Cleveland History Center Visitor Map
Through the use of its vast, diverse collections in the areas of family and community history, entrepreneurship, and innovation, guests to the Cleveland History Center discover Cleveland and northeast Ohio as never before! Your visit to the Cleveland History Center begins in , an exhibit that immerses guests of all ages in Cleveland’s stories from the early 1790s founding through the rise and decline of industrialization to the 21st century efforts of revival. From the first Cleveland map and early survey tools, to a lunar descent engine and LeBron James’ championship shoes, Cleveland Starts Here® tells the stories of the triumphs and tragedies that define Cleveland.
Then, explore the life and legacies of This exhibit honors Mayor Carl B. Stokes and his brother, Congressman Louis Stokes, and is built as a continuation of their legacy of leadership, advocacy and action. The stories of the political careers of Carl & Louis Stokes illuminate and define broader issues in African-American and American urban history. While the exhibit celebrates the achievements of Carl and Louis Stokes, it also uses their experiences to reflect on and explore topics such as the Civil Rights Movement, social and economic disparity and the rise and importance of heroes and exemplars.
Next, guests enter the expansive with over 50,000 square feet of gallery space dedicated to bringing the history of transportation and innovation alive through over 100 antique automobiles, aircraft, motorcycles, bicycles, and boats. The Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum depicts various stages of industrial and technological advancement, both on a national and regional level. Its automobiles and artifacts are the centerpieces of three major exhibitions:
- connects the output of transportation technology to the individuals and entrepreneurs who were at the heart of the movement at the turn of the 20th century when Cleveland was the center of global innovation. Fueled by John D. Rockefeller’s founding of Standard Oil in Cleveland, the industry experienced radical change. By the 1930s over 100 auto manufacturers called Northeast Ohio “home”. Guests will dive into the lives and times of these manufacturers, their products, and how they changed the face of the transportation industry in America.
- traces the history of automobile design and technological changes in America from the 1890s to the 21st Century. The exhibit is woven together through multiple themes such as Need for Speed, Road Trip, Alternative Fuel, and Invention & Design. From a 1900 Benz Duc Victoria to a 1967 Ferrari 365 California Spyder to Bobby Rahal’s winning Indy race car and the first DeLorean off the factory line, discover the story of the automobile in America.
Finally, make your way to the Cleveland History Center’s NEWEST exhibit, Women and Politics | Empowered to Vote, Empowered to Lead presented by PNC. WRHS, in collaboration with the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland, welcomes you to trace the story of women’s empowerment, exploring the early days of the suffragist movement, the successful fight for the 19th Amendment, the birth and growth of the League of Women Voters as a force for clean government and the election of northern Ohio women to positions of power on the local, state and national levels. Women and Politics allows guests to explore the experiences and significant contributions of women of all races and backgrounds in the long and complicated struggle for voting rights!