7.8% (Dec 2014)
82.47 sq mi
Frank G. Jackson (D)
| Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, West Side Market, A Christmas Story House, Great Lakes Science Center|
Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland State University, Cuyahoga Community College, John Carroll University, Cleveland Institute of Art
Cleveland is a city in the state of Ohio and is the county seat of Cuyahoga County, the most populous county in the state. The city is located in northeastern Ohio on the southern shore of Lake Erie, approximately 60 miles (97 km) west of the Pennsylvania border. It was founded in 1796 near the mouth of the Cuyahoga River, and became a manufacturing center owing to its location on the lake shore, as well as being connected to numerous canals and railroad lines. Clevelands economy has diversified sectors that include manufacturing, financial services, healthcare, and biomedical. Cleveland is home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Cleveland Clinic.
As of the 2013 Census Estimate, the city proper had a total population of 390,113, making Cleveland the 48th largest city in the United States, and the second largest city in Ohio after Columbus. Greater Cleveland, the Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor, OH Metropolitan Statistical Area, ranked 29th largest in the United States with 2,064,725 people in 2013. Cleveland is part of the larger Cleveland-Akron-Canton, OH Combined Statistical Area, which in 2013 had a population of 3,501,538, and ranked as the countrys 15th largest CSA.
Residents of Cleveland are called "Clevelanders". Nicknames for the city include "The Forest City", "Metropolis of the Western Reserve", "The Rock and Roll Capital of the World", "C-Town", and the more historical "Sixth City". Due to its proximity to Lake Erie, the Cleveland area is often referred to locally as "The North Coast".
Cleveland obtained its name on July 22, 1796 when surveyors of the Connecticut Land Company laid out Connecticuts Western Reserve into townships and a capital city they named "Cleaveland" after their leader, General Moses Cleaveland. Cleaveland oversaw the plan for what would become the modern downtown area, centered on Public Square, before returning home, never again to visit Ohio. The first settler in Cleaveland was Lorenzo Carter, who built a cabin on the banks of the Cuyahoga River. The Village of Cleaveland was incorporated on December 23, 1814. In spite of the nearby swampy lowlands and harsh winters, its waterfront location proved to be an advantage. The area began rapid growth after the 1832 completion of the Ohio and Erie Canal. This key link between the Ohio River and the Great Lakes connected the city to the Atlantic Ocean via the Erie Canal and later via the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Gulf of Mexico via the Mississippi River. Growth continued with added railroad links. Cleveland incorporated as a city in 1836.
In 1836, the city, then located only on the eastern banks of the Cuyahoga River, nearly erupted into open warfare with neighboring Ohio City over a bridge connecting the two. Ohio City remained an independent municipality until its annexation by Cleveland in 1854.
The citys prime geographic location as transportation hub on the Great Lakes has played an important role in its development as a commercial center. Cleveland serves as a destination point for iron ore shipped from Minnesota, along with coal transported by rail. In 1870, John D. Rockefeller founded Standard Oil in Cleveland, and moved its headquarters to New York City in 1885. Cleveland emerged in the early 20th Century as an important American manufacturing center, which included automotive companies such as Peerless, Peoples, Jordan, Chandler, and Winton, maker of the first car driven across the U.S. Other manufacturers located in Cleveland produced steam-powered cars, which included White and Gaeth, as well as the electric car company Baker. By 1920, due in large part to the citys economic prosperity, Cleveland became the nations fifth largest city. The city counted Progressive Era politicians such as the populist Mayor Tom L. Johnson among its leaders. Many prominent Clevelanders from this era are buried in the historic Lake View Cemetery, including President James A. Garfield, and John D. Rockefeller.
