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 This was the final section run of the west side and it included the Hopkins neighborhood which is best known for being home to the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. Formerly known as Riverside, the neighborhood is also the final of the four that make up West Park.

Map: Run 1, Run 2, Run 3

Distance This Section: 12.6 miles

Distance So Far: 582.1 miles

The Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport was built in 1925 and is the country's first municipally-owned airport. It also was the first to use an air traffic control tower, airfield lighting and ground-to-air radio control. In 1968, it became the first US airport to connect directly to a rail transit system (RTA Red Line) to a downtown. It's Ohio's busiest airport, offering 115 non-stop flights to over 48 destinations and employs over 4,000. The airport's namesake is William Hopkins, the individual who championed the effort to have the airport built.

This is Forestwood Ave, a now-paper street located north of the the airport. This street along with several others to the south once contained over 600 homes, a CMSD school and a large city park. Residents were bought-out, relocated or displaced in the late 90s and early 2000s due to FAA federal noise measurement issues that mandated clearing of the area. The eerie remnants of some streets still remain like this one.

This home on Midvale Ave is one of only 4 homes remaining from the neighborhood-wide clearing mentioned above. Most of the remaining homeowners owned their home since the late 80s or early 90s meaning they likely lived through the removal of all the homes around them. They must have some interesting stories they could tell.

In place of some areas where homes were cleared, the Cleveland Business Park was created. It was designed to be a 267-acre commercial development site geared toward office, R & D, industrial, distribution and retail. Phase I was built which included 5 buildings plus the car rental facility for the airport.

This tunnel randomly appears on Maplewood Ave and dives below the entrance to the airport car rental facility...then kind of ends at rental car storage area. Yes, I ran through it.  

Maplewood Park (18026 Cleveland Parkway) was built in 2004 under the Jane Campbell administration. It's located on the eastern most section of the neighborhood cleared due to airport noise (mentioned above). For the better part of the second half of the 20th Century, a large city park used to exist on the western most part of neighborhood. So, Maplewood is likely a replacement. This park features 6 well-maintained ball fields, a playground and picnic shelters. Folks seem to love the concession stand offerings during ball games.

The Grayton Road Tavern (4760 Grayton Road) is a classic sports bar located near several airport hotels and industrial park businesses such as Sysco, Ohio's largest distributor of food service products and restaurant supplies.

I took the RTA Red Line to the airport for part of this run. When it opened in November 1968, Cleveland became the first city in North America to connect an international airport with direct Rapid transit service to downtown.

Some of the mosaic tile art work in the airport RTA station. Separate from these mosaics, there's a great deal of artwork that lines the Red Line route. It is part of the INTER l URBAN project.

This mural of all-notable-things-Cleveland greets you as you enter the pick-up terminal.

This sculpture was dedicated in December 1976 in recognition of the airport's 50th anniversary. The artist was C.E. Vanduzer

Kiffer Industries (4905 Rocky River Drive) is one of the leading full-service machine designers and builders for things such as grinding machines, inspection equipment and sand blasters. It has been building industrial equipment since 1939.

The I-X Center (6300 Riverside Drive) is Cleveland's largest exhibition center. It was originally built in 1942 as B-29 bomber facility for the military. At its peak, it employed 15,000, many of whom lived in the nearby neighborhoods. During the Korean war, it was a tank production facility and remained owned by the Department of Defense until 1972. In the mid-1980s, it transitioned into its current use as one of the largest exhibition centers in the nation. It closed during the pandemic but was acquired and reactivated in 2021. For years, one of the more notable features was a 35' indoor Ferris wheel that was displayed during the annual I-X Indoor Amusement Park event.

The NASA Glenn Research Center (21000 Brookpark Rd) is one of ten major NASA facilities dedicated to developing science and technology for aviation and space. It was established in 1942 as is named after John Glenn who was a fighter pilot, astronaut and politician. The main campus is situated on 350 acres and includes more than 140 buildings and over 500 specialized research and test facilities. One of the cooler ones is the Zero Gravity Research Facility which is used for dropping experiment payloads in microgravity. It's the largest zero gravity facility in the world and was named a National Historic Landmark in 1985.

This old school U.S. Air Force plane is a nod to the airport area's rich history of military plane production and aeronautical research.

MCPc (21500 Aerospace Parkway) is an international software company dedicated to reducing security risk for businesses. This is their headquarters. Locally and family-owned, some members have also become involved in real estate development in Cleveland. Examples include the The Foundry in the Flats and the Westinghouse building in Detroit Shoreway.

Cleveland Hopkins International Airport once served as the easternmost hub for United Airlines from after WWII until 2014. While United has significantly scaled down its presence, it still is the largest carrier at the airport, employing 1,200 and maintaining a flight attendant and pilot base.

The Cleveland station for processing new military personnel was initially located in the Standard Building downtown. In July 1967, the station moved into the Anthony J. Celebreeze Federal Building located on East 9th Street due to an increased processing workload. In 1998, the station processed its last applicant at the Federal Building and moved to a new location in Broadview Heights. In October 2007, this new station opened at 20637 Emerald Pkwy just off Grayton Road.

The Aviator (20920 Brookpark Rd) is an upscale event venue and bar/restaurant featuring five different spaces. It was once the unique 100th Bomb Group restaurant which had a WWII-era English farmhouse theme. You can take a virtual tour of the new space here.

Airplane noise nor heavy vehicle traffic on Rocky River Road bothers these guys.

This run was the last of the west side. Off to the east side!