A Revitalized Cleveland Is Ready for Its Close-Up

This New York Times article highlights the recent improvements and overall revitalization of downtown Cleveland. Not only is the new Public Square being unveiled this week, but several new hotels, including the the 600-room, 32-story Hilton Cleveland Downtown Hotel, have opened in downtown Cleveland this year. Cleveland will be in the national spotlight to the RNC coming to town in July. 

By:Keith Schneider/New York Times
Published: June, 2016

CLEVELAND — Just before the Republican National Convention begins, this city is making good this week on its longtime plan to renovate a 10-acre public green space, following a trend in major American cities to link park construction with economic redevelopment goals.

On Thursday, Cleveland will reopen Public Square after a $50 million, 15-month renovation. More than eight years in planning, the restoration of Public Square turns it into a place that is again green enough for its original 18th-century purpose — as a pasture for sheep and cattle. It has also helped unleash a strong surge in residential and commercial construction in center city Cleveland.

The city, on the shore of Lake Erie and the state’s second-largest by population, has been basking in a spotlight this year as residents savor thelong-awaited championship of their National Basketball Association team, the Cavaliers, led by LeBron James, who grew up in nearby Akron. Now they are preparing for more attention as the Republican convention comes to the city in mid-July.

Public Square, where Ontario Street had met Superior Avenue in a black basin of asphalt, has been completely redesigned by James Corner and his colleagues at Field Operations, the same firm that created the High Line elevated park in New York City.

Mr. Corner closed Ontario Street, made Superior Avenue eligible solely for buses, and replaced wide areas of hard pavement and the sharp right angles of street intersections with acres of green lawn, flowing promenades, shade trees and gardens. A fountain near the park’s center invites summertime visitors to wade and cool off. In the winter, the fountain will be converted to a skating rink.

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