The Burnham Mall, Cleveland, OH

Daniel H. Burnham was a prominent architect during the late 1800s and early 1900s. He helped rebuild Chicago after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. As part of the City Beautiful reform, which was a movement against overpopulation and poverty, the city approved the Group Plan of 1903 to build a mall that would work as Cleveland’s main center. Daniel Burnham helped design the Group Plan for Cleveland.

The plan was eventually abandoned in the 1920s when the decision to make Public Square the location of the Union Terminal train station. While there were plans throughout the 1920s and 1930s to revive the mall, it never happened.

Historical Marker Inscription

The Burnham Mall
The Group Plan of 1903

Side A

In August 1903, architects Daniel H. Burnham, John M. Carrére, and Arnold W. Brunner presented Mayor Tom L. Johnson and the City of Cleveland a plan that epitomized the City Beautiful Movement in America. The Group Plan envisioned a grand landscaped mall surrounded by public buildings in the Beaux-Arts style. The plan would create a monumental civic center, influence the design of buildings throughout the city, and lay the foundation for a city planning commission. The first of its kind in the nation, the Group Plan, as built, was the most completely realized of Burnham’s city planning efforts. In its green space and architecture, the Mall remains an enduring and vital element of Cleveland’s civic culture.

Side B

“Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone will be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistency.”

Daniel Burnham (1846-1912), Architect/City


Lakeside Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio

41° 30.237′ N, 81° 41.71′ W

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