When your friends visit from oversees, what can you show them in Cleveland over a two-day weekend?
“Mistake by the lake?” No way. When our friends from Germany arrived last Friday, we and our hometown were ready to impress.
Stop number one. We started our day with Lakeview Cemetery. This beautiful park, modeled after the great garden cemeteries of Victorian-era England and France, was founded in 1869 and is situated in the “heights” area of Cleveland with a view of Lake Erie to the north. When Italian stonemasons were invited to create Lakeview Cemetery, they founded the charming neighborhood of Little Italy nearby. The cemetery was profiled in the 2005 PBS documentary A Cemetery Special. Much more recently, in 2014, the film “Capitan America: The Winter Soldier” was partially filmed there.
We always bring our guests to the most prominent point first: The James A. Garfield Memorial. Dedicated to our 20th president who was assassinated in 1881, the memorial is filled with patriotic symbolism, has beautiful stain glass and mosaics, and the 12-foot tall Garfield statue in the center. The view from the terrace on the Lake Erie and the downtown never fails to impress our guests. However, Alex and I consider the Wade Chapel as the best, though little-known, treasure of the Cemetery. Designed and built by Louis Comfort Tiffany for Jeptha Wade, a founder of the Western Union Telegraph Company, this is a true Art Nouveau masterpiece. Both Bible-inspired mosaics and the stain glass are the best Tiffany we ever seen.
Behind the chapel is a small lake. The Cemetery is also treasure trove for the bird lovers. Our friend, an ornithologist, could not get enough from bird-watching! OK, back to the deceased famous. More than 104,000 people are buried there. Among the notables, are:
- Newton D. Baker (1871-1937), U.S. Secretary of War during World War I
- George Washington Crile, co-founder of the Cleveland Clinic and the first surgeon to successfully perform a direct blood transfusion
- Harvey Cushing, pioneer brain surgeon
- Alan Freed, Rock and Roll musician and an inventor of the term “Rock and Roll”
- James A. Garfield, 20th President of the United States:103
- Lucretia Garfield, former First Lady of the United States
- John Hay, former United States Secretary of State and aide to President Abraham Lincoln (Hay’s monument was created by sculptor James Earle Fraser.)
- Adella Prentiss Hughes, founder of the Cleveland Orchestra
- Eliot Ness, detective, investigator, and Cleveland safety director, also the best known member of The Untouchables (Ness’s ashes and those of his wife Elizabeth and son Robert were scattered over a pond in the cemetery. A memorial marker stands nearby.)
- John D. Rockefeller, billionaire oil tycoon and philanthropisthttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_View_Cemetery – cite_note-LVC_ECH-2
- James Salisbury, inventor of the Salisbury steak
- Viktor Schreckengost, noted American industrial designer and teacher, sculptor, and artist who taught industrial design at the Cleveland Institute of Art for more than 50 years and was a professor emeritus until his death.
- Henry Alden Sherwin (1842–1916) was one of the two founders of the Sherwin-Williams Company in 1866.
- Jeptha Homer Wade (1811-1890), founder of Western Union Telegraph company
If you have not visited the Lakeview Cemetery – do go!
Stop number two. Cleveland Museum of Art. This institution is truly the reason to come to Cleveland. One of the best art collections in the world, our museum is also the best in displaying it. It is also the only institution of this class that is still able to keep a free admission policy (except special exhibitions). Every Saturday and Sunday, the museum runs docent-led highlights tours. Next year, the international art world and we here in Cleveland will be celebrating the centennial of this unique museum.
Stop number three. University Circle tour. University Circle is the densest concentration of world-class cultural, historical, performing arts, research, and medical institutions in the United States. It includes the Cleveland Museum of Art, Case Western Reserve University, University Hospitals, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland Orchestra, for example, though the list goes on and on. Don’t forget the Cultural gardens, a remarkable cluster of small gardens representing all nationalities living in Cleveland: Lithuanians, Hungarians, Germans, Jews, Russians, Ukrainians, and about twenty others.
Stops number four and five. Downtown, Theater District, and the Rock and Roll Museum.
All four of us greatly enjoyed each other’s company and the city. We did not want to stop but we had tickets for our Stop number six: a Cleveland Orchestra concert.
Day Two: Niagara Falls. A four hour drive one way is probably too long to call Niagara a side trip from Cleveland, but we could not let our friends to leave our city without seeing this