7. Tower City/Terminal Tower Observation Desk

Cleveland Terminal Tower

Unlike many of the observation decks in New York City that have been removed from public access, Cleveland’s Terminal Tower re-opened its 42nd floor observation deck after renovation. The skyscraper is part of Tower City Center, a sprawling development built above rail yards using air rights. The original plans drawn up by O.P and M. J. Van Sweringen, the railroad magnate brothers, for a 17-acre complex that would be connected together. In addition to the active train station that serviced the Baltimore and Ohio, New York Central and Nickel Plate Road railroad lines, there was a post office, a department store, and office towers, including the tallest – Terminal Tower, at 52 stories.

In 1977, the train service ended at the station due to lack of popularity of the route and the area was transformed into an indoor shopping mall. The original post office building at Terminal City closed in 1982 and was converted into an office building.

The panorama you take in provides a clear overview of the Cleveland landscape –the downtown Historic Gateway District, the industrial bridges and dockyards, and the manufacturing plants.A glass case on the observation floor contains vintage paraphernalia, with a brochure that claims by going up, “You can see more in a glance than you can see in a week of sight-seeing,” and that a trip to Cleveland would not be complete without a visit here. We would have to agree.

Inside the public square, you can also visit inside the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, next to which Abraham Lincoln’s body was shown for public viewing in 1865. The Monument has been restored and can be visited Tuesday through Saturday.