The Arcade, modeled after Galleria Vittorio Emmanuele in Milan, opened in 1890 and was built at a cost of $867,000. The building is a cross between a light court and a commercial passage or shopping street. When it opened, it was one of the first indoor shopping malls in the United States, consisting of three structures: two 9-story office buildings connected by the four-story iron-and-glass enclosed arcade. The 300-foot-long arcade itself is a covered light court ringed by four levels of balconies. It's been a central part of Cleveland for more than a century, and looks as good as ever.
But, as Cleveland Historical tells us, "Some might be surprised, however, to find out that Downtown actually had three more of these incredible structures running parallel to each other between Euclid and Prospect Avenues. Two of them, the Colonial (1898) and Euclid (1911) Arcades, stood side by side 100 feet apart, while the Taylor Arcade (1907) was located to their east. The Taylor Arcade was subsumed into Taylor's department store in the 1930s. In contrast, the Colonial and Euclid have been connected at their midpoint by a food court since 2000. The Colonial Marketplace project also led to other renovations in and around the arcades, including the opening of a Marriott in the former Colonial Hotel on Prospect Avenue."
The 5th Street and Euclid Arcades remain attractions to this day, reborn and revitalized through the years. Here's what they, and the others, looked like through the 20th century.
All photos via the Cleveland Memory Project.