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Cleveland: Beyond the Obvious Ten 20-Minute Trips You Can Take Without Missing Any of CMWorld 2013

Guest post from Allen Pfenninger

As a native and current Clevelander, I’ve had the chance to get familiar with many of the points of interest in the city that plays host to this year’s Content Marketing World.  If you’re visiting Cleveland for the first time for CMW, I have some good news and some bad news for you.

First, the bad news: with the packed CMW 2013 agenda, you probably won’t have time to see some of our better-known attractions, like the Cleveland Art Museum, the Great Lakes Science Center, and Progressive Field.

Now, the good news. There are plenty of great sights to see that you can squeeze into a busy schedule. Here are 10 short trips (20 to 30 minutes each) that you can take from your hotel:

  1. MatherThe William G. Mather Steamship Museum. You can’t miss it. Just look to the north of the Convention Center, docked near the Great Lakes Science Center, between First Energy Stadium and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.  You’ll see a 618-foot Great Lakes freighter in dock. Launched in 1925, the Mather was one of many freighters that delivered iron ore to steel mills in Cleveland and other Great Lakes ports. It was retired in 1980, but you can tour it today – and think about the fact that it’s small when compared to today’s lake freighters.

  2. The USS Cod, a World War II submarine, is also located nearby, just a block or so east of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.  The Cod saw service in the Pacific Theater and is credited with sinking 12 enemy vessels. Yes, you can go below deck… as long as you’re not claustrophobic.

  3. Free Stamp , at the northwest corner of East 9th St. and Lakeside Avenue, in Willard Park. Sculptor Claes Oldenburg’s oversized public art exhibitions can be found worldwide. Cleveland was the fortunate recipient of Oldenburg’s “Free Stamp,” a gift from BP America. Its home, Willard Park, is named for the late artist Archibald Willard, an artist whose most famous work is Spirit of ’76.

  4. The Cuyahoga County Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, at the southeast corner of Public Square. Freedom isn’t free (although admission to this monument is). Opened in 1894, this dramatic monument is a tribute to the more than 9,000 men and women of Cuyahoga County (of which Cleveland is the county seat) who served in the Civil War. The Emancipation Panel (north side of Monument’s interior) is the only sculpted representation of Lincoln not only freeing a slave, but arming him, enabling him to fight for the freedom of all.

  5. Walnut Wednesdays. Right behind the Fahlgren Mortine office at 1100 Superior Ave., at East 12th St. and Walnut Ave., is “Walnut Wednesdays” when some of the most creative food trucks in the city congregate. Walk on over, choose from an eclectic menu, and enjoy the live music.

  6. Society for Savings banking room at Key Center, northeast corner, Public Square. Arguably one of the most beautiful public rooms in the city, it includes stained glass skylights, classic murals that warn against greed and encourage thrift, and a collection of antique coin banks.

  7. arcadeThe Arcade, within the Hyatt Hotel just east of Public Square, entry on either Euclid or Superior Avenues. Built in 1890, modeled after the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan, Italy. One of the earliest indoor shopping areas in the U.S., with the top three floors formerly medical offices – now primarily hotel rooms. Step back in time as you check out the block-long glass skylight and brass architectural accents.

  8. Eastman in autumnThe Eastman Reading Garden at the Cleveland Public Library. A peaceful oasis within the city to read, think, enjoy a quick lunch… or just relax.  Amazing public artwork by Maya Lin, designer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. and Tom Otterness, whose whimsical sculptures adorn public spaces worldwide – perhaps most famously, “Life Underground,” encompassing  the 14th Street/8th Avenue Subway Station in New York City.

  9. Old Stone Church, northwest corner, Public Square. Presbyterian by denomination, but a church for all people, with a congregation that formed in 1820. The building dates to 1855, with renovations taking place through the years. Victorian-Romanesque architecture. Look up – you’ll see a trussed-wood, barrel vaulted ceiling. Look out. You’ll see some amazing stained glass windows, four of which were designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany.  

  10. Detroit-Superior Bridge, or Veteran’s Memorial Bridge, West 9th St. and Superior Ave. (which turns into Detroit Ave. once you cross – hence the name). A walk or a run across the bridge and back will provide some great views of downtown Cleveland; Lake Erie to the north and the Cuyahoga Valley to the south. It’s the oldest of four high-level bridges in downtown Cleveland that allow lake freighters to pass below with no interruption to traffic. The largest bridge of its kind in the world when it opened in 1917, it also carried streetcars on its lower level until the mid-1950s.

While the activities scheduled for inside Content Marketing World are sure to be the highlight of your trip to Cleveland, I hope I’ve inspired you to take a couple of minutes to enjoy some of the many unique sights the city has to offer.

Allen Pfenninger is a Vice President at Fahlgren Mortine, one of the sponsors of CMWorld 2013. Fahlgren Mortine is a nationally award-winning marketing and communications agency that partners with its clients to look beyond the obvious, based upon its belief that business thrives on wider thinking. More information at