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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

GREATER CLEVELAND HOME AND FLOWER SHOW

GREATER CLEVELAND HOME AND FLOWER SHOW

The GREATER CLEVELAND HOME AND FLOWER SHOW, a popular annual event, was first held in Public Hall in 1941. Before that, home shows and flower shows were held separately in Cleveland. The first home and building show was run in 1916 by Ralph P. Stoddard, a Cleveland newspaper man, and the Complete Cleveland Bldg. Show Co. The first flower show was staged in 1919 and was held in the WIGMORE COLISEUM, located on E. 13th St. It was Stoddard who originally conceived the idea of combining the two shows. The combined Home & Flower Show in 1941 occupied only a portion of North Hall, the Arcade, and the upper and lower Lakeside Halls in Public Hall (PUBLIC AUDITORIUM). It was an instant success; attendance was 100,625. Though the 1943-45 shows were cancelled due to Public Hall's conversion into an armory, the postwar editions became the most popular annual events held there. The show was staged as a nonprofit, civic enterprise, with the chief interests being home construction, home furnishing, landscaping, flower gardening, and flowers. It was generally held during the last part of February through the first part of March. People from all parts of the state came to see the latest in home equipment and home appliances, to learn about the newest types of building materials, and to get new ideas from the full-scale homes that were exhibited. Eventually the show became such a large-scale production that staff had to be hired to work year-round on the project. A rival exposition, known as the National Home and Garden Show, was instituted by Expositions Inc. in 1991 at the I-X CENTER.