10 Notes on Visiting Cleveland

10 Notes on Visiting Cleveland 1

On my trip to Cuyahoga National Park, I got to take a short day trip into the city of Cleveland, where we explored the city a little bit and went to a couple of city parks, and got a few first impressions.

Bones of a Big City

10 Notes on Visiting Cleveland 2

Cleveland has the bones of a big city. It reminded me so much of Chicago. It was on a lake, it was on a grid, and it was obviously well-developed with a train system, big parks, rivers, interstates, and tall skyscrapers. It was surprisingly big, even though, due to depopulation, I know it is much smaller than it was at one time.

Real Estate and Development

Cleveland has so much affordable real estate and room to develop. I knew that home prices in Cleveland were cheaper than most of the rest of the country, but I was amazed at just how nice the real estate is for such a low price.

Additionally, there is so much vacant property within the city limits of Cleveland that can and should be developed into good housing, which would be great in a country with a housing affordability crisis.

Park System

10 Notes on Visiting Cleveland 3

Cleveland has a lovely park system. The city’s parks are managed as a region, and you can bike, walk, or run an incredible distance without ever getting on a road. All the Parks are chained together by greenways, and the parks are well-maintained. There are parks along the lake, parks along the river, parks in neighborhoods, and they all work together.

Urban Amenities

There are lots of urban amenities that you wouldn’t expect in a city of the size of Cleveland. Like cities such as Pittsburgh, Cleveland had a golden era where there was lots of prosperity and money, which led to a really interesting art scene, lots of interesting museums, beautiful city design, well-laid-out streets and sidewalks, and all the amenities that you would expect from a big city. Now, Cleveland is one of those mid-size cities in America that has a major league baseball team, a national football team, and an NBA team, which is really cool for a city that size.

City Setting and Landscape

Cleveland has a lovely city setting and landscape. You absolutely cannot beat having a city on water, and the city is set right on Lake Erie, right where the Cuyahoga River comes in. Even though Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga were once highly polluted, that’s no longer as true, and right now, it’s a really beautiful setting for a city.

Incredible History

Cleveland has an incredible history, going back to right after the founding of the United States. It grew up with a manufacturing history, a civil rights history, and it’s where John Rockefeller originally started Standard Oil. There’s just a lot going on in Cleveland, making it honestly true to say that they helped build a lot of America.

Industrial Presence

Despite the “Rust Belt” nickname and the story of deindustrialization, there is still a lot of industry in Cleveland. There’s still a lot of industry, right near downtown Cleveland, including oil refineries, coal, railroads, and big manufacturing companies, even though a lot of those factories have moved away from Cleveland or even out into the suburbs. There’s still a lot of industry right in the city of Cleveland, which is interesting. I would not want to live near it, but it was really interesting to see.

Housing and Job Mismatch

Cleveland does feel like a missed opportunity. It’s kind of weird in a country with a supposed housing crisis to see a major city with all the infrastructure having so many available homes and real estate.

It’s almost like the United States does not necessarily have a housing crisis; they just have a housing mismatch with jobs crisis. And if Cleveland had more jobs, or the Sun Belt had more housing, everything would be solved.

So, it did kind of confuse me a little bit; it feels like there’s a missed opportunity there to simply locate a few more jobs in Cleveland…rather than build out more housing and infrastructure in the Sunbelt. But! I also understand since I’m very happy in Atlanta and do not plan on moving either.

Not Many Universities

Cleveland has Case Western Reserve University…but not much else when it comes to higher education. Given the population of Ohio and that it was in its “golden age” during a time when so many prestigious universities were being founded…I was surprised their weren’t more (again, sort of like Pittsburgh or Chicago).

Competition w/ Akron & Other Ohio Cities

Cleveland and the area around it is branding itself as “Northeast Ohio” to the world…but I got the sense that there has been a history of catfights between Cleveland, Akron, and the suburbs that has not been exactly beneficial to growing and maintaining influence.

I was pleasantly surprised by Cleveland. And I’m not surprised at all that it’s one of the hottest housing markets in 2024. I hope they do well!

Share via...

Similar Posts