Neighborhoods: Gordon Square Arts District

Located at the intersection of W. 65th Street and Detroit Avenue, Gordon Square is the historic commercial district of the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood. In 2007, the Cleveland Public Theatre, Near West Theatre, and the Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization/Capitol Theatre came together to create the Gordon Square Arts District (GSAD) to leverage the vibrant arts and culture of the area to foster economic growth and collaboration. A recent $30 million capital campaign resulted in remaking Detroit Avenue from West 54th to West 78th Streets into a thriving arts district complete with galleries, boutiques, restaurants, wine bars, coffee shops, arts lofts, and affordable housing, which more than 80 new businesses (many arts-based) and numerous locals now call home.

If you’re going to be in the GSAD, you have to try the Happy Dog with the most creative hot dogs you’ve ever had and lots of local music; Luxe Kitchen and Lounge, a hipster hangout with delicious Mediterranean fare; Spice Kitchen + Bar with its garden patio and local ingredients; Toast, a cozy wine bar, sourcing food from their own farm; Latitude 41 to satisfy your comfort food cravings; Sweet Moses, an old fashioned soda fountain; Minh Anh for Vietnamese and other Asian fare; the Stone Mad Pub to get your bocce ball on; Rincon Criollo with its authentic Puerto Rican cuisine; and Gypsy Beans and Baking Company for great coffee and pastries.

Gordon Square (photo courtesy Roger Cross via Flickr creative commons license)
Gordon Square (photo courtesy Roger Cross via Flickr creative commons license)

For more information, see:


Cleveland’s Architecture Wows

By Rita Knight-Gray, Host Committee member

Playhouse Square District

Second only to the New York Theatre District, Cleveland’s Playhouse Square contains five theaters that have been refurbished to their original beauty. In the early 1920s, Joseph Laronge envisioned vaudeville, movies, and legitimate theaters around the Euclid Avenue, East 14th to East 17th area.

Together with Marcus Loew of the New York theater syndicate, the Loews Ohio Theatres developed an entertainment district. The State Theater and Ohio Theater were first, followed by the Allen, which opened in the Bulkley Building next door. This 8-story retail and office building contained an innovative enclosed parking garage behind the theater.

State Theatre.
State Theater. (Image from Playhouse Square.)
Ohio Theater.
Ohio Theater. (Image from Playhouse Square.)
Allen Theater.
Allen Theater. (Image from Playhouse Square.)

Playhouse Square theaters were designed in a restrained classical style, with lavish use of marble, expensive woods, murals, tapestries, and gilded plaster relief. The Palace Theater was built to house the performances of the Keith vaudeville circuit and opened in front of Loews State on East 17th Street. Above the lobby and foyer rose the 21-story B.F. Keith Building. Connections between the four theaters made it possible to go from the Palace stage into Loews State, then into the Ohio, and finally into the Bulkley Building and the Allen.

Palace Theater.
Palace Theater. (Image from Playhouse Square.)

The Hanna Theater opened in the annex of the Hanna Building across Euclid Avenue on 14th Street, completing Joseph Laronge’s vision of theaters, stores, office buildings, and restaurants.

Hanna Theater.
Hanna Theater. (Image from Playhouse Square.)

Playhouse Square theatres have gone from vaudeville, movie and stage theaters, and Cinerama to their closing in 1969 until 1999, when all five of the theaters were restored and reopened for business. Come take a look at the beautiful architecture! Tours are available for $5 per person for groups of 10 people or less. Call Megan Anderson at 216-640-8531.

Cleveland Trust Building

In 1908, the Cleveland Trust Bank opened in a new granite neoclassical building in the city’s financial district. Inside is a round lobby surrounded by marble columns and a stained-glass dome looming 85 feet above the main floor.

The building was designed by George Post (1834-1913) five years after he designed the New York Stock Exchange. The murals were painted by Francis Davis Millet (1848-1912), depicting scenes of the development of civilization and wealth in the Midwest, and the sculpture work was by Karl Theodore Francis Bitter (1867-1915). The stained-glass dome above is purported to have been designed by the Lewis Tiffany Studio, though there is no documented proof.

Cleveland Trust Building
Cleveland Trust Building. (Image courtesy of Ohio Redevelopment Projects via Flickr, creative commons license.)
Cleveland Trust Building dome. (Photo by Rita Knight-Gray.)
Cleveland Trust Building entrance. (Photo by Rita Knight-Gray.)

Architect John Williams was more recently given the assignment of his career: turning the space into a Heinen’s grocery store, which opened in February of this year. The adjoining 29-story office tower, originally designed by Marcel Breuer (1902-1981), has since been renovated to create the 9 complex, which contains a luxury hotel, apartments, Mediterranean restaurants, and a rooftop bar and sun deck that provides a 360-degree view of the city.

SAA Week: Cleveland Happenings

This is just the beginning! Stay tuned for so much more!


“Small Ball” Sundays
Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage
2929 Richmond Road
Beachwood OH 44122
Phone: 216-593-0575
Times: August 16 and 23, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Included with regular Museum admission
Every Sunday, bring the little ones to explore the Chasing Dreams exhibition and create their own make-and-take baseball-themed craft!


