Monday, November 15, 2010


Thursday I had a rare and wonderful opportunity to do something few get the chance to do. As part of a Cleveland Film Festival fund raiser, Nancy and I got to ride the art deco elevators to the top of the Terminal Tower and get a birds eye view of the cityscape.

What a fantastic thing! The evening was for a select few and themed after the classic Hitchcock thriller, “Vertigo”. I’ve loved this movie since I was a kid and so jumped at the chance to do a little play acting of my own. So with my hair done up “Kim Novak” style in a French twist and a semi-50’s style outfit I felt right in place for the event. I almost expected Jimmy Stewart to pop around a corner at any time.   Or maybe Cary Grant from "An Affair to Remember".  Ahh...those were the days.

A fund raising event for the Cleveland International Film Festival, the evening was a catered event hosted by CIFF Board members Carolyn Buller and Roy Turnell. A short history about the Tower was given by John Grabowski, author of The Terminal Tower, Tower City Center. John C. Williams, AIA of Process Creative Studios (the firm that renovated the Observation Deck) was on-hand to talk about the renovations. The The Terminal Tower was born in the minds of brothers Orris Paxton Sweringen (known as O.P.) and Mantis James Sweringen (known as M.J.).  These colorful, but extremely media shy, brothers became the driving force behind the development of not only Terminal Tower but Shaker Heights and the railroad line now known as the Rapid.

There is a terrific article from a 2003 edition of the Builders Exchange magazine talking about the history of the Terminal Tower, that until 1964 was the tallest building outside of NYC in North America.  The observation deck was closed to the public after the 9/11 terror attacks and is only just now reopening from time to time. Much of the building has been renovated to it's original 1929 art deco splendor and is home to Forest City Enterprises (the current owners). 

The purpose behind the event was to promote the 2011 Cleveland International Film Festival which will be Thursday, March 24th - Sunday, April 3rd, 2011 which will be held at Tower City Center.  Over 150 features and 150 short subjects from more than 80 countries will be shown. Films will run from 9:am to 10pm, and midnight movies on both Friday and Saturday evenings.

See several photos I took from the observation deck party and see the City of Cleveland as it dazzles from 42 stories above the street.

Untitled from Bobbi Krannich on Vimeo.

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