Meet me in the square

Cleveland Public Square

It’s official: our city has a new heart. After 8 years of planning, 15 months of construction and $50 million in funding, Cleveland Public Square was officially opened and re-dedicated on June 30. Behind these numbers were a group of individuals and organizations committed to delivering a world-class public space to residents and visitors in Cleveland.

“This took a lot of collaboration,” said Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish at the re-dedication ceremony. “This is a great example of people coming together – a public private partnership.”

Cleveland Foundation CEO Ronn Richard at Cleveland Public Square

Cleveland Foundation President & CEO Ronn Richard speaks at the Public Square re-dedication ceremony

Led by the Group Plan Commission and LAND Studio, the transformation of Public Square was funded by a combination of public and private dollars contributed by organizations and citizens that call Cleveland home. The Cleveland Foundation proudly helped to launch fundraising for the project with an $8 million lead gift, announced in 2014 as a Centennial Legacy Grant honoring our 100th anniversary.

Less than two years later, we celebrated the re-dedication and opening of the newly transformed Public Square, now home to Cleveland Foundation Centennial Plaza.

Shaw High School Marching Band in Cleveland Public Square

The Shaw High School Marching Band performs at the ceremony

Community leaders who played key roles in the project spoke at the re-dedication ceremony, including Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson; Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish; Keybank CEO and Greater Cleveland Partnership Chair Beth Mooney; Group Plan Commission Chairman Tony Coyne; Group Plan Commission member and Cleveland Foundation board member Dan Walsh; and our President & CEO Ronn Richard. The Shaw High School Marching Band led the fanfare as fountains on the plaza were turned on, filling a mirror pool that will become the Cleveland Foundation ice skating rink in winter months. Greater Clevelanders of all ages attended the opening celebration, which launches a year-long series of free programming on the square. 

At a time when Cleveland’s spirits are high, the opening of Public Square marked another great day for our city. In the words of Dan Walsh, “We delivered something that shows that Cleveland’s heart is beating stronger than ever.”