Sunday May 21st

THE CLEVELAND TRUST COMPANY ROTUNDA (1908)
Euclid Avenue at East 9th Street
Architect: George B. Post & Sons

The Cleveland Trust Building represents the very best the United States had to offer at the time of its construction, and reflects the strength and resources of Cleveland’s banking community in the early 20th century. Its architect, George B. Post, was a leading architect for financial institutions and had also designed the New York Stock Exchange. The sculptures within the central pediment, by Karl Bitter, allegorical represent the primary sources of wealth in the United States: industrial labor, agriculture, mining, commerce, navigation, and fishery. Karl Peter had done extensive work for the Vanderbilt family at their Biltmore Estate in North Carolina (America’s largest home.) The 13 mural paintings at the upper levels of the banking hall illustrate the development of civilization in the Midwest. They were painted by a nationally known muralist, Francis D. Millet, who later lost his life on the Titanic.

The interior of the rotunda features a dome, 80-foot (24.4 meters) high, with Tiffany-style stained glass panels 61 feet (18.6 meters) in diameter. Because of a series of bank mergers, the building was abandoned in the 1990s. The Rotunda was renovated and reopened as Heinen’s Fine Foods in 2015.

The Cleveland Trust Tower was completed in 1971, and the only skyscraper ever built by Modernist architect Marcel Breuer and Hamilton Smith. A planned second tower to mirror the first, and to surround the Rotunda, was never completed. The tower was vacant from 1996 until its conversion to apartments and a hotel in 2014.