On Saturday, June 11th residents throughout Greater Cleveland were invited to explore the Gordon Square Arts District. The event, which attracted a steady stream of visitors all day, was billed as Discover Gordon Square Arts District Day. Organizers of the event,joined forces with the University Circle neighborhood, which offers Parade the Circle on the same day, offering free Lolly the Trolley shuttle services between the two events.
Those exploring the neighborhood were offered maps to local restaurants, art galleries and shopping destinations. Visitors sampled local restaurants, while visitors and residents alike lined up at Sweet Moses for relief from the hot summer day with fountain drinks and ice cream.
Housing tours allowed visitors to see neighborhood houses for sale and imagine what it would be like to live in an urban neighborhood where you can walk to the theatre and local shops and restaurants.
Both Near West Theatre and Cleveland Public Theatre offered free live entertainment throughout the afternoon, while the Capital Theatre offered free classic cartoons in the morning.
Near West Theatre set up a tent on the site of its future theatre at W. 67th and Detroit to showcase its performers who offered a variety of singing, dancing, and even some poetry. An original parody performed by Near West Theatre’s Xavier Reminick was titled “The Day Xavier went to Gordon Square,” and featured a number of neighborhood locals.
A group of 30 artists, called Collective Upcycle, displayed their handmade arts and goods at 6710 Detroit Avenue, a space that Near West Theatre hopes to rent out to help pay for the upkeep of its future theatre.
Cleveland Public Theatre used its various venues for introducing visitors to both visual and performing arts.
Councilman Matt Zone’s office at 6501 Detroit was turned into a showcase for Cleveland area fashion designers.
Visitors could visit an Urban Sustainability Center to find out how to reduce their carbon footprint.
Individuals with an interest in history could discover Gordon Square’s historic past by participating in a walking tour. For those with iPhones, a self-guided tour application was available at www.clevelandhistorical.org.
Area resident, George E. W. Cormack, set up a sidewalk display offering a great variety of his own publications and reprints of historic Cleveland photos, many from the Cleveland Press Archives at Cleveland State University. Among the other items that Cormack had on display was a reproduction of the original newspaper ad announcing the original opening of the Capitol Theater in the early 1930s. Cormack also displayed weekly planners he published with each day of the year containing a piece of Cleveland’s history that happened on that day.
Cormack was set up directly across the street from the newly opened XYZ Tavern where says a photo he reproduced from the Cleveland Press archives is on the wall. He says it is one of two pictures in the archives of liquor establishments that were allowed to open on the Near Side of Cleveland just after prohibition ended – one on W. 25th near Lorain Avenue and one on Detroit near W. 65th. The owner of the XYZ Tavern also owns a bar on W. 25th in Ohio City.