Mickey Wolfson, founder of the The Wolfsonian museum in Miami Beach and collector extraordinaire, visited Cleveland and returned home an enthusiastic admirer of all the city has to offer, calling it an “imperial” city. Mickey is a world traveler and acquired and donated over 80,000 objects to his namesake museum The Wolfsonian — FIU. With more than 200,000 objects and counting, The Wolfsonian is among the largest university decorative art collections in the country.
He visited so many of our favorite sites and enjoyed it so much that we want to share them with you too!
Mickey’s visit included a stay at the Glidden House, an historic boutique hotel that is the former French Gothic-style home of the founders of the Glidden Paint Company. Built in 1910, the home is on the National Register of Historic Places. The hotel is in an area called University Circle, a short walk to numerous Cleveland attractions including The Cleveland Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland Museum of Natural History, the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum, Cleveland Carousel, The Cleveland Orchestra at Severance Hall, Cleveland Institute of Music, Cleveland Botanical Garden and Case Western Reserve University.
During his five-day stay, Mickey marveled at the quality of the food and thoroughly enjoyed the authentic home-cooked Hungarian food at Balaton. (It’s one of Terry’s favorite places too!) He was also impressed by the hopefulness and friendliness of everyone he encountered. And he found many treasures in local antique shops and bookstores to add to the collection at The Wolfsonian-FIU.
Here are some of the highlights of his trip that left Mickey with the impression that Cleveland is indeed an “imperial” city.
COLLECTOR’S TIP: If you are visiting Cleveland, try to time your trip for the Burton Flea Market, in Burton, Ohio, held every year in June and September.
The Cleveland Museum of Art, founded in 1913 “for the benefit of all the people forever” and free to the public. Mickey was awed by the museum — its atrium, use of space and collections. He thought it was one of the stand-out museums he had visited.
The West Side Market, opened in 1912, is an indoor and outdoor market with a 44-foot-high ceiling and clock tower and sells authentic foods from Cleveland’s culturally diverse community. It is considered one of the “10 Great Public Places in America.”
The Hope Memorial (Lorain-Carnegie) Bridge, also known as the Lorain-Carnegie Bridge, opened in 1932 and crosses the Cuyahoga River. The sides of the Art Deco bridge are flanked by a pair of statues, the 43-foot-high “Guardians of Traffic” designed by sculptor Henry Hering and architect Frank Walker. The Guardians symbolize progress in transportation.
The Peter B. Lewis Building, designed by architect Frank Gehry, is a $62 million building, home to the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. Photo: Destination Cleveland
The Garfield Memorial is a monument built to honor President James A. Garfield in Cleveland’s Lave View Cemetery. It was dedicated in 1890 and Garfield and his wife are entombed in the crypt below. The cemetery is noted for the dignitaries buried there and its amazing gardens. Photo: Destination Cleveland
The Arcade, built in 1890 for a cost of $875,000 it is “the first indoor shopping center in America.” Photo: Destination Cleveland
Public Square is the center of downtown Cleveland, established in 1796 and reimagined in 2016. When open, you can visit the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ monument, a Civil War monument dedicated in 1894. Photo: Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument
The “Jazz Bowl” in the collection of the Cowan Pottery Museum, located in the Rocky River (a Cleveland suburb) Public Library. The museum contains 1,300 pieces made at the Cowan Pottery Studio. This American art pottery was made in Lakewood (another suburb) from 1912 to 1919 and in Rocky River from 1920 to 1931. The famous “Jazz Bowl” was made by Viktor Schreckengost (1906-2008). Photo: Cowan Pottery Museum