Welcome to Cleveland!



The 20th Century Society USA is honored to host the 14th World Congress on Art Deco. The theme of the Congress is “Artists, Designers, & Craftsmen.”

Congress Date: May 14-21, 2017

Most lectures and presentations will take place on the campus of Cleveland State University (CSU)–about a 15 minute walk (0.6 miles or 1 km) from the Metropolitan at the 9, the World Congress host hotel. The Congress registration fee will include a weekly transit pass for all delegates, which will be valid for all forms of public transport within the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) network—including busses, light rail, and the bus rapid transit (BRT)– also known as the “HealthLine”–since it connects to the largest medical centers in the region. (www.riderta.com)

It’s about an 8 minute ride on the HealthLine from the Metropolitan Hotel to CSU.

We’ll also provide maps and lists of local museums, theaters, restaurants, nightclubs and bars—so delegates can enjoy Cleveland’s excellent restaurants and cultural venues during their free time.

Registration Fee: $1200 – Click HERE to register. 
$1050 “Early Bird” discount of $150 if registered by January 31, 2017.

Registration fee includes the opening reception, bus transportation for the tours, all museum and tour fees, most lunches including The Silver Grille, Goodtime III boat tour and dinner, one drink ticket at The Vault, Art Deco Ball dinner and dance, evening bus transportation to the neighborhoods on Wednesday, Thursday, & Friday night, 78th Street Studios reception, Sunday farewell breakfast, a detailed guidebook, and a RTA weekly pass.
Registration fee does NOT include breakfast, most dinners, hotel room, “optional tours” and evening events, and transportation to and from Cleveland.

Itinerary + Trip details

Tentative Itinerary:

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Noon-3:00 pm Registration at the Metropolitan Hotel
4:00-6:00 pm Opening reception at the English Oak Room, former formal dining room within the Cleveland Union Terminal. (Registration will be available here too.)
[Dinner on your own, a list of nearby restaurants will be provided.]

Monday, May 15, 2017

Morning: Continue registration.
Lectures at Cleveland State University. Box lunch follows.
Afternoon: Walking/bus tours of Art Deco and “non-Deco” sights, to familiarize delegates with Downtown Cleveland.

  • Cleveland Greyhound Terminal, the largest in the US when it was built in 1948, and among the best examples of Streamline Moderne anywhere, and it’s still used as a bus terminal!
  • Private tour of Rose Iron Works, the origin of the finest American Art Deco metalwork in the US, and still owned by the original family. (www.roseironworks.com)
  • The “Guardians of Transportation,” 43 foot (13 meter) tall Art Deco pylons that “guard” each end of the Lorain-Carnegie Bridge.
  • Ohio Bell Building (1927) and the Landmark Office Towers (1928-1931.)
  • Old Post Office (1934) historic lobby, with great “futuristic” writing desks and bas relief medallions depicting modes of mail transportation.
  • War Memorial Fountain by Marshall Fredericks. Fredericks grew up in Cleveland and attended the Cleveland School (now Institute) of Art, but he did most of his work in Detroit.
  • Playhouse Square, five historic theaters that comprise the largest theater district in the US outside of New York City. Although the theaters are not Art Deco, the lobby of the State Theater has wonderful—and very colorful–Art Deco murals by James Dougherty. (www.playhousesquare.org)

Playhouse Square features over 1000 performances per year, attracting over a million visitors annually. We hope delegates will enjoy some shows at Playhouse Square during their visit to Cleveland.

Evening: Dinner and boat cruise on the Goodtime III, along the Cuyahoga River and Lake Erie Coast. (www.goodtimeiii.com)

Tuesday, May 15, 2017

Morning: Lectures, Ballroom at the Ritz Carlton Cleveland (CSU auditorium is not available this day.)
Lunch at The Silver Grille, Art Deco Dining Room in the (former) Higbee Department Store. It has been restored to its 1931 glory, including most of the original furniture.
Afternoon: Tours of the sights you didn’t see on Monday (see above.)
[Dinner on your own, a list of restaurants will be provided.]

Evening: Event at The Vault, in the bank vaults under the historic Cleveland Trust Rotunda Building. Definitely has a “speakeasy” feel.

Wednesday, May 16, 2017

Morning: Lectures at Cleveland State University. Box lunch follows.
Afternoon: We’ll be spending the afternoon and evening in University Circle, the largest concentration of cultural institutions in the country, and about 4 miles (6.4 km) east of Downtown Cleveland. (www.universitycircle.org)

Tours of the Western Reserve Historical Society, to see the Ferro Mural, the largest porcelain enamel mural in the world, and featured at the 1939 New York World’s Fair. Also on site is the Crawford Auto Aviation Museum, with some wonderful Art Deco era automobiles. Greater Cleveland played a significant role during the early development of the “horseless carriage.” (www.wrhs.org)

Severance Hall (1931) is the home of the Cleveland Orchestra, and the most beautiful concert hall in the country. The building is a blend of styles, but Art Deco predominates, and incorporates gorgeous design with exquisite workmanship. (www.clevelandorchestra.com)

