For the 22nd and 24th President, see Grover Cleveland
Cleveland is a liberal city in the state of Ohio located on the southern shore of Lake Erie, and 60 miles from the Pennsylvania border in northeast corner of the state. Cleveland was founded in 1796, near the Cuyahoga River and was a manufacturing center for many years but now has a service based economy. In the 2000 US Census the city of Cleveland had a population of 478,403, however Greater Cleveland (Cleveland-Akron-Elyria-Mentor Combined Statistical Area) is a larger metropolitan area, with a population of 2,945,831 and is the 14th largest in the United States. A Major Tourist Attraction in Cleveland is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Cleveland was once a major steel manufacturing center and even was an early center of the automobile industry before the latter centered in Detroit, Michigan. The city reached its peak in the 1950s and early 60s, but began to decline after that, due in part to inept leadership and a changing business climate. Under the ill-fated mayorship of Dennis Kucinich, the city defaulted on its loans. In the 1980s, George Voinovich took over as mayor and the city experienced something of a rebirth. The precursor to this was the Playhouse Square project. This project involved rehabilitating and restoring a series of 1920s theaters that had been abandoned and fell into disrepair. Although many viewed the project as a pipe dream, a few dedicated individuals made progress and the city's business community gave heavy support to it, and eventually the restoration effort became a great success and created a vibrant arts district. Both Kucinich and (especially) Voinovich were big supporters of this. Also in the 1980s, the flats district, on the Cuyahoga River, hosted a brief revival and several new buildings were built downtown. The revival continued into the 1990s while Michael White was mayor (Voinovich had become the Ohio's Governor by this point), when the Society Bank (now called Key Bank) built its headquarters on public square, new football, baseball, and basketball venues were built downtown, and the city's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame opened. Cleveland's fortunes declined in the 2000s, but recently there have been signs of a revival: The flats are being revitalized and a number of major projects are underway downtown, many of which have been supported by the JobsOhio program created by Governor John Kasich.
Cleveland is also prominent in the arts and music. The University Circle neighborhood is home to the acclaimed Cleveland Museum of Art and the internationally renowned Cleveland Orchestra. Several other museums are in this area. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is located on the waterfront, next to the Great Lakes Science Center.
Cleveland is home to the NFL's Browns, the NBA's Cavaliers, and Baseball's Indians. The Cavaliers rose to prominence in the late 2000s with star players including LeBron James, Mo Williams, and Shaq, but the departure of these three and others have left the team struggling. The Indians were one of the top MLB teams in the late 1990s and early 2000s, during which they fielded many legendary players such as Jim Thome and Omar Vizquel. The city held an IndyCar race on the runways of the Burke Lakefront Airport, a small semi-commercial downtown airport for many years. The race was popular but was canceled in 2008 when the merging of two open wheel racing series caused a scheduling conflict that made it impossible to hold the race that year. There has been talk of reviving the race, but no firm plans have been put in place.