In commemoration of the centennial of Clevelands incorporation as a city, the Great Lakes Exposition debuted in June 1936 along the Lake Erie shore north of downtown. Conceived as a way to energize a city after the Great Depression, it drew four million visitors in its first season, and seven million by the end of its second and final season in September 1937. The exposition was housed on grounds that are now used by the Great Lakes Science Center, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Burke Lakefront Airport, among others. Following World War II, the city experienced a prosperous economy. In sports, the Indians won the 1948 World Series and the Browns dominated professional football in the 1950s. Businesses proclaimed that Cleveland was the "best location in the nation". In 1940, non-Hispanic whites represented 90.2% of Clevelands population. The citys population reached its peak of 914,808, and in 1949 Cleveland was named an All-America City for the first time. By the 1960s, the economy slowed, and residents sought new housing in the suburbs, reflecting the national trends of urban flight and suburban growth.
In the 1950s and 1960s, social and racial unrest occurred in Cleveland, resulting in the Hough Riots from July 18, 1966 to July 23, 1966 and the Glenville Shootout from July 23, 1968, to July 25, 1968. In November 1967, Cleveland became the first major American city to elect a black mayor, Carl Stokes (who served from 1968 to 1971).
Suburbanization changed the city in the late 1960s and 1970s, when financial difficulties and a notorious 1969 fire on the Cuyahoga River challenged the city. This, along with the citys struggling professional sports teams, drew negative national press. As a result, Cleveland was often derided as "The Mistake on the Lake".
In December 1978, Cleveland became the first major American city to enter into a financial default on federal loans since the Great Depression. By the beginning of the 1980s, several factors, including changes in international free trade policies, inflation and the Savings and Loans Crisis contributed to the recession that impacted cities like Cleveland. While unemployment during the period peaked in 1983, Clevelands rate of 13.8% was higher than the national average due to the closure of several production centers.
The metropolitan area began a gradual economic recovery under mayors George Voinovich and Michael R. White. Redevelopment within the city limits has been strongest in the downtown area near the Gateway complex—consisting of Progressive Field and Quicken Loans Arena, and near North Coast Harbor—including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland Browns Stadium, and the Great Lakes Science Center. Cleveland has been hailed by local media as the "Comeback City", while economic development of the inner-city neighborhoods and improvement of the school systems are municipal priorities. In 1999, Cleveland was identified as an emerging global city.
In the 21st century, the city has improved infrastructure, is more diversified, and has invested in the arts. Cleveland is generally considered an example of revitalization. The citys goals include additional neighborhood revitalization and increased funding for public education. In 2009, it was announced that Cleveland was chosen to host the 2014 Gay Games, the fourth city in the United States to host this international event. On July 8, 2014, it was announced that Cleveland was chosen to be the host city of the 2016 Republican National Convention.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 82.47 square miles (213.60 km2), of which 77.70 square miles (201.24 km2) is land and 4.77 square miles (12.35 km2) is water. The shore of Lake Erie is 569 feet (173 m) above sea level; however, the city lies on a series of irregular bluffs lying roughly perpendicular to the lake. In Cleveland these bluffs are cut principally by the Cuyahoga River, Big Creek, and Euclid Creek. The land rises quickly from the lakeshore. Public Square, less than one mile (2 km) inland, sits at an elevation of 650 feet (198 m), and Hopkins Airport, 5 miles (8 km) inland from the lake, is at an elevation of 791 feet (241 m).
Clevelands geographic location on the Cuyahoga River and Lake Erie has been key to its growth. The Ohio and Erie Canal coupled with rail links helped establish the city as an important business center. Steel and many other manufactured goods emerged as leading industries.
Cleveland is home to Playhouse Square Center, the second largest performing arts center in the United States behind New York Citys Lincoln Center. Playhouse Square includes the State, Palace, Allen, Hanna, and Ohio theaters within what is known as the Cleveland Theater District. Playhouse Squares resident performing arts companies include Cleveland Play House, Cleveland State University Department of Theatre and Dance, and Great Lakes Theater Festival. The center hosts various Broadway musicals, special concerts, speaking engagements, and other events throughout the year.
One Playhouse Square, now the headquarters for Clevelands public broadcasters, was originally used as the broadcast studios of WJW (AM), where disc jockey Alan Freed first popularized the term "rock and roll". Located between Playhouse Square and University Circle is Karamu House, a well-known African American performing and fine arts center, founded in the 1920s.
