Cleveland Bench gets installed, unites East and West Sides - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Cleveland Bench gets installed, unites East and West Sides

Cleveland Bench, constructed to unite the city.  (Source: WOIO) Cleveland Bench, constructed to unite the city. (Source: WOIO)
Cleveland Bench, constructed to unite the city.  (Source: WOIO) Cleveland Bench, constructed to unite the city. (Source: WOIO)
The Cleveland Bench was built by Kenvin Busta (Source: Cleveland Bench Facebook Page) The Cleveland Bench was built by Kenvin Busta (Source: Cleveland Bench Facebook Page)
On Saturday, April 4, 2015, the Cleveland Bench was installed outside Tower City as a tangible way to bring together Clevelanders from both sides of the city.

For nearly 200 years a commerce rivalry has existed between the West and East sides of Cleveland.

Clevelanders, who are separated by a series of bridges, regularly self-identify as being from one side or the other.

Michele Kilroy, a Cleveland native, wants to change that and bring the two sides together in a unique way.

In April 2014, she developed the concept for Cleveland Bench. 

It's referred to as "Part function. Part public art. Part social experiment."

The Cleveland Bench project offers people from both sides of the river the opportunity to demonstrate unity.

Kilroy has arranged for anyone interested, to be seated, take a photo together, and upload the photo to Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, using the hashtags #clevelandbench and #meetatthebench.

Participants can choose to be photographed with friends or total strangers from the opposite side of Cleveland and coax them into a joint photograph.

Kevin Busta, a noted local furniture designer/builder created the Cleveland Bench.

“Kevin's thoughtful interpretation of my notes exceeded every expectation that I had. His design reflects our rust belt heritage and is forward thinking at the same time,” said Kilroy.

Neil Mohney of Forest City Enterprises proposed that Forest City's Terminal Tower property serve as the first home for Cleveland Bench. It was later arranged that the bench would be installed in the central doorway arch of Terminal Tower facing Public Square.

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