From The Crowning Jewel to the Mistake on the Lake

The Story of the Construction of Cleveland Municipal Stadium

by Dryck Bennett

Craig Zabel wrote "American public architecture is a physical symbol, often on a monumental scale of the definition of government and its role in American society. It is within public buildings that the drama of a democratic government has taken place."1 This statement captures the feelings of Clevelanders about their local government who in the latter 1920s allowed the city to construct the $2.5 million Cleveland Municipal Stadium. In the late 1920s, Clevelanders felt proud of their city and its accomplishments. The stadium project marked the last great public works project in downtown Cleveland by government until the mid-1980's when county funds helped construct the town's baseball and basketball arenas, Jacobs Field and Gund Arena. To understand the reasons for the building of the stadium, one must reconstruct the unusual origins of the stadium and the era of its production. From this point, it becomes easier to understand the reasons behind the debate and then subsequent construction of the stadium and explain why Clevelanders began to view the project with growing negativity.

Cleveland Municipal Stadium became an unforseen byproduct of the original Group Plan proposed in 1903. Cleveland, like many American cities at the time, felt the ravages of immigration, urbanization and industrialization by the early 1900s. At this point, Cleveland was a sprawling city suffering from unexpected and unplanned growth. Progressive Mayor Tom Johnson and other members of City Council felt the need to plan downtown Cleveland to create a beautiful city. To reach this goal, Tom Johnson on June 20, 1902 appointed a three-man commission to develop Cleveland into as a cultural civic center.2

Many Americans reported the beauty of European cities after returning from travel. This led Johnson's appointed group of architects to use the cities of Paris, Vienna and Florence as inspiration for their plans for the city of Cleveland. The architects proposed the demolition of many older buildings on the northeast corner of today's Public Square and advocated that a grand mall 560 feet wide originate from this point and run north toward the lake. The grand mall provided the focal point of the original plan.3 Reflecting the feelings of the Progressive Era, the architects hoped this mall might provide a meeting place for civic and social celebrations. Around this mall, the architects advocated neoclassical style public buildings that included a new city hall, a public auditorium and music hall, an education building, a new main library, a new federal building (containing the U.S. Post Office, the federal court house, and customs office), a county court house, and a building for the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce. The architects designated a deluxe railroad station at the site of the future municipal stadium on the northern most portion of the proposed mall on the shores of Lake Erie.4 The original Group Plan proposed by the architects reflected Clevelanders' hopes that the stately design of public buildings would provide a beautiful municipal center to deal with city matters and help to develop Cleveland's dilapidated shoreline.5

The development of the plan started slowly because of funding and World War I. By 1920, Cleveland finished only the Federal Building, a new county court house, and a lighted public square at the northern end of the mall. The Group Plan also began to change. Cleveland's civic leaders added a public airport, and the public voted to relocate the railroad complex. This led the Van Sweringen brothers, Oris and Mantis, and a conglomerate of railroad companies to begin construction on the huge Terminal Tower complex in the early 1920s on the northern end of the mall rather than the southern end.6 This move opened the area for the future stadium project.

The 1920s marked the highpoint of great industrial, economic and financial growth in Cleveland. In this decade, Cleveland became a major auto producer, second only to Detroit. Companies Winton, White, Peerless, Chandler, Stearns, Baker, and Ford all produced automobiles in the city.7 Located in Cleveland, the Glenn L. Martin Company produced the major bombing airplanes used by the United States after World War I.8 The massive empire assembled by the Van Sweringen brothers epitomized the era of prosperity that Clevelanders felt occurring in the 1920's. The two brothers built their empire on railroads and land speculation.9 Perhaps reflecting citizenry's faith in big business, Clevelanders allowed the brothers to lead the largest and most expensive project (Terminal Tower) of the decade that represented the interests of big business.

