|Cleveland Ohio Overview
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Cleveland is the county seat of Cuyahoga County, the most populous county in the U.S. state of Ohio. The municipality is located in northeastern Ohio on the southern shore of Lake Erie, approximately 60 miles (100 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 at the head of numerous canals and railroad lines. With the decline of heavy manufacturing, Cleveland's businesses have diversified into the service economy, including the financial services, insurance, and healthcare sectors. As of the 2000 Census, the city proper had a total population of
478,403, making it the 33rd largest city in the nation and the second largest city in Ohio. Recent estimates from the United States Census Bureau show it to currently be the 36th largest in the nation. It is the center of Greater Cleveland, the largest metropolitan area in Ohio, which spans several counties and is defined in several different ways by the Census Bureau. The Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor Metropolitan Statistical Area has 2,250,871 people and is the 23rd largest in the country.Cleveland is also part of the larger Cleveland-Akron-Elyria Combined Statistical Area, which is the 14th largest in the country with a population of 2,945,831 according to the
City residents and tourists benefit from investments made by wealthy residents in the city's heyday, in arts and cultural institutions, and philanthropy also helped to establish a robust public library system in the city. More recent investments have provided the city with tourist attractions in the downtown area, such as Jacobs Field, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and Playhouse Square Center. In studies conducted by The Economist in 2005, Cleveland and Pittsburgh were ranked as the most livable cities in the United States, and the city was ranked as the best city for business meetings in the continental U.S. Nevertheless, the city faces continuing
challenges, in particular from concentrated poverty in some neighborhoods and difficulties in the funding and delivering of high-quality public education. Residents of Cleveland are usually referred to as Clevelanders. Nicknames used for the city include The Forest City, Metropolis of the Western Reserve, The New American City, America's North Coast, Sixth City, and C-Town. Its nineteen sister cities include Volgograd, Russia; Bratislava, Slovakia; Ljubljana, Slovenia; Miskolc, Hungary; Bangalore, India; and Alexandria, Egypt.
Cleveland obtained its name on July 22, 1796, when surveyors of the Connecticut Land Company toured Connecticut's Western Reserve and named an area in Ohio "Cleaveland" after General Moses Cleaveland, the superintendent of the surveying party, a month after white settlers had signed a treaty with local Native Americans to acquire the land. Cleaveland laid out the plan for the modern Public Square area before returning home, never again to visit the area. The first settler in Cleveland was Lorenzo Carter, who built a cabin on the banks of the Cuyahoga River. The village of Cleaveland was incorporated on 23 December 1814. The spelling of the
city's name was later changed to "Cleveland" when, in 1831, an "a" was dropped so the name could fit a newspaper's masthead. Though not initially apparent-the city was surrounded by swampland and the harsh winters did not encourage settlement-the location proved providential. The city began to grow rapidly after the completion of the Ohio and Erie Canal in 1832, turning the city into a key link between the Ohio River and the Great Lakes (becoming a critical link between the Atlantic Ocean via the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Gulf of Mexico via the Mississippi River), and particularly once the city railroad links were added. The
rapid growth resulted in Cleveland's incorporation as a city in 1836. The following year, the city, then located on the eastern banks of the Cuyahoga River, nearly erupted into open warfare with neighboring Ohio City (since annexed), over a bridge connecting the two.
As a halfway point for iron ore coming from Minnesota across the Great Lakes and for coal and other raw materials coming by rail from the south, the site flourished. Cleveland became one of the major manufacturing and population centers of the United States, and was home to numerous major steel firms. Standard Oil founder John D. Rockefeller made his fortune there, and by 1920, it was the fifth largest city in the country. The city was also one of the centers of the national progressive movement, headed locally by Mayor Tom L. Johnson. Many Clevelanders of this era are buried in the historic Lake View Cemetery, along with James A. Garfield, the 20th U.S.
President. In commemoration of the centennial of Cleveland's 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 hit hard by the Great Depression, it drew 4 million visitors in its first season, and 7 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. Immediately after World War II, the city experienced a brief boom. 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". The city's population reached its peak of 914,808, and in 1949 Cleveland was named an All-America City for the first time.
By the 1960s, however, heavy industries began to slump and residents sought new housing in the suburbs, reflecting the national trends of white flight and urban sprawl. Like other major U.S. cities, Cleveland also began witnessing racial unrest, culminating in the Hough Riots on July 18-23, 1966, and the Glenville Shootout on July 23-July 25, 1968. The city's nadir is often considered to be its default on its loans on December 15, 1978, when under Mayor Dennis Kucinich it became the first major American city to enter default since the Great Depression. National media began referring to Cleveland as "the mistake by the lake" around this time,
in reference to the city's financial difficulties, a 1969 fire on the Cuyahoga River (where industrial waste on the river's surface caught on fire) and its struggling professional sports teams. The city has struggled to shed this nickname ever since, though in recent times the national media have been much kinder to the city, using it as the poster child for public-private partnerships, downtown revitalization and urban renaissance. The metropolitan area began a recovery thereafter 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
Jacobs 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. Although Cleveland was hailed by the media as the "Comeback City," many of the inner-city residential neighborhoods remain troubled, and the public school system continues to experience serious problems. Economic development, retention of young professionals, and capitalizing upon its waterfront are current municipal priorities.
