Cleveland's Original Historic District — The Plaza Apartments


This weekend offers a reminder that urban renewal wasn’t invented this century. On Friday, dozens of former residents of the legendary Plaza Apartments will convene at the Beachland Ballroom for a musical and arts celebration commemorating their former legendariness.

From the late 1960s through the mid-1980s, the hulking, ivy-covered, vaguely gothic apartment at 3206 Prospect Ave. was an unprecedented launch pad for a community of underground musicians, artists, writers — even professors from Tri-C and Cleveland State.

“We were urban pioneers before the term was coined,” says Scott Krauss, a former drummer for the groundbreaking Cleveland art-rock band Pere Ubu. “Like the Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead had their band houses, we had the Plaza. It was an energy house. So much came out of there.”