Beyond Rubiks Cube
Great Lakes Science Center
601 Erieside Avenue
Cleveland OH 44114
Phone: 216-694-2000
Times: Tuesday – Saturday, 10am – 5pm; Sunday, noon – 5pm
Admission: Included with general admission to the Science Center: $14 (adults), $12 (ages 2-12)
Beyond Rubik’s Cube is a multi-sensory experience that celebrates the world’s bestselling puzzle toy. Visitors will learn why the Cube became, and remains, a phenomenon that resonates with a global audience. Highlights include the poetry composition tool, Haikube; the music-making Cube Symphony; the programming challenge Robot Command; an interactive touch table where guests can collaborate on incredible digital patterns; and a giant working cube that visitors can manipulate.

Branch Out: Treehouses, Adventure and Exploration
Cleveland Botanical Garden
11030 East Boulevard
Cleveland OH 44106
Phone: 216-721-1600
Times: Tuesday, Thursday – Saturday, 10am – 5pm; Wednesday, 10am – 9pm; Sunday, noon – 5pm
Admission: Members free; Non-member adult $11; Non-member child (ages 3 – 12) $6; Children ages 2 and under free
Imaginations run wild at Branch Out where kids can leave behind phones and tablets and explore a magical world of treehouses and adventure this summer. Five locally designed, interactive treehouses will be installed throughout Cleveland Botanical Garden beckoning guests of all ages to come up and play.

Chasing Dreams: Baseball & Becoming American
Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage
2929 Richmond Road
Beachwood OH 44122
Phone: 216-593-0575
Times: August 16 – 23, 11am – 4pm
Admission: $15 non-member; $10 member
Baseball’s legends and myths, its heroes and flops, its struggles and its moments of triumph tell our national story. Explore the central role our national pastime has played in the identity of Jews and other minority communities.

Herb Ritts: The Rock Portraits
Floors 5 and 6
1100 Rock and Roll Blvd
Cleveland, OH 44114
Times: Tuesday, Thursday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm; Wednesday, 10am – 9pm
Admission: Included with general admission to the Museum
30 never-before-seen photographs, original video footage, contact sheets with Ritts’ red-pencil markings, new video interviews, and other well-known portraits from this revolutionary photographer and filmmaker’s collection.

Paul Simon: Words & Music
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
Ahmet Ertegun Main Exhibit Hall
1100 Rock and Roll Blvd
Cleveland, OH 44114
Times: Tuesday, Thursday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm; Wednesday, 10am – 9pm
Admission: Included with general admission to the Museum
Exclusive candid commentary gathered from hours of filmed interview footage that walks the audience through the personal story of Simon’s life and his creative process, as well as video of select performances highlighting Simon’s five-decade career and a collection of more than 80 artifacts spanning his early life and time with Simon & Garfunkel, through his solo career and to the present.


Mötley Crüe
Quicken Loans Arena (the “Q”)
1 Center Court
Cleveland OH 44115
Times: August 18
The Final Tour with Alice Cooper

Music in the Meadow
4040 Riverview Road
Peninsula OH 44264
Phone: 330-657-2909
Times: Wednesday, 5:30pm – 8pm
Admission: Free
Featuring the New Barleycorn (John Delaney and Alec DeGabriele). Raised in Ireland, this duo performs contemporary folk and traditional Celtic songs with vitality, passion, and a touch of humor. Grab a blanket and a picnic dinner, and bring your family and friends to hear free music in the national park!


Guys and Dolls
6941 Columbia Road
Olmsted Falls OH 44138
Phone: 440-235-6722
Times: Sunday, August 16 2:30pm
Guys And Dolls is an oddball romantic comedy. Gambler Nathan Detroit tries to find the cash to set up the biggest craps game in town while the authorities breathe down his neck; meanwhile, his girlfriend, nightclub performer Adelaide, laments that they’ve been engaged for 14 years. Guys and Dolls takes us from the heart of Times Square to the cafes of Havana, Cuba, and even into the sewers of New York City, but eventually everyone ends up right where they belong.


Line Dancing
Thistledown Racino
Slush Bar and Patio
21501 Emery Road
North Randall OH 44128
Times: Monday and Wednesday, 7pm
Admission: Free
Bring your friends and dance the night away at ThistleDown Racino’s weekly line dancing party.

Tango Wednesday
Taverne of Richfield
3960 Broadview Road
Richfield OH 44286
Phone: 330-554-8462
Times: 7pm – 8:30pm Tango class; 8:30 – 10pm Practice what you learned!
Admission: $10.00 for the entire evening
Learn to dance Argentine Tango. No partner required, Have fun, meet new people and do something good for you!


Chagrin Falls Farmers Market
Next to the Bandstand & Triangle Park
Chagrin Falls OH 44022
Phone: 440-247-0900
Sunday, August 16 and 23, 10am – 1pm
Admission: Free
This is the 8th year of the market. The Chagrin Falls Farmers Market was voted #1 in the small market category (16-30 vendors) in the state of Ohio and #11 nationally in the same category in a contest held by the American Farmland Trust in 2011. The Market offers seasonal fresh produce, fruits, vegetables, bakery, fresh pastas, meats, cheeses, herbs and flowers. On the last Sunday of each month, celebrity chefs will prepare special recipes with fresh foods from the market.