The Park Building Established 1904

The literal, and symbolic,
heart of Cleveland

Public Square has remained largely unchanged since it was laid out by the city's founder, Moses Cleaveland. It was conceived as the open space of a traditional New England town plan, intended to serve as a common grazing area and meeting place.

From 1860 to 1892 Public Square hosted the Perry Monument, a memorial to Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry's victory in the Battle of Lake Erie in the War of 1812. It is now home to the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, which commemorates residents of Cuyahoga County who served in the Civil War; a statue of Moses Cleaveland, and a statue of Tom L. Johnson, Cleveland’s popular and respected mayor from 1901-1909.

Public Square was the site of the first successful demonstration of electric streetlights in 1879. In the middle of the 20th century the Square was somewhat neglected, functioning more as a transit hub than a public park. In 1976 the Downtown Cleveland Corp. and the City of Cleveland, with grants from local foundations and the Garden Center of Greater Cleveland, commissioned a redevelopment plan for Public Square. Construction was completed in 1986.