100 Things to Do in Cleveland Before You Die: Terminal Tower Observation Deck

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Terminal Tower Observation Deck, 42nd Floor, 50 Public Square, Cleveland. Hours: Saturdays, 12 p.m. - 5 p.m.; Sundays, 12 p.m. - 4 p.m.  Tickets, $5, available on Eventbrite.com.  No walk-up tickets are offered.

Azure Lounge, 2017 E. 9th St., Cleveland.  Enjoy eats and drinks on this rooftop lounge on Level 12.  Hours: Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m. - 12 a.m.; Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m. - 2 a.m.  Weather dependent.  Info/Reservations: (216) 331-6318, azure9cle.com.

Greenhouse Tavern, 2038 E. 4th St., Cleveland.  Hours: Monday-Friday, 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 10 a.m. - 11 p.m.  InfoReservations: (216) 443-0511, thegreenhousetavern.com.

Amy Eddings: It takes about a minute by elevator to go from the ground floor of Cleveland’ signature landmark, the Terminal Tower up 668 feet to its Observation Deck on the 42nd floor -- just one minute to change your perspective and get a whole new outlook on the city.  It will take me a bit longer than that, because, for me, Cleveland is unrecognizable from the downtrodden yet feisty Rust Belt city I left in 1981.  To help me in my journey, I’ve enlisted Nikki Delamotte, author of “100 Things To Do In Cleveland Before You Die.”  She’s agreed to re-introduce me to Cleveland, and what better place to start than at the observation deck of the Terminal Tower.  A visit here is No. 79 on Nikki’s list. 

Nikki Delamotte:  Well, I always say, I even say in the book, that one of best things to do to get to know the city is ride around on the RTA on the ground level.  But I thought this was a great way to see things from a sky view and see all the things just how much has changed, all the new developments, and really get a new perspective of the city.

Eddings:  I’m thinking, boy, this is a view that has changed tremendously since 1981.  We’ve got the FirstEnergy Stadium, what I knew as the Municipal Stadium.  The Rock and roll Hall of Fame which didn’t come to Cleveland until 1995.  Nikki, tell me, when I’m looking straight down here at Public Square, that has gone through a major renovation.

Delamotte: Public Square is obviously one of our biggest developments over the last year or so. It’s really become a place with programming, arts and culture.  They even have ice skating.  There’s a little something for everyone.  And it’s really become the hub of our city. Thee’s even the water patio out there, which you’ll see kids splashing around there, too. 

Eddings: Yeah, no kids splashing around out there today on this day with temperatures in the mid-60s and cloudy skies.  But it does look inviting as does the boomerang shaped green space there that wasn’t there when I was a kid.  The Soldiers and Sailors Monument, obviously a historic landmark, still in place, as is the Old Stone Church.  Anything else, Nikki, that you would be sure that I check out or notice while we’re out here?

Delamotte: Well, Amy, I think a big important one would be the Key Tower, which is 888 feet – it’s actually 947 feet if you go to the very tippy-top.

Eddings: And that’s taller than the Terminal Tower.

Delamotte: Absolutely, it’s the tallest building in Cleveland. 

Eddings: I remember when I was a kid there was a big debate.  Civic leaders didn’t want any building going into Cleveland that would dominate the skyline and be higher than the Terminal Tower.  So I guess we got over that. 


Delamotte:  Well, after all this time, I think Tower City and the Terminal Tower are still such a big part of Cleveland, no one will ever forget that.  

Eddings: Nikki Delamotte, thank you for being my guide through your book, “100 Things to Do In Cleveland Before You Die.”  We’ll be checking in with you regularly and thanks for being my tour guide around Cleveland,

Delamotte: Thanks so much for having me and happy exploring.  

Eddings: The Observation Deck is open on weekends.  Get tickets on Eventbrite.com.  Nikki recommends other places where you can “shout from the rooftops,” including the Azure Lounge in the Metropolitan Hotel on E. 9th St., .and the rooftop dining room at the Greenhouse Tavern on E. 4th St. 

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