World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Great Lakes Exposition

Obverse of commemorative half dollar showing Moses Cleaveland
Reverse of commemorative half dollar showing the exposition logo

The Great Lakes Exposition was held in Cleveland, Ohio, in the summers of 1936 and 1937, along the Lake Erie shore north of downtown.[1] The fair commemorated the centennial of Cleveland's incorporation as a city.[2] Conceived as a way to energize a city hit hard by the Great Depression, the exposition drew 4 million visitors in its first season, and 7 million by the end of its second and final season in September 1937. Dudley S. Blossom, a local philanthropist, became chairman of a civic committee that contributed $1.5 million to transform the idea into reality. The exposition was housed on grounds that are now used by the Great Lakes Science Center, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and Burke Lakefront Airport, among others.

A prominent entrance was at the north end of East 9th Street. The fairgrounds stretched from Public Hall to Lake Erie, and as far east as East 22nd Street, and covered 135 acres (0.55 km2). Fair attractions included a floating stage on the current site of the Great Lakes Science Center; the stage was home to jazz concerts by the Bob Crosby Orchestra.

The fairgrounds reopened May 29, 1937, with Wallace Trevor Holliday, President of the Standard Oil Company, acting as President. The floating stage became the setting for Billy Rose's Aquacade, a water music and dance show produced by Billy Rose. It starred Johnny Weissmuller and Eleanor Holm. The Aquacade later traveled to New York City for the 1939 New York World's Fair. Some exhibits were secured from the Century of Progress. 1937 attendance was estimated at 3 million visitors.


  • Legacy 1
  • Other performers 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


In October 2010, the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. opened an exhibition titled Designing Tomorrow: America’s World’s Fairs of the 1930s.[3] This exhibition, which was available for view until September 2011, prominently featured the Great Lakes Exposition.

Other performers


  1. ^ "Great Lakes Exposition". The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History.  
  2. ^ Trickey, Erick (July 2006). "Sex, Celebrity & Carnival Charm".  
  3. ^

External links

  • Website describing the exhibition fairgrounds
  • Jazz history article on Bob Crosby's orchestra by Joe Mosbrook
  • Photos of the Aquacade from Ohio Memory
  • Standard Oil Periodical May, 1937

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.