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Michael Schwartz Library

ASC 101 - Brian Mikelbank: Public Square

Research question

How can cities balance the interests of homed and unhomed residents?


Research question: How can cities balance the interests of homed and unhomed residents?

Public Square

The Public Square you see today has gone through many, many changes since it was laid out in the original plans for the city of Cleveland in 1796, but it has always been intended to be a civic space open to all. There have been monuments, statues, arches, plans for a large city hall, and many other developments and additions to the space over the years. Its most recent renovation opened to the public on June 30th, 2016.

On three sides, it is surrounded by Cleveland's three tallest buildings. Key Tower, occupied by KeyBank, 200 Public Square, occupied by Huntington, and Terminal Tower, once the 4th tallest building in the world. Cleveland has a history of large corporations and industry, and the wealth that followed business has contributed to many of the city's public spaces and cultural institutions.

Cleveland Historical

Encyclopedia of Cleveland History



Site questions

  • Do you see evidence of hostile architecture in Public Square or the surrounding urban core?
  • How might other city policies work against the interest of unhomed residents?
  • What arguments might be made in favor of these kinds of measures and policies?
  • Are there alternative strategies for cities to mitigate problems related to housing? 

Where is it?

1 Public Square, Cleveland, OH

What does it look like from the street?