Cleveland boasted of an extremely active social life and reflected some aspects of the major social change that also affected the country as a whole during this decade. New forms of entertainment arose with the introduction of motion pictures and new theaters. The era marked the beginning of prohibition, yet speakeasies soon replaced former bars.10 In 1928, John Severance gave the Cleveland Orchestra its home by donating the money to build Severance Hall.11 Women won the right to vote and exerted their new independence with short hair and short skirts. The new Playhouse Square district opened and became the center of the city's social life. Night clubs and restaurants opened around the district's many theaters and motion picture houses.12

Cleveland's city government took the forefront in civic leadership that the entire country admired. Cleveland led the country in civic reform. From 1924 to 1931, Cleveland became the first major city to abandon the mayoral form of government for a city manager. Replacing the ward system, the citizenry elected the city council at large from four districts to avoid ethnic and personal enclaves. The city council now elected the city manager. This led to the competent leadership of William Hopkins (1924-1930) and Daniel Morgan (1930-31).13

The city also made great advances in its Group Plan with the building of the public auditorium (1922), the public library (1925), the municipal airport (1925), the music hall (1929) and the Terminal Tower Complex (1929).14 The introduction of the Model T led to a vast increase in the volume of cars on the streets. Clevelanders responded by approving bond issues that built lighted, paved streets. With the addition of the public auditorium, the city also became a center for some of the country's biggest conventions.15

Within this context of prosperity the idea of the stadium first arose. Franklin Lewis in his article found in the Cleveland Press recollected the origins of the stadium project. According to Lewis, Franklin Rowe, then a supervisor of health and education for the Cleveland Public Schools, proposed to Mayor Fred Kohler a twenty to twenty-five thousand seat stadium to hold audiences for the marquee high school football games. Lewis wrote that Rowe picked the lakefront site apart from others he visited because "he visualized ramps leading across from City Hall, to a circular driveway around the top of Stadium proper, which would be sunk."16

Under the Kohler administration the idea floundered. In 1924, William Hopkins became Cleveland's first City Manager. From Rowe's meager suggestion, Hopkins envisioned a much larger stadium project that mirrored other stadiums in other cities. Hopkins saw a huge facility used for baseball, public rallies and other civic entertainment. Multipurpose stadiums became such a fad during the 1920's that it led Myrum Serby in 1930 to write his book The Stadium as a guide to other architects on how to build these facilities. The author pointed out that not only did municipal governments of Chicago, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles build huge multipurpose facilities, many major colleges also followed suit. Only naming a few, schools such as Ohio State University, the University of Illinois, the University of Minnesota, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Michigan all built mammoth multipurpose facilities. Serby pointed to Wembly Stadium in London, England to suggest that the building of multipurpose stadiums might represent an international trend.17 In fact, by 1930 ninety-three municipal stadiums existed in the United States alone.18

This trend of large municipally owned stadiums probably led Hopkins to reject Rowe's smaller project for this grander notion. The Cleveland Press reported Councilman Peter Witt first proposed the larger stadium project on August 15, 1926. Witt's proposal called for a $4.5 million stadium on the lakefront site.19 The same paper then reported that Hopkins quickly grabbed the stadium project spotlight from Witt. According to the Cleveland Press, Hopkins advocated a $2 million stadium that seated between eighty thousand and one hundred thousand people.20

The stadium project caught the attention of the public, leading city council and Hopkins to appropriate ten thousand dollars to a citizens' group to study the project.21 Led by businessman Charles Otis, the Cleveland Stadium Committee contained business, educational (including Floyd Rowe), and political leaders.22 After studying various sights, the Cleveland Stadium Committee advocated building a $2.5 million structure on the northern end of the Group Plan on the city's lakefront. A former garbage dump, the committee hoped a magnificently built multipurpose, municipal stadium might replace the eyesore.23 The group presented its findings to the Cleveland City Council on August 21, 1928, and the council elected to put the project on the November 6, 1928 ballot with only one dissenting vote.24 The Cleveland Press reported that the only objection came from Councilman F.W. Walz. Walz stated that he objected because "the stadium would never pay for itself, would cost more than anticipated, and would be a luxury."25 According to the Cleveland Press, Walz also pointed to the growth of the city's debt from $24 million to $138 million and asserted that "a rejection of these bonds would be a reflection of the pride of the people of Cleveland."26 Once placed on the ballot, supporting and opposing forces intensified their debate.

After getting the city council to approve placing the issue on the ballot, the Cleveland Stadium Committee began its work to gain citizen support. In an article titled "Stadium Campaign to Rock the Whole City," the Cleveland Press reported the huge extent of this effort. The Cleveland Press reported on October 10, 1929 that "a campaign expected to eclipse anything Cleveland has ever seen is about to be launched in behalf of the 2,500,000 stadium bond issue."27 According to the newspaper, the committee planned to mail thirty thousand letters to leaders of various organizations and one hundred and twenty-five thousand folders in support of the project to voters generally. The committee also hoped to print thirty thousand posters and distribute fifty thousand button hole badges. Included in the committee's campaign were banners at football games, slides at movies and speakers at various clubs to develop support for the project. Not ignoring the newest medium of communication, the committee planned to advertise on radio.28 This massive campaign reflects the committee's and the city's determination to sway Cleveland voters to build the lakefront stadium that they argued promised to become the perfect end to the Group Plan.

