Monday, May 3, 2010

Cleveland’s Galleria Reborn As A “Garden Under Glass”

Photo copyright
View of Galleria Glass Roof from the Tower At Erieview

Part of Cleveland’s Tower at Erieview complex includes The Galleria, a large, two-story, glass covered shopping and dining arcade, opened in 1987. Years later, as The Tower City complex drew shopping closer to the core of downtown Cleveland, many retail tenants left The Galleria. After many comings and goings, all that remain are a few niche businesses, one large bank office, and the food court – and empty spaces. I used to work in the Tower at Erieview and it was very sad to see such a beautiful space as The Galleria go to waste.

But now The Galleria has a new purpose in life, and it’s surprising no one thought of it sooner. As the Galleria looks like a giant greenhouse, it was only a matter of time before someone thought of using the space as just that - a greenhouse. And that person was Vicky Poole, head of marketing for The Galleria, who, along with Jack Hamilton (manager of Artist Review Today magazine and gallery in the Galleria) won a grant from Cleveland's Civic Innovation Lab to set up the greenhouse project in The Galleria. The project is called ”Gardens Under Glass” which their website describes as “a sustainable urban Eco Village.” It goes on to say that

“At the project’s root is an urban farm that will use a system called re-circulating greenhouse hydroponics to grow produce such as; tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, herbs, peppers, and flowers.

From the Gardens will stem opportunities for urban-based businesses traditionally considered rural. Green-Minded opportunities will include:

•Vegan/Vegetarian Restaurants
•Renewable Energy Companies
•Natural Health Food Store
•Garden Supply Store
•Retail specializing in Recycled Products
•A Year-Round Indoor/Downtown Farmers Market

This facility will also serve as an educational center to inform the public on the importance of Urban Gardening and harnessing alternative natural energy resources such as Solar, Wind power and rainwater.”

It sounds like a great use for such a wonderful space!

If you want more information, stop by the ”Gardens Under Glass” website or if you are in the area, stop by and check out the project for yourself at:

The Galleria At Erieview
1301 East Ninth Street
Cleveland, Ohio 44114

Aerial image from Google

Street image from Google

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