Ameritrust Rotunda Closeup

December 16th, 2012 Posted in Architecture, Art, Downtown

Yes, the Ameritrust Rotunda is every bit as beautiful as the reputation that precedes it.

We recently visited the building during a “Circle in the City” concert, courtesy of University Circle Inc. and Cuyahoga County, soaking up the beauty of the building as well as the concert. 


The magnificent rotunda ceiling


Construction of the Ameritrust Rotunda (formerly Cleveland Trust) was begun in 1905 on the corner of East 9th and Euclid. The building, designed by architect George B. Post, opened in 1908. The stained-glass dome sits on top of the two mezzanine levels above the main floor. The building is four stories high and 38,000 square feet.


A 1906 construction photo


The main banking floor in 1938. Check out those tables…


The Rotunda features the sculpture work of Karl Theodore Francis Bitter (1867-1915). The interior consists of thirteen bays with iron and bronze railings, marble walls and floors and the stained glass skylight. Although the stained glass was not from the Tiffany studios, it is still magnificent.


Up close




The thirteen colorful murals were painted by Francis Millet, depicting scenes of the development of civilization and wealth in the Midwest. Millet later died on the Titanic.

In 1973, the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places.


The murals


The entire building is full of gorgeous details. Mosaics, gilding and sculptures accompany the murals, all adding up to a building that should be shared by the citizens of the entire region. With the impending sale of the complex, Design Culture Cleveland hopes that the building will be given a chance to shine once again.


Gilded carvings and the Cleveland Trust logo


The details


For those who have never visited, you have one more chance to enjoy the building’s beauty, along with the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus‘s holiday “Circle in the City” concert, this Wednesday, December 19th, from 11:30 a.m. ’till 1 p.m.

(Hint- go early and explore…)


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