The Cleveland Union Terminal Collection

The Cleveland Union Terminal Collection is the archives of the company that built the Terminal Tower, the union passenger station, the complex of office buildings, post office, department store and the infrastructure of tracks, bridges, signals, electrical catenary structures and yard facility buildings necessary to switch passenger coaches over from steam to electric and bring them in to the downtown area. This was a massive urban redevelopment project that foreshadowed Rockefeller Center, in New York; gave Cleveland the second-tallest building outside of New York in 1930; and forever changed the face of Public Square and wide swaths of adjoining neighborhoods.

The physical collection is comprised of 900 linear feet of files: 500 archival drawings, early records, blueprints, bids, specifications and legal documents, as well as over 8,000 photographs dealing with all aspects of the conception and building of the Cleveland Union Terminal complex. The collection is located in Special Collections at the Michael Schwartz Library, Cleveland State University. The Michael Schwartz Library has digitized more than 2/3 of the photos and share them via Cleveland Memory.

BROWSE ALL PHOTOS (over 5,000 images)


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About the Donors

The Cleveland Union Terminal Collection was the gift of Mr. Gerald Adams, a life-long local railroad history enthusiast and collector who acquired the material in the early 1970s and through the efforts of Dr. Walter Leedy, donated it to Cleveland State University years later. Mr. Adams passed away in 2001, after several more substantial donations and many years of friendship.

In 1998, Mr. Robert Linsey very generously donated some 8,000 photographic images of the C.U.T. construction. The material had once been part of the C.U.T. archive before Mr. Adams purchased his portion.

These two gifts have reunited the major pieces of the historic Cleveland Union Terminal archives.