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Encyclopedia > Cleveland, OH

This article is about the city in the state of Ohio. For other places named Cleveland, see Cleveland (disambiguation).

 in downtown Cleveland
Key Tower in downtown Cleveland

The city of Cleveland is the county seat of Cuyahoga County in the U.S. state of Ohio. As of the 2000 census, the city proper had a total population of 478,403 making it second in population in the state to Columbus, Ohio. Greater Cleveland, however, including the entire metropolitan area and suburbs, has as many as 2,900,000 people _ if the Akron and Canton areas are included _ by far the largest urban area in the state. On the southern shore of Lake Erie, Cleveland is located in the Western Reserve in northeastern Ohio on the Cuyahoga River, approximately 60 miles west of the Pennsylvania border.



The city got its name on July 22, 1796 when surveyors of the Connecticut Land Company named an area in Ohio "Cleaveland" after Gen. Moses Cleaveland, the superintendent of the surveying party, a month after white settlers had signed a treaty with local Native Americans to acquire the land. Cleaveland laid out the plan for the modern Public Square area before returning home. He never visited the area again. The spelling of the city's name was later changed to "Cleveland" when, in 1831, an "a" was dropped so the name could fit a newspaper's masthead.

Though not initially apparent _ the city was surrounded by swampland and the harsh winters did not encourage settlement _ the location proved providential. The city began to grow rapidly after the completion of the Ohio and Erie Canal in 1832, turning the city into a key link between the Ohio River and the Great Lakes, and particularly once the city railroad links were added. In 1837, the city, then located on the eastern banks of the Cuyahoga River, nearly erupted into open warfare with neighboring Ohio City, Ohio (since annexed) over a bridge connecting the two. As a half-way point for iron ore coming from Minnesota across the Great Lakes and for coal and other raw materials coming by rail from the south, the site flourished. Cleveland also enjoyed its position as the major break-in-bulk center for Ohio.

Cleveland became one of the major manufacturing and population centers of the United States, home of numerous major steel firms. Standard Oil founder John D. Rockefeller made his fortune there. By 1920, it was the 5th largest city in the country. The city was also one of the centers of the national progressive movement, locally headed by Mayor Tom L. Johnson.

The city began to suffer in the post-World War II period, however, as industries began to slump and the city suffered from serious white flight. The city suffered from racial unrest in the 1960s, culminating in the Hough riots in 1965 and the Glenville riots in 1968. The city's nadir is often considered to be its default on its loans on December 15, 1978, when it became the first major American city to enter bankruptcy since the Great Depression. It subsequently became clear, however, that the city had been forced into default by an attempt by local banks and the local electric provider to force the city to sell off Cleveland Public Power.

The metropolitan area began to recover thereafter. The recovery in the city has been uneven, however, with the strongest growth in the downtown area near the Gateway complex _ consisting of Jacobs Field and Gund Arena - and near the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Many of the residential neighborhoods remain troubled, and the public school system has suffered serious problems. Economic development, retention of young professionals, and capitalizing upon its Lake Erie waterfront are current municipal priorities.


Location of Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland is located at 41°28'56" North, 81°40'11" West (41.482301, _81.669718)1.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 213.5 km˛ (82.4 mi˛). 200.9 km˛ (77.6 mi˛) of it is land and 12.5 km˛ (4.8 mi˛) of it is water. The total area is 5.87% water.


Cleveland's ethnic population has left its mark on the city in variety of architectural styles, especially in the many older churches throughout the city. This church east of downtown serves a primarily African_American congregation.

As of the census2 of 2000, there are 478,403 people, 190,638 households, and 111,904 families residing in the city. The population density is 2,380.9/km˛ (6,166.5/mi˛). There are 215,856 housing units at an average density of 1,074.3/km˛ (2,782.4/mi˛). The racial makeup of the city is 41.49% White, 50.99% Black or African American, 0.30% Native American, 1.35% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 3.59% from other races, and 2.24% from two or more races. 7.26% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 190,638 households out of which 29.9% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 28.5% are married couples living together, 24.8% have a female householder with no husband present, and 41.3% are non-families. 35.2% of all households are made up of individuals and 11.1% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.44 and the average family size is 3.19.

