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  • Writer's pictureBecky Fifield

Museum Monday: Tripping Over a New Museum at Steelyard Commons, Cleveland

A train car to carry molten iron. RL Fifield 2012.

I wasn’t sure what to feel about Steelyard Commons. It’s a rather run-of-the mill (pun, ha) shopping center created on lands once occupied by a Cleveland steel mill in 2007. Other steel mills are located nearby. It’s identifying characteristic is the fragments of the ground’s former past, with interpretive signage nearby. So above the Five Guys Burgers & Fries, there is a utilities bridge, that once carried resources over the roadways and railways of the steel operation.

Along the edge of a parking lot, other bits of steel mill past are arranged, and the old “clock house” (where you clocked in for work at the mill) is being turned into a small museum. A  running trail runs along side, and there are plans to route the Cuyahoga Scenic Railroad near  the exhibits, extending eventually to Cleveland (the eventual restoration of service after all these years?)

RL Fifield 2012.

So while for once a new commercial development didn’t completely obliterate what came before, it’s still a vast arrangements of parking lots and big box stores. But I did learn about equipment used in steel production, and that helped me interpret what I was seeing around Cleveland.

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