3 Public Sq.
Cleveland Ohio 44114United States
Midwest Living Recommends
A renovation in 2010 returned the shine to this 125-foot salute to Cleveland's Civil War dead (and provoked spirits in its basement).
The first Civil War monument to depict women, Cleveland's Soldiers and Sailors Monument cost $280,000 to build in 1894 and $2 million to restore in 2010, and the result is a historic landmark that is absolutely worth a visit. The 15-month project cleaned the carrera marble, updated the lighting with custom chandeliers, and replaced the heating and cooling system. Project leaders say the result gives a modern-day audience a chance to see the monument shining as brightly as it did when it opened in 1894. Four bronze scenes around the base of the monument depict the battle scenes of the Navy, cavalry, infantry and artillery; inside, bronze tablets list 9,000 Civil War vets who were from the Cleveland area or who served with Cuyahoga County regiments. The museum, staffed with clerks eager to explain the site's history and importance, is ripe for examining bronze relief sculptures depicting the emancipation of the slaves, the beginning of the war in Ohio and the end of the war. Paranormal experts have visited the site in an attempt to document the unexplained voices and moving objects that some staffers have heard and witnessed in the basement. If you're a fan of the Travel Channel's "Ghost Adventures," ask to listen to the recorded voices; if not, skip it. Either way, the site is worth at least a 30-minute visit for the history lesson it preserves and offers. Admission is free.