In the city the population is spread out with 28.5% under the age of 18, 9.5% from 18 to 24, 30.4% from 25 to 44, 19.0% from 45 to 64, and 12.5% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 33 years. For every 100 females there are 90.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 85.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $25,928, and the median income for a family is $30,286. Males have a median income of $30,610 versus $24,214 for females. The per capita income for the city is $14,291. 26.3% of the population and 22.9% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 37.6% of those under the age of 18 and 16.8% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

Sports and Leisure

Cleveland's sports teams include the Cleveland Indians (Major League Baseball), Cleveland Browns (National Football League), Cleveland Cavaliers (National Basketball Association), Cleveland Barons (American Hockey League), and Cleveland Force (Major Indoor Soccer League). The Lake County Captains, an Indians minor-league affiliate, play in the suburb of Eastlake.

Cleveland is also home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which is located downtown close to Lake Erie. The museum's building was designed by I. M. Pei. In the 1970s a number of bands generally described as protopunk or pre-punk were formed in Cleveland, including The Dead Boys, Electric Eels, Rocket From The Tombs, and Pere Ubu.

The Great Lakes Science Center is located next to the Hall of Fame. Other nearby attractions include the Steamship William G. Mather Maritime Museum, a restored Great Lakes bulk freighter built in 1925, and the USS Cod, a World War II submarine.

Five miles (8 km) east of downtown Cleveland is University Circle, a 500 acre (2 km˛) concentration of cultural, educational, and medical institutions. These include the Cleveland Museum of Art and Severance Hall, home to the Cleveland Orchestra, one of the United States' major orchestras. Some of the other institutions located in University Circle are the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, the Cleveland Botanical Garden, the Cleveland Institute of Art, the Cleveland Institute of Music, University Hospitals of Cleveland, the Western Reserve Historical Society, and Case Western Reserve University. The Cleveland Clinic, the Cleveland Playhouse and the Health Museum of Cleveland are located nearby.

Industry and Politics

Cleveland is the corporate headquarters of many large companies, such as National City Corporation, Eaton Corporation, Forest City Enterprises, Parker Hannifin Corporation, Sherwin Williams Company, and KeyCorp after which the highest skyscraper in Cleveland is named (Key Tower). The headquarters of OfficeMax is located in suburban Shaker Heights, and Progressive Insurance is headquartered in suburban Mayfield Village, Ohio.

Cleveland is also a major contributor to the automotive industry in Detroit. The Ford Motor Company has an assembly plant here.

Two of the city's mayors, Dennis Kucinich, who was mayor from 1977 to 1979, and George Voinovich, who was mayor from 1979 to 1989, became nationally powerful politicians, serving in the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate, respectively. The current Mayor of Cleveland is Jane Campbell.

The politics of Cleveland are considered to favor the Catholics. During the 2004 Presidential election, although George W. Bush carried Ohio, John Kerry carried Cuyahoga County, which gave him the strongest support in the state. Kerry won 66% of the vote, which is all the more surprising when one considers that the county's population is 60% suburban.

Mass transit

Cleveland currently has a mass transit system consisting of two light rail lines and one heavy rail metro line, officially named Cleveland Rapid Transit, but better known as The Rapid. The light rail lines are all that remain of the city's once_extensive streetcar system. The metro was extended to Hopkins International Airport in 1968 -- the first airport-to-mass-transit link in North America.

The Rapid and local bus lines are owned and administered by the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority.

Colleges and universities

Two-year colleges

  • Cuyahoga Community College
  • Lakeland Community College


Additional sites of interest

Famous Natives

See Also


External links

  • City Of Cleveland Home Page (http://www.city.cleveland.oh.us/index1.html)
  • The Encyclopedia Of Cleveland History (http://ech.cwru.edu/)
  • Cleveland Memory Project (http://www.clevelandmemory.org)
  • Maps and aerial photos
    • Street map from Mapquest (http://www.mapquest.com/maps/map.adp?latlongtype=decimal&latitude=41.482301&longitude=-81.669718&zoom=6)
    • Topographic map from Topozone (http://www.topozone.com/map.asp?lat=41.482301&lon=-81.669718&s=200&size=m&layer=DRG100)
    • Aerial photograph from Microsoft Terraserver (http://terraserver.microsoft.com/map.aspx?t=1&s=14&lon=-81.669718&lat=41.482301&w=750&h=500)

  Results from FactBites:
Cleveland, OH - definition of Cleveland, OH in Encyclopedia (1500 words)
The city of Cleveland is the county seat of Cuyahoga County in the U.S. state of Ohio.
On the southern shore of Lake Erie, Cleveland is located in the Western Reserve in northeastern Ohio on the Cuyahoga River, approximately 60 miles west of the Pennsylvania border.
Cleveland became one of the major manufacturing and population centers of the United States, home of numerous major steel firms.
  More results at FactBites »



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