Dinner Under the Dome

One of the most remarkable examples of adaptive reuse in Greater Cleveland stands at the southeast corner of East Ninth and Euclid — there a Heinens grocery store has been transplanted into the main rotunda of the former Cleveland Trust Bank headquarters, one of the city’s most striking interior spaces.

Designed by noted architect George P. Post, the building was completed in 1908.  The domed structure instantly became a landmark.   By the 1920s, it and three other large buildings – the Schofield, the Hickox, and Union Trust Bank occupied corners on what was, perhaps, the busiest urban intersection in the nation’s fifth largest city, one whose fortunes rested on industry, banking, commerce, and transportation.

Downtown Cleveland bustled.  But seventy years later the city’s economy had shifted and diminished and Cleveland Trust had become part of what is now KeyCorp.  Banking operations ceased in 1996 and the Post building stood empty until, in what has been characterized by author Lauren Pacini, the “renaissance on East Ninth” took place.   The entire Cleveland Trust complex along East Ninth was transformed into a hotel, apartments, offices, and the Heinens store housed in the former banking rotunda.    One can now grocery shop and dine under the dome in an area which for nearly nine decades was the site of financial transactions, large and small, that shaped the fortunes of the city and its citizens.   The lower level vaults in which those fortunes were stashed now are home to a cocktail lounge named (you guessed it), “Vault.”