Skip to main content

1930 Meets 2020 with Style.

Cleveland rocked in the Roaring Twenties. During that period it was the fifth largest city in the U.S., an industrial boomtown with a flourishing arts scene. Amid all the bustling growth, two real estate partners and brothers, Oris and Mantis Van Sweringen, were developing the scenic residential community of Shaker Heights. They planned to build a small train station near downtown's Public Square to provide residents with easy access to downtown Cleveland.

Over time, the project expanded to something vastly grander: a massive mix of high-rise offices, shopping, a hotel, a train depot and rapid station below grade. It was called the Union Terminal Complex, and its centerpiece was the Terminal Tower, which upon completion in 1930 became, and remained for decades, the second tallest building in the world.

Few buildings in the world are so utterly the architectural symbol of their city as is the Terminal Tower for Cleveland. Ask someone to imagine New York City, they'll remember a crowded street scene; ask them to imagine Chicago, they'll picture skyscrapers on the lake. Los Angeles? Sprawl. Cleveland? The Terminal Tower, perhaps lit as a jewel in the night sky.

We can talk about how its opulent Beaux-Arts style features arched windows, grand entrances and staircases, brass fixtures and eclectic details. Let’s cut to the chase and consider, how many buildings in the U.S. actually still look like that?

In its nearly nine decades, with the exception of the Van Sweringen brothers who for a time had a ten-room, multi-level suite from the 12th-14th floors, no one has ever lived in the Terminal Tower. Their suite had a private elevator and was known as The Greenbrier Suite.

So if anyone remarks to you that living here is a once in a lifetime opportunity - how right they are.

Part of your legacy will be having lived in one.