On the literature sent to the homes of Clevelanders to gain support for the project, the committee listed more than sixty different uses for the stadium. The pamphlet divided the uses into six different headings. Under the "Pageantry" heading, some of the six uses the committee listed were "Historic pageants," "Patriotic Celebrations and Reviews," and "Civic Demonstrations." Under the "Dramatic" heading some of the five uses listed included "Mass Drama," and "Folk Festivals." The "Musical" heading listed ten possible functions including "Band Concerts" and "Outdoor Operas." Included among the eight possible uses in the "Civic" heading were "Receptions for Famous Visitors," "Community Christmas Celebrations," and "Americanization Ceremonies." The committee listed "Exhibition Space" and "Expositions" as the only two uses for the stadium under the "Business" heading. Lastly, the committee cited over thirty possible "Athletic" events that the stadium might hold including "Boxing," "Wrestling," "American League Baseball,""Olympic Tryouts," "College Football," and "International Skating Championships" along with various other scholastic events.29

This pamphlet listed more than forty organizations as an "Advisory Committee." One infers that this "Advisory Committee" represented groups that supported the project. The committee included in their "Advisory Committee" representatives from the German Turnverein, the Rotary Club of Cleveland, the American Legion, the Federation of Labor, the League of Women Voters, the Cleveland Chamber of Industry, the Board of Education, and professors from John Carroll and Notre Dame College.30 This impressive list indicates the broad based support for the project.

The committee's pamphlet also outlined some of the main arguments in support of the multipurpose, municipal stadium. The committee focused the pamphlet to give Clevelanders the sense that the stadium offered the crowning jewel to the culmination of the Group Plan that established Cleveland's place as a great city. In the pamphlet, the committee claimed that "this stadium in the heart of Cleveland will be the best located and planned in America . . ." and that "the city needs this stadium as a symbol of civic progress and pride."31 According to the committee's pamphlet, Cleveland needed to build the stadium to keep pace with other large cities such as Philadelphia and Chicago that had already constructed large outdoor facilities.32 The pamphlet gave four more reasons for the public to build and own the stadium. First, the city owned the location.33 Secondly, "such a stadium should be used like the Public Hall exclusively for the benefit of the people and progress of the city and free from excessive profits."34 The third reason stated was that "the city can borrow money at lower rates than private companies or individuals."35 Finally, the last justification offered by the pamphlet argued that the stadium "would add to the group plan - another center of local activity and would stand as a token that Cleveland is a great city."36 The committee guaranteed the financial success of the stadium in the pamphlet by arguing that the town's baseball team would pay rent and the stadium might gain more income from rent paying college football teams. The document listed other sources of revenue including "boxing, soccer, hockey, track-meets and many cultural events."37

The project gained support from the Cleveland Press, the Cleveland News, and the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The articles in these papers aptly portray the "pro-business" attitudes and the pride of Clevelanders that dominated the late 1920s. The Cleveland Press in an article titled "Good Business for the City" argued that "the profits from the Municipal Stadium look as certain as any material thing can be in this world. It looks to us that the stadium . . . would in a few years turn up a big profit for a city recreational program. . . . The Municipal Stadium in every way looks to us like good business."38 In a later article titled "By All Means, a Stadium," the paper echoed its earlier opinion that the stadium makes good business sense. The paper contended that revenues from the Indians and other sporting events will enable Cleveland to gain "such a source of income . . . " that "the retirement of the principal of the bond issue would be insured and additional interest payments would be insured in a comparatively short time."39

The Cleveland News also gave its support to the project. On November 5, 1928, Ed Bana argued in his regular sports column "Just Between You and Me" in favor of the proposed municipal stadium. Bana also believed that the proposed stadium made good business sense. Bana wrote that "the proposed new stadium is not an indebtedness as many seem to believe. Instead it is an investment and an exceptionally good one, one that will repay the taxpayers of Cleveland compound interest in the years to come. It is very much like an insurance policy, not a term or straight life policy, . . . but an ENDOWMENT POLICY . . . one that is as good as Uncle Sam's bonds."40 The author concluded his argument by writing that "it is because we believe in good solid investments such as in endowment policies that are absolutely safe and foolproof that we recommend the stadium bond issue to Cleveland's 250,000 voters."41

