Monday, November 19, 2012

Terminal Tower

Photos of the Terminal Tower building in downtown Cleveland. Opened in 1930, it was the tallest building in the world outside of New York City until 1953, and it remained the tallest in Cleveland until 1991. The "Terminal" part comes from the underground rail station, which served as Cleveland's inter-city rail depot until Amtrak moved in the 1970s. The station still serves as the hub for the local Rapid rail system. The lower floors of the tower are a large shopping center, and the complex also includes a Renaissance hotel and the shiny new Horseshoe Casino (which was still under construction when I was there).

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In many ways it's Cleveland's answer to the Empire State Building. It was the tallest building in town for decades after it was built, and remains a symbol of the city. It has an observation deck near the top, although it's only open intermittently, and was closed the weekend I was in town. And like the Empire State Building, the observation deck here was originally supposed to be a dock for airships, though it doesn't appear to have ever been used for that purpose. My eyes lit up when I read about this, since I tend to go "squee" about anything involving zeppelins, blimps, dirigibles, airships, or what have you. Had it been a practical idea, you would have been able to hop on a zeppelin at the Empire State Building, cruise in swanky 1930s style over to Cleveland, and get off at the Terminal Tower. Then you could take the elevator down to the basement, hop on a train and continue on to your final destination. It makes more sense that something like this would be proposed for Cleveland once you realize that Akron (home to Goodyear and its blimps) is a short distance south of here. Cleveland Memory has a photo of the famous Graf Zeppelin at the airdock in Akron, so there's that, at least.

Anyway, over many years I've slowly come to understand that not everyone cares about zeppelins, so I probably shouldn't end with that. Everybody likes cute animals, right? How about baby peregrine falcons? If so, you may be in luck (depending on when you're actually looking at this post), as the tower has a nesting pair, and a Falcon Cam to monitor them. D'awwww.... (just don't look too closely at what they're eating)

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