Pier with a view: The new Euclid Beach Pier marries memories of yesteryear with modern appeal

Though the 20th-century heyday of Euclid Beach Park is long gone, vibrant remnants remain—from the carousel at the Cleveland History Center to the rocket cars roaming around Cleveland to the newly opened Humphrey’s Popcorn on E. 185thStreet.

 

Today, another ode to Euclid Beach joins their ranks with the official ribbon-cutting of the Euclid Beach Pier. Imagined by local artist Brinsley Tyrell, the archways adorning the new 315-feet pier pay homage to the former amusement park with black metallic images of carousel horses, Flying Turns cars, dancers, and the park’s original arches. The pier itself was also part of the original Euclid Beach Park (though the original was demolished due to its condition).

 

“We’ve been very conscious about not just building a pier, but building a place,” says Sean McDermott, chief planning and design officer for Cleveland Metroparks. “Many of the components of the archways draw from the history of Euclid Beach and the history of the [Collinwood] area.”

 

Cleveland Metroparks’ development of the pier is part of its 99-year lease on various lakefront parks—including Euclid Beach and nearby Villa Angela and Wildwood—that began in June 2013. According to McDermott, as plans began to take over management of the lakefront parks, the team “found a strong community desire for a new pier at Euclid Beach. The pier was one of the first things we wanted to get done, but we had to address some other items first.”

 

Among those items were modification of the shoreline and improvement of the swimming area at Villa Angela beach and a 150-foot pedestrian bridge that links Villa Angela and Wildwood. Work on the $2.5 million Euclid Beach Pier project began in 2018, and most of it was completed by last fall.

 

McDermott is confident it will become a popular spot for people to take in Cleveland's signature skyline and show some lake love. “It will be a new hub for the park—that central focal part where people will gather and enjoy great views of downtown Cleveland and the sunset,” says McDermott. “The pier was really designed to bend to the west for those specific reasons.”

 

Other intentional design elements include brightly painted Adirondack chairs (designed to bring “vibrancy and color” to the pier during off-season), and a number of elements around universal design and accessibility (such as an illuminated ramp and railing). Cleveland-based Nerone & Sons was enlisted to execute the project.

 

McDermott says that visitation at the three beaches has increased by 19 percent since 2015, and that last year, more than 477,000 people visited. To accommodate the demand, the Euclid Beach concession stand will now be open on weekends, and the Euclid Beach LIVE lineup was recently announced—kicking off May 31 with the Mourning Glory Band.

 

Says McDermott, “With additions like the pier, expanded concessions, swimming, and the bridge we constructed to connect VA and Wildwood, we expect visitation to remain strong and a positive trajectory.”

Read more articles by Jen Jones Donatelli.

As an enthusiastic CLE-vangelist, Jen Jones Donatelli enjoys diving headfirst into her work with FreshWater Cleveland. Upon moving back to Cleveland after 16 years in Los Angeles, Jen served as FreshWater's managing editor for two years (2017-2019) and continues her work with the publication as a contributing editor and host of the FreshFaces podcast. Along with her work at FreshWater, she is the editor-of-chief of Edible Cleveland and a contributing editor for Destination Cleveland. When not typing the day away at her laptop, she teaches writing and creativity classes for Creative Groove, Literary Cleveland, Cleveland State University, and more. Jen is a proud graduate of Ohio University's E.W. Scripps School of Journalism.
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