It's kind of creepy.
What's inside the five-story castle a block from Progressive Field? A Civil War cannon. A giant Wurlitzer organ. The ballroom where the Cleveland Orchestra played its first concert. A German helmet, mailed to Cleveland during World War I, the stamps still on its crown. Militia uniforms, including Russian bearskin hats. A billiards room where Teddy Roosevelt is said to have shot pool. Grays Armory, built in 1893 by a private militia, may look forbidding and impregnable, but you don't need to assault it to see its secrets. It's open for tours the first Wednesday afternoon of each month.
They're so iconic.
Guardians of Traffic
"Modern civilization is not satisfied with structures of utility alone," wrote Cleveland engineer Wilbur J. Watson, "but desires that art shall be considered." That, he explained, is why Cuyahoga County built eight enormous sandstone figures on the Lorain-Carnegie Bridge. Watson, the bridge's designing engineer, came closer than anyone involved to explaining what the winged art deco figures symbolize. "Guardians of Traffic," he called them, implying they're meant to protect passersby like the winged guardians in Assyrian palaces. The eight figures, installed in 1932, "typify the spirit of progress in transportation," he wrote. Each holds a vehicle in his hands. An automobile and four trucks represented the 1930s, while three came from the past: a hay rack, covered wagon and stagecoach.
It's too often overlooked.
Dunham Tavern Museum
The museum re-creates the daily life of Northeast Ohio's early settlers, back when Cleveland was a village of 1,000 people and Euclid Avenue in today's MidTown was the Buffalo-to-Detroit stagecoach trail. Rufus and Jane Pratt Dunham started their house in 1824 and finished it in 1832. A museum since 1941, Dunham Tavern is decorated with antiques from the 1850s to 1890s, including a pie safe cupboard with hand-punched tin panels in the kitchen and two needlework samplers stitched by the Dunhams' daughters depicting trees and more. Tours are Wednesday and Sunday afternoons.