The Cleveland Group Plan of 1903

Inspired by the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, the Cleveland Group Plan was the embodiment of the City Beautiful Movement.  Grounded in the ideals of Beaux Arts Architecture, the plan called for Beaux Arts style buildings with Neoclassical details* to be arranged around a central Mall. 

The Group Plan Commission, consisting of Daniel H. Burnham, Arnold W. Brunner, and John M. Carrere worked together for one year in an office in New York City to come up with the final design, which they presented to Mayor Tom Johnson as The Group Plan of the Public Buildings of the City of Cleveland.

The Group Plan of Cleveland is the earliest and the most fully realized plan for a major city outside of Washington, D.C. and remains one of the best extant examples of the City Beautiful Movement.

Elements of the plan that remain vital parts of Cleveland's cityscape today include:

A Union Terminal that was planned for the north end of the Mall along Lake Erie was never built.

*Per a phone conversation on April 29, 2009 with Mr. D.H. Ellison, Architect of the D.H. Ellison Co.

For Further Reading:

Credits & Appreciation

This website is the practicum project of Library and Information Science student, Linda Doll. She would like to thank the following from the Michael Schwartz Library at Cleveland State University: Bill Barrow, Special Collections Librarian; Lynn Bycko, Special Collections Specialist; Joanne Cornelius, Supervisor, Digital Production Unit; Kiffany Francis, Metadata/Communication Librarian; Lauren Felder, Web Specialist; and Andrew Cole, Digital Production Unit Student Assistant.