Country United States
Opening June 28, 1930
Construction started 1926
Architect Ernest R. Graham
|Type Commercial offices|
Height 216 m, 235 m to tip
Owner The K&D Group Inc.
|Location 50 Public Square
Address 848 Public Square, Cleveland, OH 44113, USA
Similar Key Tower, Soldiers' and Sailors' M, Old Stone Church, 200 Public Square, Cleveland Arcade
My ohio terminal tower
Terminal Tower is a 52-story, 235 m (771 ft), landmark skyscraper located on Public Square in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, United States. Built during the skyscraper boom of the 1920s and 1930s, it was the second-tallest building in the world when it was completed. Terminal Tower stood as the tallest building in North America outside of New York City from its completion in 1930 until 1964. It was the tallest building in the state of Ohio until the completion of Key Tower in 1991, and remains the second-tallest building in the state. The building is part of the Tower City Center mixed-use development, and its major tenants include Forest City Enterprises, former owner of the building, which maintains its corporate headquarters there, and Riverside Company.
The tower, owned by Forest City Realty Trust since 1983, was purchased by Cleveland's K&D Realty Group in 2016 for $38.5 million. K&D plans to add a mixed-use element to the building, converting 12 of the lower, larger floors to residential use, with 293 one and two bedroom apartments. Many older downtown Cleveland office buildings are undergoing similar conversions. The largest privately held owner/manager of apartment buildings in the area, K&D will maintain the upper floors of the building as office space. Construction is planned to start in 2018, with a completion date of 2020.
Built for $179 million by the Van Sweringen brothers, the tower was to serve as an office building atop the city's new rail station, the Cleveland Union Terminal. Originally planned to be 14 stories, the structure was expanded to 52 floors with a height of 708 feet (216 m). It rests on 280-foot (85 m) caissons. Designed by the firm of Graham, Anderson, Probst & White, the tower was modeled after the Beaux-Arts New York Municipal Building by McKim, Mead, and White. The Terminal Tower opened for tenants in 1928, though the Union Terminal complex wasn't dedicated until 1930.
It remained the tallest building in the world outside of New York City until the completion of the main building of Moscow State University in Moscow in 1953; it was the tallest building in North America outside of New York until the Prudential Center in Boston, Massachusetts, was completed in 1964.
Radio station WHK placed antennas on the building to increase the range of its 1420 kHz signal.
In the 1980s, developers sought approval to make their proposed BP Building taller than the Terminal Tower, but city officials forced them to scale it down. The Terminal Tower remained the tallest building in Ohio until the 1991 completion of Society Center, now Key Tower.
On a clear day, visitors on the observation deck can see 30 miles (48 km) from downtown Cleveland.
On August 26, 1976, gunman Ashby Leach stormed a Chessie System conference room on the 42nd floor. Leach, who was disgruntled with Chessie System's decision not to pay into a G.I. Bill fund that would have increased his wages and benefits during his apprenticeship with the company, held 13 hostages before his arrest. He was jailed for three months pending trial, then was acquitted of kidnapping and convicted of assault, extortion, and carrying an illegal weapon. Upon his release, he embarked on a speaking tour for the group Vietnam Veterans Against the War. After the hostage incident, direct access to the floor was removed. The observation deck reopened after Chessie left the building.
After the September 11, 2001 attacks, the observation deck was again closed to the public. In 2007, a proposal was brought to Forest City to reopen the deck. The proposal included a renovation of the deck and the addition of an express elevator to take visitors to it. This was to be done after the upper floors were renovated and the scaffolding removed. In 2010, Forest City Enterprises finished renovating the complex's elevators, upper floors, and spire. The observation deck reopened on July 10, 2010 for a limited period, with plans to expand public access.
To reach the observation deck, visitors take the elevator to the 32nd floor and then transfer to another elevator to reach the 42nd floor. Before its original closure, the deck was open only on weekends to prevent disruption to the law firm that has offices on the 32nd floor.