Public Square is the historic, geographic, and symbolic center of downtown Cleveland. The revitalization of the Square in 2016 as a renewed civic core and public commons is the culmination of a multi-year process to reinvigorate the downtown and re-position Cleveland as one of the Midwest’s premier places to live and work. The design lends a bold and iconic identity to the Square, while addressing key physical challenges of unification, clarification, and activation. The new 6.5-acre Public Square dramatically reconfigures the once-fragmented quadrants into a unified and people-oriented whole. 

Public Square’s renovation in 2016 reaffirmed its role as the true civic core of Cleveland and northeast Ohio. As such, it boasts distinctive and beautiful settings for all forms of civic activity, including gatherings and meetings, parades and events, markets and festivals, play and cultural attractions, art, and a mix of food and beverage offerings with the dramatic backdrop and draw of the downtown. Public Square is once again Cleveland’s collective space—a space for social interaction, democracy, and inclusion.  

Since opening in June 2016, Public Square is already beloved, recognized as critical to Cleveland’s ongoing revitalization, and renewed as a public commons for civic discourse, honoring its legacy as a place where famous orators, politicians, and free speech advocates previously spoke to thousands.

Photography by Aerial Agents and Sahar Coston-Hardy.