The Cleveland Museum of Art has a world class collection, and is always included in lists of the best art museums in the US. We’ll have a private tour of some of the Art Deco highlights in the galleries. The art museum is open until 9 pm on Wednesdays, so delegates can linger into the evening if they desire. (www.clevelandart.org)

Evening: Dinner on your own. Tonight will be a good opportunity to explore some Cleveland neighborhoods outside of Downtown. Within University Circle is the Uptown neighborhood, and it’s adjacent to Cleveland’s Little Italy. We’ll provide maps and lists of local restaurants, and provide shuttle buses to transport delegates between University Circle, Uptown, Little Italy, and Downtown Cleveland until late evening. (www.clevelandlittleitaly.com) (www.uptowncleveland.com)

Thursday, May 17, 2017

Morning: Art Deco Fashion Day at the World Congress. Lectures at Cleveland State University about Art Deco Fashion. Late morning “snack” included.
Art Deco Fashion Parade at Cleveland State University Student Center Ballroom. Some delegates wear amazing vintage attire at the Congresses, so here is a chance to show off your favorite ensemble for the rest of us! We’ll select the runway models from interested delegates in advance, who will provide a brief story or interesting history regarding their particular outfit. More details about the fashion parade in early 2017…

Afternoon: Free time. Lunch on your own, we’ll provide maps and suggestions.
We’ll have some “optional” walking/bus tours available—Deco and non-Deco. And we’ll provide maps and lists of other suggested activities. You will be overwhelmed with choices of how to spend your free time.

Evening: Art Deco Ball, dinner and dancing at The Tudor Arms Hotel. This Gothic Revival building was built as a swanky private club in 1933, and renovated as a Doubletree Hotel a few years ago. No, it’s not Deco, but the Crystal Ballroom has a real wood dance floor, which is an important consideration since many Congress delegates are excellent dancers!

Friday May 18, 2017

Morning: No lectures today! We’ll begin the day with tours of the former Colony Theater, now Shaker Square Cinemas. It was designed by renowned theater designer John Eberson in 1937. Eberson was well known for his “atmospheric theaters” but this theater is Streamline Moderne in style.
Other highlights will be the Cowan Pottery Museum, showcasing the outstanding art pottery that was made in Greater Cleveland until 1931. Viktor Schreckengost’s New Yorker (Jazz) Bowl, an icon of American Art Deco ceramics, is a product of Cowan Pottery. (www.cowanpottery.org)
There will be a brief stop to see the lobby of The Westlake, former hotel, now condos–an Art Deco lobby in tropical colors of coral and green.
And for modernist fans, we’ll visit Park Synagogue, a progressive 1950 design by Erich Mendelsohn, with a spacious domed interior. Most of Mendelsohn’s work is in Europe–he only designed a few buildings in the US.
[Lunch will be included today.]

Afternoon: Free time. Like Thursday afternoon, some “optional” Deco and non-Deco tours will be offered, and delegates will be provided lists and maps of suggested activities and venues to visit.

Evening: One of the better arts events in Cleveland occurs on the third Friday of the month at the 78th Street Studios, in the former factory of the Baker Electric Motor Vehicle Company. (www.78thstreetstudios.com) Delegates will have a chance to explore over 50 art galleries and studios, on 4 floors, of this enormous building. Some food will be available at 78th Street Studios, and many restaurants and bars are in the nearby Gordon Square Arts District. (gordonsquare.org) We’ll provide shuttle buses between Downtown Cleveland, Gordon Square, and 78th Street Studios until late evening.

Saturday May 20, 2017

Morning & Afternoon: The day will start with a visit to The Hanger, a private sports facility that was built in 1930 for one of Cleveland’s wealthy families. The outside resembles an Art Moderne airplane hangar, and the Art Deco interior includes an “undersea” mural, seahorse metalwork by Rose Iron Works, and ceramic doorknobs by Cowan Pottery with an “Alice in Wonderland” theme.
We’ll then venture 40 miles south of Cleveland to Akron, famous as the “Rubber City” since many rubber firms originated there. Goodyear’s World Headquarters remains in Akron, so Akron is the home of the Goodyear Blimp! The former Akron-Fulton Airport Terminal is a gem. Also worth seeing is the First Merit Tower, YMCA, and exterior of the (former) Polsky’s Department Store. Finally, the Guggenheim Airship Institute—it’s difficult to see, but the rear of the building has an Art Deco terra cotta angel holding a blimp!
[lunch will be included]

Evening: Explore Cleveland on your own. Perhaps dinner and a show at Playhouse Square? See the Cleveland Orchestra at Severance Hall? Of course we’ll provide maps and lists of suggested restaurants and venues.

Sunday May 21, 2017

Morning: Farewell Breakfast in the Rotunda of the former Cleveland Trust Bank.


Photo Labels/Credits: Old Post Office Lobby, Severance Hall Lobby Mural, State Theater Mural, Guardian of Transportation (car), Guardian of Transportation (stagecoach), Ferro Mural, Severance Hall detail by Colin Rose; Silver Grille detail, Ritz Carlton Cleveland; New Yorker (Jazz) Bowl, Cowan Pottery Museum; Gazelle Gate, Rose Iron Works; Rectangular Lamp, Rose Iron Works; Severance Hall Pediment and Cleveland Greyhound Terminal, Lisa Beyer.