top of page

Post World War II

There have been countless plans to renovate and revitalize Public Square, however, there always seemed to be a reason why the plan couldn’t go through.

Many plans in the 1940s and 1950s surrounded the possibility of a subway system in Cleveland.

However, when those plans fell through, so did the plans for Public Square.

In the 1970s, more plans were created, however the group in charge of approving the plans did not like the minimalist and modernistic features of the design, so they never went through with it.

In the early 1980s, the group funding the 1970’s plans used their funds, along with $12 million in city, county, state, and federal funds to renovate of each of Public Square’s quadrants piece by piece.

In 1986 the revamped Public Square was opened in time for Cleveland’s sesquicentennial.

In the mid-2000s, current Mayor Frank Jackson created the new Group Plan Commission, whose goals and ideas aligned with the original Group Plan Commission’s, with a 21st-century twist.

They were charged with the task of revitalizing downtown Cleveland the same way the original Group Plan Commission did 100 years earlier.

In 2009, the Group Plan Commission involved James Corner Field Operations, who ended up designing and redesigning Public Square until the Group Plan Commission was happy with the result.

By Fall of 2014, two phases of traffic studies had been completed, and the design phase was nearing completion.

Then, in March 2015, construction officially began to bring the old Public Square into the 21st century with high-quality materials, innovative designs, and a flair unique to Cleveland.

On June 23, 2016, Public Square held a “Behind the Fence” party to congratulate all those involved in creating the new Public Square.

On June 30, 2016, Public Square was officially rededicated and opened to the public.



bottom of page