The Alcazar Hotel in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, plays a small part in the upcoming novel, Ruby. It was built in 1923 and is now on the record of historic buildings. Prominent guests of the grand Alcazar include Bob Hope, Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Mary Martin, Jack Benny and Johnny Weissmuller. In 1963, it became part retirement home and part hotel. The most recent owners are doing a renovation that will make the old hotel into apartments for students of the nearby Case Western Reserve University.
There were several other vintage hotels in Cleveland including two of my favorites, the Renaissance Hotel (Marriott) on Public Square and the Hyatt Regency at the Arcade. The Renaissance has always been an impressive building inside and out and if you've ever seen the movie, The Christmas Story, it became part of the backdrop for the downtown movie scenes with the Christmas Parade. It was originally called Hotel Cleveland and was built in 1918, before the iconic Terminal Tower.
The Cleveland Arcade at East 4th Street between Euclid and Superior was built in 1890 and was America's first indoor shopping mall. It is an amazing structure that was in danger of being lost to deterioration over the years. A huge renovation project by Related Midwest and Hyatt Development Corporation was completed in 2001 with the upper three floors of the atrium and the towers being occupied by the hotel. The lower levels are filled with boutique shops and restaurants and is worth at least a walk through if not a few moments to shop or relax with a cup of coffee.
There are lots of jewels in Cleveland as well as many other cities in the US. I hope people will see the value in saving these wonderful historical places. Too many times we take the easy way out and just knock it all down and opt for something new and not necessarily as charming.