Cleveland is located at 41 28 56N, 81 40 11 W. According to the United States Census Bureau[, the city has a total area of 82.4 square miles (213.5 km). 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 parallel 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 a mile (2 km) inland, sits at an elevation of 650 feet (198 m), and Hopkins Airport, only five miles (8 km) inland from the lake, is at an elevation of 770 feet (235 m). Cleveland shares borders
with the following suburbs: Bratenahl, Brook Park, Brooklyn, Brooklyn Heights, Cleveland Heights, Cuyahoga Heights, East Cleveland, Euclid, Fairview Park, Garfield Heights, Lakewood, Linndale, Maple Heights, Newburgh Heights, Parma, Shaker Heights, South Euclid, and Warrensville Heights.
The Lake Erie shoreline is very close to due east-west from the mouth of the Cuyahoga west to Sandusky, but at the mouth of the Cuyahoga it turns sharply northeast. This feature is the principal contributor to the lake effect snow that is a mainstay of Cleveland (especially east side) weather from mid-November until the surface of Lake Erie freezes, usually in late January or early February. The lake effect causes snowfall totals to range greatly across the city; while Hopkins Airport has only reached 100 inches (254 cm) of snowfall in a given season three times since 1968, seasonal totals approaching or exceeding 100 inches are not uncommon in an area
known as the "Snow Belt", extending from the east side of Cleveland proper through the eastern suburbs and up the Lake Erie shore as far as Buffalo. The all-time record high in Cleveland of 104 F (40 C) was established on June 25, 1988, and the all-time record low of ?20 F (?29 C) was set on January 19, 1994. On average, July is the warmest month with a mean temperature of 71.9 F (22.2 C), and January, with a mean temperature of 25.7 F (?3.5 C), is the coldest. Normal yearly precipitation based on the 30-year average from 1971 to 2000 is 38.7 inches (930 mm).
Five miles (8 km) east of downtown Cleveland is University Circle, a 500-acre concentration of cultural, educational, and medical institutions, including Case Western Reserve University, Severance Hall, University Hospitals, and the Cleveland Museum of Art. Cleveland is also home to the I. M. Pei-designed Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, located on the Lake Erie waterfront at North Coast Harbor downtown. Neighboring attractions include Cleveland Browns Stadium, the Great Lakes Science Center, the Steamship Mather Museum, and the USS Cod, a World War II submarine. Cleveland is home to Playhouse Square Center, the second largest performing arts center in the
United States behind New York's Lincoln Center. Playhouse Square includes the State, Palace, Allen, Hanna, and Ohio theaters within what is known as the Theater District of Downtown Cleveland. Playhouse Square's resident performing arts companies include the Cleveland Opera, Ohio Ballet, and the Great Lakes Theater Festival. The center also hosts various Broadway musicals, special concerts, speaking engagements, and other events throughout the year. One Playhouse Square, now the headquarters for Cleveland's public broadcasters, was originally used as the broadcast studios of WJW Radio, where disc jockey Alan Freed purportedly first coined the
term "rock and roll". Additionally, 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 in Severance Hall during the winter and at Blossom Music Center during the summer. Cleveland is home to many festivals throughout the year. Cultural festivals such as the annual Feast of the Assumption in the Little Italy neighborhood, the Greek Orthodox Festival in the Tremont neighborhood, and the Harvest Festival in the Slavic Village neighborhood are
popular events. Vendors at the West Side Market in Ohio City offer many different ethnic foods for sale. Cleveland hosts an annual parade on Saint Patrick's Day that brings thousands to the streets of downtown. In addition to the cultural festivals, Cleveland also hosts the CMJ Rock Hall Music Fest, which features national and local acts, including both established artists and up-and-coming acts. The city recently incorporated an annual art and technology festival, known as Ingenuity, which features a combination of art and technology in various installations and performances throughout lower Euclid Avenue. The Cleveland International Film Festival has
been held annually since 1977, and its 11-day run draws about 43,000 people. Cleveland also hosts an annual holiday display lighting and celebration, dubbed Winterfest, which is held downtown at the city's historic hub, Public Square. Cleveland also served as the location for several noteworthy movies, including The Fortune Cookie (1967) with Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon, the Academy Award-winning The Deer Hunter (1978), and the holiday favorite A Christmas Story (1983). Scenes for the upcoming movie Spider-Man 3 were filmed in Cleveland in April 2006. Cleveland is the lifelong home of cartoonist Harvey Pekar and setting for most of his
autobiographical comic books. Additionally, the city was also the setting for the popular sitcom, The Drew Carey Show which starred Cleveland-native Drew Carey. Cleveland is also the birthplace of the legendary comic book character Superman, created by Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel, in 1932. Both attended Glenville High School, and their early collaborations resulted in the creation of "The Man of Steel".