From the strikingly beautiful Severance Hall to the iconic Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland knows how to celebrate and cultivate art. Throw in delicious food trucks, craft breweries, and communities with grit and vision, and it’s clear this city has struck a balance between effortlessly cool and uniquely vibrant.
Evidence of human settlements in the area can be traced as far back as 10,500 BC, with multiple waves of human cultures drawing from the natural abundance of Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga River. Cleveland was founded by Moses Cleaveland, a surveyor from Connecticut, who ventured west along Lake Erie and landed in a forested area along the Cuyahoga River. In 1796, Cleveland was officially born (the “a” disappeared later). As European settlers encroached on Native American lands, many tribes temporarily called the area home, and Cleveland became one of the centers of the American Indian movement when Russell Means' founded the Cleveland American Indian Center in 1969.
The city rose to prominence thanks to a booming steel industry and manufacturing that benefited from Cleveland’s location to major waterways. Many of those who reaped the financial rewards of Cleveland’s industry built beautiful homes and shared their largesse with area museums and cultural institutions, setting them up for long-term success. In the 1910s and 20s, the Great Migration brought a significant influx of African Americans leaving the South to pursue these expanding opportunies in Cleveland. However, by the mid-20th century the city had fallen on harder times, facing challenges including suburbanization, financial difficulties, social and racial unrest, as well as the notorious 1969 fire on the Cuyahoga River.
Today, the city has diversified, improved infrastructure, and has invested in the arts. As such, Cleveland is generally considered an example of revitalization. The new economic powerhouses include healthcare and academics, with major hospital systems, universities and related businesses. In studies conducted by The Economist in 2005 Cleveland was ranked as one of the most livable cities in the United States. Today, just under 400,000 people live in the city of Cleveland proper, spread over 78 square miles, and nearly 2.1 million live in the metropolitan area.
In 2014 Cleveland was host to the Gay Games and next year Cleveland will host the 2016 Republican National Convention.
One of the most important aspects of Cleveland is its many diverse neighborhoods. Areas on both the west side (Ohio City, Tremont, Detroit-Shoreway and Edgewater) and the east side (University Circle, Little Italy and Shaker Square) have thrived in recent years. Furthermore, a live-work zoning overlay for the city's near east side has facilitated the transformation of old industrial buildings into loft spaces for artists. For more information about Cleveland’s neighborhoods, click here.
The 2015 TCG National Conference Host Committee welcomes you to Cleveland!
Back to Top