Explore the History of Downtown Cleveland at Take a Hike

Explore the history of Downtown Cleveland five times a week from May 16th to September 17th, 2017.

Take a Hike offers free, guided walking tours of five distinct neighborhoods in downtown Cleveland. Each tour lasts approximately one and a half hours in length and features actors and actresses portraying historic figures from Cleveland’s past.

Weekly tours explore the Gateway District, Warehouse District, Civic Center, Playhouse Square neighborhood and Canal Basin Park in the Flats.


Civic Center Tour, meet at 6 PM at Old Stone Church (91 Public Square)

Learn about the historic and beautiful Old Stone Church, the Free Stamp, Cleveland’s unique public art piece, and Veterans Memorial Plaza with its striking fountain . You’ll be amazed at both the grand architecture and the green spaces of the Civic Center as you stroll past the Board of Education Building, Public Auditorium, Cuyahoga County Courthouse, the Cleveland Convention Center, the Global Center for Health Innovation and much more. Architect Daniel Burnham, Coach Paul Brown, the first coach of the Cleveland Browns, and/or Librarian Linda Eastman will be featured on this tour.

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Warehouse District Tour, meet at 6 PM in front of Constantino’s Market (1278 West 9th Street)

Admire breathtaking architecture as you learn about the historic Garment District, hardware industry and beautiful Victorian-style buildings of Cleveland’s First Neighborhood.  Learn about Warehouse District projects and the beginning of preservation efforts in Cleveland.  Home to fabulous restaurants, a vibrant nightlife and close to 3,000 residents, the Warehouse District is a charming and lively neighborhood.  Tour attendees may have the pleasure of meeting John D. Rockefeller or Levi Johnson along the tour route.

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John D. Rockefeller portrayed at Take a Hike


Playhouse Square Tour, meet at 6 PM in the State Theatre Lobby (1519 Euclid Avenue)

Known for being the second largest performing arts center in the country, Playhouse Square boasts even more than incredible theatres. Learn about the past grandeur of Euclid Avenue, renowned department stores, such as Halle’s, Bonwit Teller and Sterling Linder, important social clubs, such as The Union Club, the awe-inspiring Dazzle the District project and the historic Statler Hotel. Visitors may enjoy special guest appearances by deejay Alan Freed or “Mr. First Nighter” Milton Krantz. See the Playhouse Square neighborhood with new eyes as you gain insight into its past, present and future on this outdoor tour.

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Gateway District Tour, Meet at 10 AM in the Arcade (401 Euclid Avenue)

Learn about the Gateway District’s incredible architecture, such as The Arcade and the 5th Street Arcades, East 4th Street, historic dime stores, such as Woolworth’s and Kresge’s, the transformation of the Garfield Building, the story of Rose’s Folly and more. Home to Quicken Loans Arena, Progressive Field, six hotels, unique stores and over 60 restaurants and bars, the Gateway District is the most visited neighborhood in Downtown Cleveland. Mayor Tom Johnson or inventor Garrett Morgan may drop in for a visit along the way. You may wish to visit one of the Gateway District’s fabulous restaurants for lunch after your tour.

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Garrett Morgan portrayed at Take a Hike


Canal Basin Park in the Flats Tour,  Meet at 10 AM at the Flat Iron Cafe (1114 Center Street)

Enjoy tales from the early days of Cleveland while learning about Moses Cleaveland, the Cuyahoga River, beautiful bridges, the historic B&O Rail Station and plans for a 25-acre park and the extension of the Towpath Trail. Be sure to bring your camera for some stunning photo opportunities. Mary Kelley may share stories of her husband, Alfred Kelley, the father of the Ohio & Erie Canal, during your tour.

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Mrs. Alfred Kelley portrayed at Take a Hike

Take a Hike is a program of the Historic Gateway District. The 2017 Take a Hike season is presented by Dollar Bank.  The program is supported in part by the residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.  The tours also receive generous support from Ohio & Erie Canalway and Downtown Cleveland Alliance. 

Program partners include  Historic Warehouse District Development Corporation, PlayhouseSquare, Cleveland Public LibraryCanalway PartnersBob Zimmer, and  Cleveland Magazine.

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