26 Vintage Photos of The Great Lakes Expositions of 1936 & 1937

A celebration of Cleveland's centennial in 1936, the Great Lakes Exposition took place on the north coast of downtown Cleveland. It was so popular that it opened for a second season in 1937. The Great Lakes Exposition strove to improve Cleveland's reputation, financial situation, and morale during the Great Depression, and featured a Midway, Hall of Progress, Streets of the World Exhibit and more.

Photos courtesy of the Cleveland Memory Project

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Admiral Byrd's South Pole Ship docked at the Great Lakes Exposition with the Firestone building and Hall of Progress in the background
Admiral Byrd's South Pole Ship docked at the Great Lakes Exposition with the Firestone building and Hall of Progress in the background
Aerial view of the Great Lakes Exposition grounds
Aerial view of the Great Lakes Exposition grounds
Airplane view of the Great Lakes Exposition, Cleveland, Ohio, showing Aurora Borealis
Airplane view of the Great Lakes Exposition, Cleveland, Ohio, showing Aurora Borealis
Audience at a performance at Billy Rose's Aquacade at the Great Lakes Exposition
Audience at a performance at Billy Rose's Aquacade at the Great Lakes Exposition
An audience watches a performance at Streets of the World. The Streets of the World attraction at the Great Lakes Exposition featured shopping, dining, and scenery representative of the following cultures: African, Armenian, Austrian, Belgian, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Greek, Hindu, Hungarian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Jewish, Latvian, Lithuanian, Manx, Mexican, Norwegian, Polish, Rusin, Russian, Romanian, Scotch, Serbian, Slovak, Slovene, Spanish, Swedish, Swiss, Syrian, Ukrainian and Welsh. Streets of the World paid tribute to Cleveland's immigrant heritage and enabled visitors to experience a variety of cultures.
An audience watches a performance at Streets of the World. The Streets of the World attraction at the Great Lakes Exposition featured shopping, dining, and scenery representative of the following cultures: African, Armenian, Austrian, Belgian, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Greek, Hindu, Hungarian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Jewish, Latvian, Lithuanian, Manx, Mexican, Norwegian, Polish, Rusin, Russian, Romanian, Scotch, Serbian, Slovak, Slovene, Spanish, Swedish, Swiss, Syrian, Ukrainian and Welsh. Streets of the World paid tribute to Cleveland's immigrant heritage and enabled visitors to experience a variety of cultures.
Audience in the stands during a performance at the Marine Theater; Hall of Progress in the background
Audience in the stands during a performance at the Marine Theater; Hall of Progress in the background
Billy Rose with Olympic swimmers Eleanor Holm and Johnny Weissmuller on a diving board at Billy Rose's Aquacade at the Great Lakes Exposition
Billy Rose with Olympic swimmers Eleanor Holm and Johnny Weissmuller on a diving board at Billy Rose's Aquacade at the Great Lakes Exposition
Billy Rose's Aquacade divers, some captured here in mid-air, perform for crowds at the Great Lakes Exposition, 1937.
Billy Rose's Aquacade divers, some captured here in mid-air, perform for crowds at the Great Lakes Exposition, 1937.
26 Vintage Photos of The Great Lakes Expositions of 1936 & 1937
26 Vintage Photos of The Great Lakes Expositions of 1936 & 1937