel registration desk), 2:00pm
Finish: Roberta Steinbacher Atrium, Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs, 1717 Euclid Avenue, at 4:15pm
Cost: $35 (includes tour, roundtable at the Levin College of Urban Affairs at 4:30pm, and an evening reception at the Galleries at CSU, 1307 Euclid Avenue, at 6:30pm)

 

Sunday, October 29

Tour 1: From Surrogate Suburbs to Shaker Heights: Exploring Black Middle-Class Mobility in Mid-Twentieth Century Cleveland

Cleveland’s upwardly mobile African American middle class sought out living space at the urban periphery in the early decades of the twentieth century, in an attempt to escape the overcrowding that fostered an increasingly untenable quality of life at the city’s urban core. By the late 1950s, the first African American families had gained access in Shaker Heights – a garden city with the highest median income in 1960 of any city in the United States. Shaker Heights subsequently became nationally recognized for its efforts to “manage” the racial integration of its housing and its schools. This bus tour will begin with Glenville, a turn-of-the century streetcar suburb to which African Americans began moving in the 1910s. We will then explore Shaker Heights and several adjoining outer-city neighborhoods to which upwardly-mobile African American families moved in a bid to improve their opportunities and living conditions: Mount Pleasant, Lee-Seville, and Lee-Harvard. Tour leaders will explain these various areas’ significance in terms of city planning and the built environment, the meaning they held for African American residents in terms of prestige, the record of black institution-building, and the observable patterns of interracial encounter and race relations. The tour will conclude with a summary of Cleveland’s African American suburbanization into the present.

Hosts: Todd M. Michney, Assistant Professor of History, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Virginia Dawson, Independent Scholar
Means of Travel: Charter bus tour (with stops; minimal walking); approximately 3.5 hours
Start/Finish: 8:30 am Westin Cleveland Downtown (meet at hotel registration desk). The tour will return to the hotel by 12:00 noon.
Cost: $25

 

Tour 2: Tremont: The Ongoing Transformation of an Immigrant Neighborhood

Cleveland is a city that has suffered from deindustrialization, white flight, interstates that destroyed the integrity of neighborhoods, and the shift of capital to other regions. As a result, its population has dropped from a peak of 915,000 to 385,000. Nevertheless, some neighborhoods in the city have experienced considerable revitalization. Tremont is the outstanding example of such a neighborhood. Located in the shadow of downtown, it feels like a world apart. Originally settled by wealthy New Englanders, it was transformed in the 1890s as immigrants from eastern and southern Europe flocked to a location where they could live near foundries and mills. In the 1940s and 1950s, Appalachians, Puerto Ricans, and African Americans replaced many of the whites who moved to the suburbs. Since the 1990s. significant gentrification has occurred and the tour will offer an opportunity to assess the positive and negative aspects of a process that has made Tremont a model—either one to emulate or avoid.

The tour will focus on institutions that surround Lincoln Park (a gem of an urban park) and those that are close by. These include Lemko Hall (featured in the film The Deer Hunter), a Slovak church converted into a private business, a working settlement house, a bathhouse converted into condos, a Syrian Orthodox Church, the Pilgrim Congregational Church (an example of what used to be known as an institutional church), and the Ukrainian Museum and Archives. A short drive will take us to St. Theodosius Russian Orthodox Cathedral (also depicted in The Deer Hunter) whose onion domes serve as a symbol of Tremont and, to an extent, Cleveland. From the rear of St. Theodosius, there are stunning views of the steelmaking complexes in the Flats, where much of Cleveland’s heavy industry was once located. The final stop will be at the West Side Market, Cleveland’s most beloved institution, whose food stalls reflect the era of mass immigration between 1890 and 1924.

Host: David J. Goldberg, Professor Emeritus of History, Cleveland State University
Means of Travel: Charter bus and walking tour (~1 mile on foot); approximately 3 hours
Start/Finish: 9:00 am Westin Cleveland Downtown (meet at hotel registration desk). The tour will return to the hotel by 12:00 noon.
Cost: $25

 

Tour 3: Craft Manufacturing as Urban Revitalization

As traditional manufacturing in the industrial cities of the Northeast and Midwest has downsized, gone offshore, and/or become more automated, “makers” and “upcyclers” have moved into the vacant buildings left behind. This tour will center around the story of FOUNT, a design and production house of handcrafted leather goods. FOUNT is one of many “maker” craft manufacturers that are becoming an increasingly important part of a new industrial landscape in cities like Cleveland.

FOUNT operates its design and production in one of the old multistory garment manufacturing buildings along Superior Avenue in what is now known as the Superior Arts District. This district reflects the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when Cleveland was one of the world’s largest garment production centers. In the late 20th century, artists often squatted in these buildings as they offered the large spaces that artists needed for their work at prices they could afford (i.e., free). As a result, this area officially became the site of the city’s first live/work zoning overlay and is home to the largest concentration of artists and artisans in the metropolitan area. The tour will focus on FOUNT, beginning with its facilities in the Superior Arts District and continuing with a short jaunt over to FOUNT’s retail storefront in the Gordon Square Arts District, a neighborhood that has experienced intensive revitalization in recent years. There the tour will focus on FOUNT’s retail efforts, and lunch will be served. Gordon Square, part of the larger Detroit Shoreway neighborhood, is home to three theaters which have been leveraged (along with diverse housing options and proximity to Edgewater Beach and Lake Erie) to create an identity for the neighborhood and aid in its transformation. While its natural recreational amenities and dining scene are well established, its retail efforts are a work in progress, and FOUNT is at the forefront of the return of retail to the city.

Hosts: Greg Soltis, Architect, RDL Architects, and Jackie Wachter, Founder of FOUNT
Means of Travel: Charter bus and walking tour (~1 mile on foot); approximately 3 hours
Start/Finish: 9:00 am Westin Cleveland Downtown (meet at hotel registration desk). The tour will return to the hotel by 12:00 noon.
Cost: $35 (includes lunch)

 

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