Cleveland is home to the Cleveland Orchestra, widely considered one of the finest orchestras in the world, and often referred to as the finest in the United States. It is one of the "Big Five" major orchestras in the United States. The Orchestra plays at Severance Hall in University Circle during the winter and at Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls during the summer. The city is also home to the Cleveland Pops Orchestra.
There are two main art museums in Cleveland. The Cleveland Museum of Art is a major American art museum, with a collection that includes more than 40,000 works of art ranging over 6,000 years, from ancient masterpieces to contemporary pieces. Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland showcases established and emerging artists, particularly from the Cleveland area, through hosting and producing temporary exhibitions.
The Gordon Square Arts District on Detroit Ave., in the Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood, features a movie theater called the Capitol Theatre and an Off-Off-Broadway playhouse, the Cleveland Public Theatre.
Clevelands many immigrant groups and heavily blue-collar demographic have long played an important role in defining the areas cuisine. Ethnically, Italian foods as well as several Eastern European cuisines, particularly those of Poland and Hungary, have become gastronomical staples in the Greater Cleveland area. Prominent examples of these include cavatelli, rigatoni, pizza, Chicken paprikash, stuffed cabbage, pierogi, and kielbasa all of which are widely popular in and around the city. Local specialties, such as the pork-based dish City Chicken and the Polish Boy (a loaded sausage sandwich native to Cleveland), are dishes definitive of a cuisine that is based on hearty, inexpensive fare. Commercially, Hector Boiardi (aka Chef Boyardee) started his business in Clevelands Little Italy, and Mr. Hero, a regional sandwich shop franchise, is based in the area.
Sweets specific to the Cleveland area include the coconut bar (similar in many respects to the Australian Lamington). Coconut bars, which are found in many Jewish bakeries in the area, are small squares of cake that have been dipped in chocolate and rolled in coconut. In Italian bakeries around the Cleveland area, a variation of the Cassata cake is widely popular. This local version is unlike those typically found elsewhere being that it is made with layers of sponge cake custard and strawberries, then frosted with whipped cream. In a celebrity-chef nod to this version, Mario Batali as the best Cassata cake in the USA.
Clevelands melting pot of immigrant groups and their various culinary traditions have long played an important role in defining the local cuisine. Examples of these can particularly be found in neighborhoods such as Little Italy, Slavic Village, and Tremont.
Local mainstays of Clevelands cuisine include an abundance of Polish and Central European contributions, such as kielbasa, stuffed cabbage and pierogies. Cleveland also has plenty of corned beef, with nationally renowned Slymans, on the near East Side, a perennial winner of various accolades from Esquire Magazine, including being named the best corned beef sandwich in America in 2008. Other famed sandwiches include the Cleveland original, Polish Boy, a local favorite found at many BBQ and Soul food restaurants. With its blue-collar roots well intact, and plenty of Lake Erie perch available, the tradition of Friday night fish fries remains alive and thriving in Cleveland, particularly in church-based settings and during the season of Lent. The award-winning Great Lakes Brewing Company, located across the street from the historic West Side Market, offers several locally styled beers and ales.
Cleveland is noted in the world of haute cuisine. Famous local figures include chef Michael Symon and food writer Michael Ruhlman, both of whom achieved local and national attentions for their contributions in the culinary world. On November 11, 2007, Symon helped gain the spotlight when he was named "The Next Iron Chef" on the Food Network. In 2007, Ruhlman collaborated with Anthony Bourdain, to do an entire episode of his Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations focusing on Clevelands restaurant scene.
The national food press—including publications Gourmet, Food & Wine, Esquire and Playboy—has heaped praise on several Cleveland spots for awards including best new restaurant, best steakhouse, best farm-to-table programs and great new neighborhood eateries. In early 2008, the Chicago Tribune ran a feature article in its Travel section proclaiming Cleveland, Americas "hot new dining city".