Differing from the "good business" arguments, the Cleveland Plain Dealer gave almost "cheerleading" support for the project that seemed as an appeal to Cleveland's pride. On the day of the vote, the paper ran an article titled "We Want a Touchdown!" Sam Otis, the newspaper's Sports Editor, showed his avid support of the project by starting his article with the words "We want a touchdown! We want a TOUCHDOWN! We want a touchdown IN A STADIUM ON THE CLEVELAND LAKEFRONT!"42 Otis argued that "Cleveland must have this stadium. It means more to sports here than any other project ever launched, to say nothing of its value outside of athletics. But we are not interested primarily in sports. We know without a stadium Cleveland cannot amount to as much as a no-score tie in the sports world."43 It seems that Otis tried to solicit Cleveland's pride as a great city to gain support for the stadium project.

The Cleveland Citizen and the Cleveland Federalist, representing two of the city's labor newspapers, also voiced support for the project. The Cleveland Citizen echoed the "good business" viewpoint of the Cleveland Press and the Cleveland News in an article titled "Bond Issues." The paper argued that "our community is growing, let's help it grow. Let's not squawk on the taxes we are paying for we believe that we are getting something for our taxes. . . . We must have improvements and we must pay for some as we grow and our community grows. Let's not be obstructionists. Let's study every bond issue and vote for them all."44 The Cleveland Citizen also believed that passing the proposed municipal stadium made good business sense. The paper wrote that "there is at least one general policy upon which all organized labor seems agreed, and that is that all bond issues should be voted up because they are desirable public improvements and will furnish employment for the hundreds of workers which is sorely needed."45

Although the five major papers supported the project, many Clevelanders apparently felt the $2.5 million expenditure was unnecessary. The Cleveland Chamber of Commerce appointed a forty-member committee to study the project. The committee's findings give great insight into the reasoning of those opposed to building the lakefront stadium. The committee's report encouraged the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce to reject the bond issue. The committee's objections, found in the minutes of the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce, said that "your committee objects to the bond issue on several grounds. First, . . . before erecting an enormous disproportionate building of a difficult architectural shape as an integral part of the Group Plan, a restudy of the whole north end of the mall should be made, . . . before the architectural appearance of the whole Group Plan is put in jeopardy."46 According to the committee, although proponents claimed that the stadium would provide Cleveland more than enough revenue to cover the cost and maintenance and pointed to the Cleveland Indians agreeing to pay fifty thousand dollar a year as rent as support for their argument, the committee claimed this "is no guarantee."47 The committee also objected to the lack of planning for traffic which, it argued, might cause huge difficulties. It also felt that private ownership served the city better than public ownership. According to the committee, "it is generally agreed that if the cost can be cleared by private operation in fifteen years, if publicly built and operated it is difficult to clear the cost in thirty years."48 The committee also believed that the county and city residents could not bear any more tax burdens. It reported that "neither industry nor real estate can bear much heavier tax burdens."49 The Cleveland Chamber of Commerce voted on this proposal and only two voted against the report. Three members abstained from the vote including Newton D. Baker (the former Secretary of War under Woodrow Wilson).50 Nonetheless, the Cleveland Press reported that the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce apparently went against its committee's wishes and voted to support the project.51

Professional baseball played a key role in the stadium debate. At the time of the debate, the Cleveland Indians played in the tiny twenty thousand seat League Park. The team and the league hoped to raise their revenues by moving to a larger park. This became one reason that E.S. Barnard, the former Cleveland Indians' President and then President of baseball's American League, became a major supporter of the stadium project. The Cleveland Press reported that Barnard agreed with City Manager Hopkins that "the stadium could be made to pay for itself by allowing the Cleveland Indians to play their home games there. . . ."52 Interestingly, the new owners of the Indians led by Alva Bradley apparently tired of the controversy surrounding the stadium and threatened to build their own. An article in the Cleveland Press quoted Bradley as saying "If somebody else doesn't build the stadium, we will."53 In the same article, the Cleveland Press warned Cleveland to pass the stadium bond or the city will lose a business opportunity by writing "Alva Bradley and associates who own the Indians will build it if the city doesn't, but in that event they will make the profits out of it instead of the city getting them."54

