Rahul Sharma (Editor)

Terminal Tower

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Status  Complete
Country  United States
Opening  June 28, 1930
Construction started  1926
Opened  1928
Architect  Ernest R. Graham
Type  Commercial offices
Completed  1930
Height  216 m, 235 m to tip
Floors  52
Owner  The K&D Group Inc.
Terminal Tower

Location  50 Public Square Cleveland, Ohio
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.

Observation deck

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.

  • During February in 2003-2006, the Terminal Tower hosted an annual "Tackle the Tower" stairclimb charity race from the Tower City mall concourse to the observation deck.
  • The Terminal Tower appeared in the climactic scene of the 2001 movie Proximity, starring Rob Lowe. Lowe's character led his pursuers from the RTA rapid station to the shopping concourse.
  • The tower is featured in the films The Fortune Cookie (1966), The Deer Hunter (1978), A Christmas Story (1983), and Major League (1989).
  • Cleveland-based art-punk band Pere Ubu titled their 1985 compilation of early singles and B-sides Terminal Tower.
  • The tower can be seen in some scenes from Spider-Man 3 (2007) and The Avengers (2012), parts of which were filmed in Cleveland. It is also seen in parts of Welcome to Collinwood (2002) and The Oh in Ohio (2006).
  • On August 20, 1938, as part of a publicity stunt by the Come to Cleveland Committee, Cleveland Indians players Hank Helf and Frankie Pytlak successfully caught baseballs dropped from the tower by the Indians' third baseman Ken Keltner. The 708-foot (216 m) drop broke the 555-foot, 30-year-old record set by Washington Senators catcher Gabby Street at the Washington Monument. The baseballs were estimated to have been traveling at 138 miles (222 km) per hour when caught.
  • The Terminal is visible in several episodes of The Drew Carey Show.
  • Terminal Tower is featured in the opening credits of Hot in Cleveland.
  • Graphic artist Harvey Pekar, writer of American Splendor regularly featured the tower in his comics.
  • The Tower is featured in cartoon form on the logo of the I Like Cleveland cab company's vehicle fleet.
  • The Terminal Tower was famously photographed by noted photo journalist Margaret Bourke-White.
  • The Terminal is prominently featured on the Cleveland That I Love clothing line.
  • The Tower is regularly presented on the cover of the Cleveland Magazine, in fact the last section of each issue which recalls past triumphs, tragedies and tales about the city of Cleveland, is entitled Terminal Tower.
  • References

    Terminal Tower Wikipedia