Terminal Tower

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The Terminal Tower in Cleveland, completed in 1930, was originally known as Cleveland Union Terminal. Brothers Oris Paxton and Mantis James Van Sweringen developed the original concept for the building. At fifty-two stories and 708 feet tall (771 feet including the flag pole), the Terminal Tower was the second-tallest building in the world when it was completed. At the time, it was second only to the Empire State Building in New York City. The Terminal Tower continued to hold this record until 1967, when the city of Boston constructed the Prudential Center. The architectural firm of Graham, Anderson, Probst & White designed the structure in a style known as beaux-arts.

Like Union Terminal in Cincinnati, the Terminal Tower served as a major hub for passenger rail service in the Midwest. Beginning in the 1950s, the railroads faced stiff competition from automobiles and passenger airline service. Eventually, the terminal no longer operated as a passenger station. In more recent years, the city of Cleveland has renovated the building, turning the original terminal into a shopping center and has developed other commercial uses for the site.

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