Watching Cleveland grow must have been an incredible experience for Clevelanders in the 1800’s. The city has undergone incredible change since its founding in 1796. Within its first decade, only 57 residents called the city home. In fact, the city stayed fairly small until the 1820’s, when the Erie Canal provided a new form of transportation. By the time railroads came to Cleveland in the 1850’s, the landscape had changed dramatically, and Cleveland became an industrial city with a growing population. In May of 1890, everything changed when the first indoor shopping center in America opened its doors right here in Cleveland. Since then, the Cleveland Arcade and its neighboring 5th Street Arcades have stood as silent witnesses to the city’s evolution.

Cleveland’s arcades continue to entrance with their beauty. In fact, the recent revitalization of Downtown Cleveland has almost provided these edifices with new significance. As Cleveland’s art scene continues to grow and as local culture becomes more coveted, these ornate structures have enjoyed their status as Cleveland icons.

For the history of other Cleveland icons, check out these historical landmarks.

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