Recovery and Rebirth in Cleveland
Writer Charles Michener returns to his childhood home and finds much to like, despite the decline.
"During the 50 years since I left for college back East and a career in New York, Cleveland's population has declined to something around 430,000-less than half of what it was when, in 1950, it ranked as the seventh-largest city in America. The number of impoverished residents is high; the big downtown department stores are shuttered; many of the old factories are boarded up.
And yet four years ago, I couldn't resist a call to return. The spark had been an article I wrote about the world-famous Cleveland Orchestra, still flourishing in its opulent home, Severance Hall, where I acquired my love of classical music. Across the street, waterfowl still flocked to the lagoon at the Cleveland Museum of Art, which had begun a $350 million renovation to house its superb holdings of Egyptian mummies, classical sculpture, Asian treasures, Rembrandts and Warhols."