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The Cleveland skyline is one of the most iconic views in the city. 

You may have seen it a million times both in person and in photos, but have you ever stopped to think about the long history of the skyline and the individual buildings that make it up? 

Check out these seven fast facts about the Cleveland skyline and then drop some knowledge on your family and friends next time you’re admiring it!


Key Tower in Cleveland

Key Tower is the tallest building in the Cleveland skyline


1. What’s the tallest building in the Cleveland skyline?

The tallest building in Cleveland is Key Tower. It stands at an impressive 948 feet and has 57 floors.

It’s not only the tallest building in Cleveland but all of Ohio! Plus, the Key Tower even earns a mention as one of the tallest buildings in the US (ok, it comes in at No. 34 but we’ll take what we can get). 

So, what makes the Key Tower interesting? Architecturally, you can pick it out of the Cleveland skyline because it’s the tallest building (obvs) but also because it has a nice easy-to-spot pyramid on top. 

It officially opened in 1992 and has since been home to a wide array of business offices, restaurants, bars, a gym, shops, galleries, and more. 


2. What’s the oldest building in the Cleveland skyline?

The Society for Savings Building. 

It’s dwarfed by the Key Tower that rises next to it (their lobbies are even integrated now as well) but when the Society for Savings building was built in 1889, it was the first skyscraper in Ohio. 

The Society for Savings building is 152 feet tall (10 floors) and is on the National Register of Historic Places along with 254 other buildings and landmarks in the city.

You can spot it in the Cleveland Skyline by looking for the squat building connected to the west side of Key Tower. Today, the Society for Savings is home to a KeyBank branch. Fun. 


Progressive Field with a view of the Cleveland skyline

Catch a game at progressive field and you’ll get a pretty nice view of the Cleveland skyline as well.


3. How many buildings are in the Cleveland skyline?

Cleveland officially has 142 skyscrapers. The tallest and most recognizable after the Key Tower are: 

  • Terminal Tower (771 feet / 52 floors) 
  • 200 Public Square (658 feet / 45 floors)
  • Tower at Erieview (529 feet / 40 floors)
  • One Cleveland Center (450 feet / 31 floors)
  • Fifth Third Center (446 feet / 27 floors)

While the city of Cleveland covers an impressive 82 square miles and spans about 14.5 miles of the Lake Erie coastline, the six tallest buildings in Cleveland are all centrally located. 

Walking between them from Erieview in the east to the Terminal Tower in the west is an easy 1.2 mile stroll. 


old fashioned photos


4. You can travel back in time to see past versions of the Cleveland skyline. 

We all know the Cleveland skyline has changed and evolved over the years, but do you know exactly how?

The Cleveland Memory Project is an awesome resource for traveling back in time to see the different stages of the city and the skyline throughout its history. 

Two of the best collections in the online archive are the Clay Herrick Slide Collection and the Greater Cleveland Print Collection.

If you’ve ever wondered what Cleveland looked like in the past and how the city has evolved from the 1800s to today, these mesmerizing photos have all the answers!


5. There is only one observation deck in the Cleveland skyline. 

Terminal Tower, the second tallest building in the city, offers a unique view of the Cleveland skyline from their observation deck on the 42nd floor. 

The entrance costs $5 per person and the deck is open from 12 pm to 3 pm on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets must be bought in advance but you can get them online here.


Christmas in Cleveland

Christmas in Cleveland at the Cleveland Arcade


6. What shows and movies feature the Cleveland skyline?

A Christmas Story, The Avengers, and The Drew Carey Show are some of the most famous movies and shows to feature the Cleveland skyline although, of course, there are many others.

A Christmas Story is a Christmas classic shown at home, at school, and at Christmas events across the country every December. 

Higbee’s Department Store (now the Cleveland Visitor’s Center) was a pivotal character in the movie and you can also visit the famous Christmas Story House in the Tremont neighborhood (and even spend the night inside it). 

In Marvel’s Avengers movie you can watch the Cleveland skyline get destroyed, or settle in to watch an epic car chase through the city in Captain America Winter Soldier. 

Of course, the Drew Carey Show may be the most quintessentially Cleveland of them all. The show was set in Cleveland and ran from 1995 to 2004. 

Though it was mostly filmed in LA, the show opener – set to the iconic ‘Cleveland Rocks’ song – features scenes throughout the city, including a shot of the Cleveland skyline at the very end.


Cleveland script sign

One of the famous Cleveland script signs in the city


7. What are the best places to photograph the Cleveland skyline?

Now that you know all these super interesting facts about the Cleveland skyline you’ll see it in a whole new light. Why not snap a few photos as well?

Three of the best places to photograph the Cleveland skyline are:


Cleveland skyline


Bonus: Hotels With the Best Views of the Cleveland Skyline

Next time you visit Cleveland or just need a relaxing staycation in the city, stay in a hotel or Airbnb with a beautiful view of the skyline! 

If you want to admire the city from the coziness of your own place, some of the best hotels with skyline views in Cleveland are:

If you prefer to stay in Airbnb apartments, you can also book this remodeled condo on the water that has skyline views over Lake Eerie from the rooftop deck, or this apartment in the center of downtown Cleveland with a nice view of Key Tower right from the living room window. 


Ready to go?

Explore accommodation like unique stays on Airbnb or the top-rated hotels on to book the perfect night, weekend, or long-term stay in the city.

Then, check out more tours and activities in Cleveland on Airbnb to see more of the city or add a visit to my hometown of Dayton with these delicious guides on how to ride the Dayton Donut Trail, how to create your own Dayton brewery walking tour, and where to try our official Dayton-style pizza taste test winner!  


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Cleveland skyline Pinterest pin


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