Northeast Ohioans can learn a few lessons today when they take the Soldiers' & Sailors' Monument Tour
. For starters, the 114-year-old structure was actually built as a museum to honor the 9,000 Cuyahoga County soldiers who fought in the Civil War. Tourists will also find out the memorial will be temporarily shuttered for a $1.5 million makeover. "The inside is all faded, where it used to be bright red and white," says Tim Leslie, who helps maintain the monument. "It's amazing to think what it looks like now and what it will look like when it's refurbished."The museum also contains Civil War-era pistols, rifles, and artwork. Its windows are decorated in tribute to the Army, Navy, and military cavalry. And each of the fallen soldiers' names is etched on the exterior, beneath a 125-foot spire and near four bronze statues. "Some of the artifacts will be moved to a room in the Key Building while construction is underway," says Leslie. "But this is one of the last chances for awhile — considering usual delays — to see them where they belong." The tours run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today at the Soldiers' & Sailors' Monument at the corner of Euclid Avenue and East 2nd Street. Admission is free. Call 216-621-3710.
Starts: Feb. 15. Daily, 2007