On November 6, 1928, the original debate ended as Clevelanders cast their votes on the issues. Items on the ballot that day seem extremely representative of the feelings in America in the late 1920's. On the same day Cleveland helped elect Hoover to the Presidency, Clevelanders voted on the monstrous sum of over $19 million in tax levies for various public works projects and passed $16.5 million of the tax issues.55 Clevelanders seemed extremely liberal that day with their money. Not only did the stadium bond pass that day by a three to two margin, but also a $2 million dollar hospital bond that went to enlarge the communities' hospitals, a $1.65 million bond for a new jail and court house, a $4 million bond for additional street lighting and paving, and $2 million bond to build the school headquarters.56 Clevelanders also voted in a majority Republican city council and helped elect a Republican governor and a Republican dominated State Senate. 57

Although the stadium project passed by a majority vote, seventy-six thousand people voted against the project.58 This number represents a substantial portion of the public who were against the stadium's construction. Perhaps this led Andrew Meyer on May 29, 1929 to sue to block the building of the stadium.59 Speaking through his lawyers, Meyer sued as a citizen representing the taxpayers of the city of Cleveland. In his suit, Meyers charged that the city was without the power to issue bonds for a stadium, and Meyer claimed that if city council built the stadium on artificially built land, the city would violate the provisions of the land to aid navigation.60 According to Meyer, the city did not possess a sufficient title to the land. Meyer filed this complaint to the legality of City Manager Hopkins trading with railroad companies lands west of the stadium site. In exchange for the new lands, the railroads surrendered all claims on the proposed stadium site.61 Meyer also complained that the council passed the ordinance for the health and welfare of the public, but the question was presented to the people for the improvement of lakefront property. Finally, Meyers charged that the project represented a private enterprise for the support of the Cleveland Indians and not a public enterprise and that the $2.5 million appropriated would be insufficient to build the stadium.62 Meyer took these arguments to the Court of Common Pleas, and the city of Cleveland effectively defended its position. He then appealed the decision to the Sixth District Court of Appeals and lost again.63

The Ohio Appellate Reports gave the court's reasons for rejecting Meyer's suit. According to the court, Meyer waited too long to file his suit. The court wrote, "it will be observed that plaintiff has slept upon his rights for some time, permitting the proposal to be voted upon, and allowing considerable money to be expended. . . ."64 The court rejected many of Meyer's contentions. To Meyer's claim that the city did not possess the authority to sell bonds for the stadium, the court responded that "the charter of the city of Cleveland gives the municipality power to plan, design, and locate public buildings" and the city may "construct and maintain any building calculated to promote public education, recreation or pleasure to the public."65 Meyer's suit also contended that the stadium supported the Cleveland Indians not public enterprise. The court responded to this accusation by arguing that "it appears that no contract has been let to anyone for use of the stadium, and, of course, after the stadium is built, it can be used in a lawful and proper manner. Whether it can be used for professional baseball we are not compelled to determine at this time. . . ."66 Finally, the court rejected Meyer's complaint that the city did not possess the proper land claims to the stadium site. The court believed that "there is evidence tending to show that the railroads have abandoned all claim to the property."67 The court held that the plaintiff was not entitled to an injunction "by reason of a cloud upon the title to the premises in question."68 Although Meyer lost badly, he still appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court. On April 30, 1930, the court declined to hear his appeal finally allowing construction to begin.69

Throughout the trial the town's papers remained supporters of the stadium project, but Meyer's suit raised questions about the project in the minds of Clevelanders. The papers soon radically altered their position as reports of construction cost overruns occurred, and Cleveland slowly succumbed to the grips of the Great Depression. On March 5, 1931, only a little more than year after the city settled Meyer's suite, the Cleveland Press headline screamed "Stadium Costs seen Soaring to $3,000,000." The subheadings of this article included damning phrases such as "$6000 Manager has been in Office Since January; There are No Leases," "EXTRAS RUN UP BILL," and "Price Rises Despite Slash in Building Costs; Flood Lights Prove Expensive."70 The paper kept its negative outlook as the project developed and the added costs began to pile up. To finish the project, City Manager Morgan turned again to the citizenry. The headline on the March 24, 1933 Cleveland Press read "Morgan asks $200,000 in Stadium Bonds; Proposal is Before Council as Two Extras are Approved."71

