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Walking Tour: Gateway/East 4th Districts

Two of Cleveland’s crown jewels when it comes to major-league sports, eclectic eateries and nightspots, and unique shops make for an interesting 6-stop walking tour.


1. Progressive Field (home of the Cleveland Indians) at 2401 Ontario Street opened in 1994 as Jacobs Field and as part of the Gateway Sports and Entertainment Complex. Bounded by Ontario Street to the west, Carnegie Avenue to the south, and E. 9th Street to the east, the ballpark features an exposed steel design with vertical light towers and angled seating sections. Inside, next to the Indians bullpen, is Heritage Park, which honors past Indians greats. Outside the East 9th Street entrances are sculpted statues of Bob Feller, Larry Doby, and Jim Thome, familiar names to baseball fans everywhere.

2. Quicken Loans Arena (known here as “The Q”) is at 1 Center Court, off Ontario Street and adjacent to Progressive Field. It opened in 1994 as the Gund Arena and as part of the Gateway Sports and Entertainment Complex. The building is home to the 2016 NBA champions, the Cleveland Cavaliers; 2016 Calder Cup champions, the Lake Erie Monsters of the American Hockey League; and the Cleveland Gladiators of the Arena Football League. CV TIP: Across from The Q on Ontario Street is the Sherwin-Williams building, which you can’t miss because on its side is a ginormous mural of “Number 23,” Cavs’ great LeBron James. 

3. E. 4th Street, between Prospect and Euclid Avenues is the East 4th Street entertainment district where you’ll find a pedestrian mall with fine and casual dining establishments as well as comedy, music, and bowling venues. Believe it or not, this vibrant strip was once a run-down area with pawn and wig shops.

4. Old Arcade at East 4th Street between Euclid and Superior Avenues. Across from the end of East 4th Street on Euclid Avenue is this two-level, mixed-use passageway, which opened in 1890 as the nation’s first indoor shopping center and was nicknamed Cleveland’s Crystal Palace. Inspired by European shopping malls, it features a five-story glass atrium with ornate metal decorative work and is home to a Hyatt Regency hotel, shops, and eateries. CV TIP: Take a lap around the second floor and then another lap-and-a-half around the first floor and exit Superior Avenue and head left for our next stop.

5. St. John Cathedral at 1007 Superior Avenue was established by Cleveland’s first bishop, Amadeus Rappe, shortly after his appointment in 1847 to provide a centrally located church for the city’s Catholic population. Patrick Charles Keeley, a nationally known church architect, designed the building in an Ornamental Gothic style; a hand-cut wood altar and statues were imported from France. The church’s exterior was remodeled in the 1940s with the original brick being replaced by Tennessee sandstone. The sanctuary was also enlarged and now seats 1,500. The church is Cleveland’s largest Catholic house of worship and is adjacent to the Central Administrative Offices of Catholic Diocese of Cleveland. After visiting, walk south on E. 9th Street back to Euclid Avenue for our next stop. 

6. Heinen’s Fine Foods at the corner of East 9th Street and Euclid Avenue, and Metropolitan at The 9 hotel, next door to Heinen’s on East 9th Street. Two of Cleveland’s newest and most popular additions are part of the former AmeriTrust complex, established in 1894 as the Cleveland Trust bank before becoming AmeriTrust in 1979 and the Midwest’s largest bank. The two-level rotunda is now part of Heinen’s Fine Foods and features an 85-foot-high stained glass dome, marble columns, and an expansive round space once used for banking but now used for shopping and noshing prepared food ranging from sushi to subs. Next to Heinen’s is Metropolitan at The 9 hotel, which features a lounge inside converted bank vaults and a rooftop bar. CV TIP: While inside Heinen’s, check out the second floor balcony for its beauty and selection of wines, which can be sampled using preloaded debit cards that activate an automatic dispensing system. The beer selection includes growler containers for draft beer purchases. There’s an espresso bar, too. 

7. 5th Street Arcades at 530 Euclid Avenue link Euclid and Prospect Avenues. Once known as the Colonial and Euclid Arcades, the eastern portion of this complex dates back to 1887 and includes the Kendall Building. The Colonial Hotel and Colonial Arcade were added in 1889. The hotel was a favorite of John D. Rockefeller’s until the rate increased from $1 to $2. Visitors today may stay at this site at the Residence Inn by Marriott, though you won’t find $1 or $2 room rates here.  CV TIP: If after completing this tour you want to stop for a beverage or a bite, exit the arcades at Prospect Avenue, turn right and head back to East 4th, where you’re certain to find what you’re looking for.