Before its restoration, the Cleveland Arcade felt about as good as anything 109 years old. Tar webbed the massive skylight together and, when it didn’t, chicken wire saved pedestrians from falling glass. Birds fluttered in, snow floated down, but sunlight was stoppered. A humid funk shrouded the architectural masterwork’s interior. An 18-month, $60 million historic revamp saw workers atop scaffolds nearly 100 feet tall replacing 1,800 glass panes.
The ceiling was restored, mosaics retouched and steel frame replaced with aluminum. Cast again in sunlight, the trusses’ gryphon sentinels watched over the distinguished landmark’s preservation and ultimate transformation into the region’s first Hyatt Regency Hotel.