On July 31, 1931, the construction finished and workers prepared Cleveland Municipal Stadium for its grand opening. Clevelanders thronged to the opening ceremonies for public work projects in the twenties.72 With this in mind, civic leaders expected a crowd of seventy-five thousand and planned a magnificent and monstrous opening ceremony.73 Speakers for the evening included former city managers Hopkins and Morgan and then Mayor John Marshall. The organizers placed a chorus of twenty-five hundred voices in the bleacher section to sing songs played by the Cleveland Orchestra. That Thursday evening, former city manager Hopkins exclaimed in his speech that "now we have facilities so ample and so splendid that we shall be kept busy living up to them. We have facilities adequate not only for metropolitan Cleveland and also for that great part of northern Ohio that naturally looks to Cleveland for national and international events of first rate."74 Hopkins ended his speech by saying "this structure will not only supply a great local need and be an enduring monument to the spirit and aspirations of our people, but make its place among the best known structures of the world . . . the scene of events inseparable from the name of Cleveland."75 Only eight thousand came to hear his words of wisdom and encouragement.76

The general dismay with the project reflected in the dismal turnout at the opening ceremony worsened as the decade and the Great Depression continued. On December 23, 1932, the Cleveland Press reported that the stadium and the public hall did not even come close to breaking even. According to the press, the receipts from the projects totaled around $260 thousand while expenditures exceeded $1.1 million.77 By 1933, Clevelanders began to look to the state to examine leaders of the project. The Cleveland Press reported that one investigation called for a state examiner to explore former State Senator George Bender's methods of bookkeeping and accounting as Stadium Commissioner in 1931.78 This investigation uncovered that "the number of complimentary tickets distributed for various events at the Stadium exceeded the number of tickets actually sold."79 By May 31, 1933, the Cleveland Press reported that based on this examiner's report, the city's law director sued to recover money given in illegal payments.80

It seems easy to understand Cleveland's ill feeling toward the stadium project. The project cost the city around $3 million, an overrun of 21%.81 Promoters promised a financial bonanza for the city. The project finally turned an incredibly meager two dollar profit in 1948.82 Stadium supporters knew that in order for the project to turn a profit, the Cleveland Indians must make the stadium its permanent home.83 The city's baseball team signed its first year round lease in 1947.84 The city wrestled with its financial debt from the stadium and other projects throughout the 1930s.85 Clevelanders realized that the city government had to deny needed financial aid to workers to pay for these debts. The supporters of the project promised a beautiful stadium; they delivered a structure that seemed incompatible with the general neoclassical theme of the other buildings. In 1943, Franklin Lewis in his Cleveland Press article showed how drastically disappointed Clevelanders became by the stadium project. Lewis wrote that the stadium "stands as a horrible and costly example of political bungling, or maybe outright thievery. . . ."86 Lewis claimed that the stadium was "decaying" and "unbelievably filthy."87 The author ended his tirade when he said the stadium was "hated by every Clevelander who ever went down there."88 This article aptly portrays the drastic shift in the public perception of Cleveland Municipal Stadium from the crowning jewel of the Group Plan to the mistake on the lake.

The stadium project evidently sprang from unusual origins and reflected the era of its production. The history of this project showed that originally many Clevelanders passionately advocated the project because of civic pride and their feelings that the project represented a solid business investment. As the Great Depression hit and cost overruns soared, Clevelanders reversed their perspective on the project climaxing in Franklin Lewis' 1943 Cleveland Press article. Voted on in 1928 and finished in 1931, the project bridges two significantly different decades for Americans. The contrast of public perceptions between the two eras is evident. Today Clevelanders look again toward an uncertain future for this mammoth structure. This short history may give some insight for solid decision making.


