NORTH COAST HARBOR, originally known (until 1987) as the Inner Harbor, comprises the 176 acres of lakefront property and its associated attractions stretching from approx. the mouth of the Cuyahoga River to the E. 9th St. area. Planning for the future use of the area began in the early 1980s. In 1985 NORTH COAST HARBOR INC. was created to plan and manage development. The initial phase was the creation of a $10 million inner lake featuring a surrounding promenade and a 3-acre park at the southwestern corner of the harbor. This project was completed in 1988 and dedicated on 9 Sept. of that year.

In May 1991 North Coast Harbor's first permanent new attraction opened: the 618' retired ore carrier STEAMSHIP WILLIAM G. MATHER MUSEUM, docked at the E. 9th St. pier. In 1990 the southeastern corner of the harbor was chosen as the location of the ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME AND MUSEUM. In 1992 a master plan was completed by Sasaki Associates, Inc. of Watertown, MA, which would integrate existing elements with the new ones. Existing features include the Port of Cleveland, the U.S.S. COD submarine, CLEVELAND MUNICIPAL STADIUM, and the historic Donald Gray Gardens. Future planned components of the harbor include the Great Waters Aquarium near the mouth of the river on Dock 20, the Great Lakes Museum of Science, Environment, and Technology at the southwestern corner of the harbor, open space, a waterfront promenade, underground parking, and housing.

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