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Design

Can Cleveland Reinvent Its Historic Mall for Changing Times?

Cleveland’s monumental-scaled Mall could be an inviting link between downtown and the lakefront, with some fresh thinking—and political will.
View of the Mall from the Group Plan, 1903.
View of the Mall from the Group Plan, 1903.Cleveland Memory Project/Michael Schwartz Library, Cleveland State University

When Cleveland’s first-ever InCuya Music Festival was announced back in April, the lineup included a host of well-known artists including British rock band New Order, folk-rock band the Avett Brothers, singer-songwriter SZA, and Booker T. Jones—the last a nod to Cleveland being the home of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame.

But the biggest star of the festival, held in late August, might have been the venue. “The location is what’s really going to make this special,” said Joe Litvag, a senior vice president for AEG Entertainment, the promotion company behind the festival, before its debut. Multiple locations were considered, including Edgewater Beach just west of downtown and Burke Lakefront Airport (unsurprisingly, the Federal Aviation Administration said no).