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Tower City Center

Cleveland, Ohio

Travelers Guide

Click Here for a comprehensive list of stores in the Tower City Center Complex.


If you plan to come to cleveland there are many specific places you might like to visit like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Science Center with an Omnimax Theatre, Tower City Center etc.

Here in this section, I will discuss the Tower City Center Complex in it`s current entirity. The Tower City Center Complex consisits of the Terminal Tower, and the Avenue shopping center (with 120 stores), Chase Financial Tower/Ritz-Calton Hotel and Dillards are all part of the complex.

The complex was originally supposed to be used as a Passenger Rail Terminal, rightly named Cleveland Union Terminal. It was the first fully underground station in the US. The terminal tower was added to the plans when O.P. and M.J. Van Sweringen started buying railroads they decided to add a tower in the mix to operate their railroads from. The original tower was supposed to be about 30 somethin stories high. They decided during construction that the tower would be extended to 52 stories.

Also in the mix was to be built 2 more large buildings and several smaller, these would consist of a upscale hotel, department store, a branch of the post office and 3 additional structures were to be integrated into one complex. It was and still as the largest group of integrated buildings, second to only Radio City.

The train service to the tower was stopped in 1977, even though now the Rapid Transet services the new/old station. The new updated station provides transport to many people, going to assorted sports games downtown and to people who are going to the Airport. Now there are 120 stores in the complex, the observation deck of the Comples is located on the 42 of the 52 floors. On a clear day you can see as much as 32 miles on a clear day.



Facts about the complex new and old:


  • The curret Tower City Center of owned and operated by Forest City Enterprizes.

  • The building consists of four all access levels and many bussiness levels included in the 35 acres for assorted bussiness like 100.7 WMMS Cleveland Classic Rock Radio Station.
    (Home of Kramer and Twitch)

  • There are about 120 stores in the 35 acre shopping complex. Ranging from Abercrombie & Fitch & Ann Taylor to Skyline Sports and Victoria`s Secret. A complete list of stores can be found here.

  • The Tower City Complex is located right in the middle of Public Square.

  • The complex was once known as Cleveland Union Terminal (CUT).

  • The terminal once was served by railroad sutch as New York Central RR and Nickle Plate RR.

  • The Terminal Tower once housed the home base for railroads sutch as Nickle Plate Railroad.

  • The terminal was not serviced by steam engines but by Electric locos because the smoke would come up into the station.

  • The complex is no longer served by major railroads though the roadbeds and panograph towers (for the most part) are still in place.

  • Just recentally the Collinwood powerhouse was demolished by CSXT that supplied the electricity for the trains.

  • Terminal Tower's 52 stories were completed in 1930.

  • It was the tallest building between Chicago and New York until when the BP building was built in 1992

  • The 42 floor of the tower you can access as a patron. While paying, for an adult - $2, ages 6-16 - $1, age 5 and under - free

  • The tower city center complex can be easily accessed by riding the RTA or taking a Taxi. If you are lucky enough to take Amtrak you can hop on the RTA transet line and take it to the underground tower city station.

  • The tower city center was originally owned by the "Vans" (The Vanswerengen Bros.)

  • They started the Shaker Rapid transet line which was made into the RTA`s rapid transet Blue and Green lines.

  • They bought many railroads including the Nickle Plate Railroad, these would be owned, operated in the tower.

  • Cleveland had the first fully underground train station anywhere, under the terminal tower.


    Images of Tower City Center Tower and the KEY building.
    The KEY building is the tallest building in the far distance. Also it is the tallest building between Chicago and New York. Originally the Terminal Tower was the tallest.