Cleveland, Ohio, is back on top in the sports world. The Cavilers won the National Championship and the “Tribe” is working its way toward the World Series. On a recent visit we learned that the Lake Erie Monsters (hockey) are the Calder Cup Champions for 2016, a win shortly before the Cavs victory. It was actually hockey that broke Cleveland’s losing streak.
Great as it is for Cleveland to be a championship city once again, the city has much to offer outside of sports. We took in some of the offerings recently on a Lolly the Trolley afternoon tour of the city. We took a ton of photos so this will be a series of more than one post. We will try and give you a flavor of Cleveland’s history and the current day atmosphere.
Before we start, though, here is a photo of Cleveland’s most famous historic building, The Terminal Tower. For many years it was the tallest building in Cleveland and busy with trains and shops. It now stands in front of Tower City which contains shops and a Hard Rock Cafe. You can still go up in the tower on specific days when it is open with a purchased ticket. Note this building because you will see it often here. I took more photos of it than I have of my kids. You will recognize it as we go around Cleveland.
It was a cloudy day for the most part so things look a bit grey in the photos. It was a good day for touring being a little cooler without direct sunlight.
Lolly the Trolley is actually 3 trolleys that tour simultaneously on different routes. It is located in the “Flats” on the west side of the Cuyahoga (crooked river) River. Headquarters for trolley tours is located in the historic Powerhouse building that also houses a restaurant and the Cleveland Aquarium.
Powerhouse – do you recognize anything else?
We start our tour in The Flats which spans both sides of the Cuyahoga River. The west side was the industrial side and the east side contained the warehouses. Most of this has been abandoned by industry and warehousing but some years back someone had the bright idea to revive this area. They put restaurants and bars on the ground floor of warehouses and turned the rest of the warehouse buildings into apartments. It worked. People patronized the businesses – a fun night out in The Flats! – and moved into the warehouse apartments. The buildings are actually now historic, brick buildings. Unfortunately after awhile crime crept into The Flats fun and the area again deteriorated and became abandoned. Then in more recent years it has again been revived with retail stores and restaurants on the ground floors and apartments turned condo on the upper floors of the warehouses. The Flats are back again!
Can you spot the seagull in the above photo?
Cleveland houses 21 bridges, some of which are in the Flats. There are draw bridges, swing bridges, jack bridges and one you’ll see I don’t remember the name of. They all open to let water craft pass through. These below are in the Flats. There is a swing bridge we may see in another post that we watched as it swung out of the way for some boats to pass through and then swung back again. Reminded us of the swing bridge at Reedsport, OR, not far from Umpqua River Haven. The Reedsport bridge swings all the way around and is bigger
This brick building is typical of the historic buildings in the Flats.
This next view includes the east side warehouse buildings turned to condos and the Nautica Queen on the west side. The Nautica Queen provides a variety of tours on the Cuyahoga River. That might be our next excursion—to ride the Queen and see the sights up and down the river.
Here’s the Cleveland skyline taken from the parking lot where we started. Do you recognize anything?
This building is on the route out of the Flats as we moved along on the tours. We think these historic, old brick buildings are beautiful.
The following photo is of the Ohio and Erie Canal which starts here and eventually makes its way to Pennsylvania. The canal was built in the 1820s and early 1830s. It was hand dug by workers who were paid 30 cents a day and a jigger of whiskey. The foilage seen in the center of the photo drops down into the canal.
Well, that’s the start of our tour. There is much more to come so be sure to come back for the next installment.