  1. Craig Zabel, "Public Architecture," The Encyclopedia of Social History, Vol II. ed. Mary Kupiec Clayton, Eliot J Gorn, and Peter W. Williams (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1993), p. 1299.
  2. Holly Rarick, Progressive Vision: The Planning of Downtown Cleveland 1903-1930, (Cleveland: Cleveland Museum of Art, 1986), p. 16.
  3. Ibid., p. 17.
  4. Ibid., p. 20.
  5. Jim Toman, Cleveland Municipal Stadium: Sixty Years of Memories, (Cleveland: Cleveland Landmarks Press, 1994), p. 2.
  6. Rarick, Progressive Vision, p. 58.
  7. Carol Poh Miller and Robert Wheeler, Cleveland: A Concise History, 1796-1990, (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1990), p. 116.
  8. Ibid., p. 117.
  9. Ibid., p. 116.
  10. Ibid., p. 129-130.
  11. Ibid., p. 117.
  12. Ibid., p. 114.
  13. Ibid., p. 130.
  14. Miller and Wheeler, Cleveland, p. 119; Rarick, Progressive Vision, p. 48-51.
  15. Miller and Wheeler, Cleveland, p. 130.
  16. Cleveland Press, September 18, 1943.
  17. Myron Serby, The Stadium, (New York: The American Institute of Steel Construction Incorporation, 1930), p. 7-10.
  18. Meyer vs. City of Cleveland et al., Vol. 35, Ohio Appellate Reports, 20, 25, (Sixth District Court of Appeals 1930).
  19. Cleveland Press, August 15, 1926.
  20. Cleveland Press, November 23, 1926.
  21. Cleveland Press, March 15, 1928.
  22. Cleveland Stadium Committee, "Vote 'Yes' on Stadium Bonds," (Cleveland, Ohio: City Hall, 1928), p. 1.
  23. Cleveland Press, August 22, 1928.
  24. Cleveland City Council, The City Record: Official Publication of the City of Cleveland, (Cleveland, Oh: City of Cleveland, August 30, 1928), p. 1044.
  25. Cleveland Press, August 22, 1928
  26. Cleveland Press, August 22, 1928.
  27. Cleveland Press, October 10, 1929.
  28. Cleveland Press, October 10, 1929.
  29. Cleveland Stadium Committee, "Vote 'Yes' on Stadium Bonds," p. 1.
  30. Ibid., p. 1.
  31. Ibid., p. 1.
  32. Ibid., p. 2.
  33. Ibid., p. 2.
  34. Ibid., p. 2.
  35. Ibid., p. 2.
  36. Ibid., p. 2.
  37. Ibid., p. 2.
  38. Cleveland Press, October 15, 1928 (?).
  39. Cleveland Press, October 18, 1928.
  40. Cleveland News, November 5, 1928.
  41. Cleveland News, November 5, 1928.
  42. Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 6, 1928.
  43. Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 6, 1928.
  44. Cleveland Federalist, November 1, 1928.
  45. Cleveland Citizen, October 27, 1928.
  46. Cleveland Chamber of Commerce (Greater Cleveland Growth Association), Cleveland Chamber of Commerce Minutes, Vol. 38, p. 13-14.
  47. Ibid., p. 13.
  48. Ibid., p. 14.
  49. Ibid., p. 15.
  50. Ibid., p. 15.
  51. Cleveland Press, October 28, 1928.
  52. Cleveland Press, October 20, 1928.
  53. Cleveland Press, October 20, 1928 (?).
  54. Cleveland Press, October 20, 1928 (?).
  55. Cleveland Plan Dealer, November 11, 1928.
  56. Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 9, 1928.
  57. Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 7, 1928.
  58. Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 9, 1928.
  59. Cleveland Press, May 20, 1929.
  60. Cleveland Press, May 20, 1929.
  61. Toman, Sixty Years of Memories, p. 11.
  62. Cleveland Press, May 20, 1929.
  63. Toman, Sixty Years of Memories, p. 11.
  64. Meyer vs City of Cleveland, p. 21-22.
  65. Ibid., p. 22.
  66. Ibid., p. 27.
  67. Ibid., p. 28
  68. Ibid., p. 28.
  69. Toman, Sixty Years of Memories, p. 11.
  70. Cleveland Press, March 5, 1931.
  71. Cleveland Press, March 24, 1931.
  72. Rarick, Progressive Vision, p. 58.
  73. Toman, Sixty Years of Memories, p. 18.
  74. Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 3, 1931.
  75. Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 3, 1931.
  76. Toman, Sixty Years of Memories, p. 19.
  77. Cleveland Press, December 23, 1932.
  78. Cleveland Press, January 13, 1933.
  79. Cleveland Press, January 13, 1933.
  80. Cleveland Press, May 31, 1933.
  81. Toman, Sixty Years of Memories, p. 16.
  82. Cleveland Press, November 1, 1948.
  83. Serby, The Stadium, p. 11.
  84. Toman, Sixty Years of Memories, p. 73.
  85. Miller and Wheeler, Cleveland, p. 142.
  86. Cleveland Press, September 18, 1943.
  87. Cleveland Press, September 18, 1943.
  88. Cleveland Press, September 18, 1943.

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