Featured Shop – Fra Angelica Gallery

Downtown Cleveland has changed over the years.  And one of the amazing transformations has been the redevelopment of what was once the Colonial and Euclid Arcades, located at East 5th street between Euclid Avenue and Prospect Avenue.  Each arcade was build seperately, as a forerunner of the Mall concept… many shops in an enclosed space where pedestrians and shoppers can enjoy the window shopping, or buy what they need without dealing with the elements of weather.

Most people know about “The Arcade” in Cleveland. Some might be surprised, however, to find out that Downtown actually has at least two more of these incredible structures. Lying parallel to each other, The Colonial (1898) and Euclid (1911) arcades run between Euclid and Prospect Avenues, with the Euclid arcade located about 100 feet west of the Colonial. Since 2000, they have been connected at their mid-point by a food court. The Colonial Marketplace project also led to other renovations in and around the arcades, including the opening of a Marriott in the former Colonial Hotel on Prospect Avenue. 

While Cleveland’s two “other” arcades may lack the five-story grandeur of the original Arcade (which opened in 1890), they are still unique and impressive spaces. The sheer brightness of the Euclid arcade, with its white marble floors, white terra cotta walls, and sky-lit white barrel-vaulted ceiling is truly something to behold. The Colonial arcade offers a different flavor, sporting an iron and glass ceiling reminiscent of the original Arcade, as well as exquisite detailing on its balcony-level walls and fixtures. 

It is difficult to imagine today just how busy these arcades were in the decades after they first opened. This was an era when people came to downtown Cleveland to shop and the arcades were made to accommodate the customers. Both the Colonial and Euclid arcades had space for about 40 stores, including retail establishments, restaurants, places for amusement such as bowling alleys and billiard halls, and professional offices. As interior spaces located away from the street, the arcades provided an escape both from the weather and the hustle and bustle of the big city. Women in particular were said to “naturally seek them out” and spent “many a comfortable day flitting from store to store.” It was remarked that in the arcades “there is no noise, except the steady hum of conversation and the swish of shoes on the pavement” and “all is clean and bright.” 

Today, the shopping in the Euclid and Colonial arcades may not be what it once was. Even so, the arcades still maintain their beauty and charm, providing a great respite from Cleveland weather and crowded big city streets.    – Michael Rotman, “Colonial & Euclid Arcades,” Cleveland Historical, accessed November 12, 2013, http:/​/​clevelandhistorical.​org/​items/​show/​236

OK, so now you have a little history of the arcades that are now known as the 5th Street Arcade.   It thrills my heart to see this vintage space being repurposed, filled with new shops, and a new energy.  

Fra Angelica Gallery

Recently Fra Angelica Gallery opened their shop in the 5th Street Arcade. The shop was formerly located in the Galleria.  With changes to the Galleria (converting most of it to the Downtown YMCA), she had the opportunity to relocate.  It has seemed to be a wonderful decision.  Her shop is always filled with great things to look at, touch and wear.  It is an amazing amalgamation of all things fiber – from exquisite wool yarn spun from English Luster Sheep, to clothing, accessories, beautiful jewelry, and remarkable pottery that is a throw back to the arts and crafts era in design and quality. And we are so delighted to say that the Shibori Silk pieces are available at her shop.  I just dropped off a fresh supply of silk for her, including the Autumn Rose 4ft square.    Within the week my name will be going up on the artist page.  Yeah!

Here is the details of her shop:

Shop hours are:
Monday – Saturday: 11am – 5pm
Sunday: Closed

Fra Angelica Gallery & Studio
In the 5th Street Arcades – Suite 36
530 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44115

If you would like to view her website click on the icon below:

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One thought on “Featured Shop – Fra Angelica Gallery

  1. As a child I well remember going “downtown” often with my grandma. Two of my very favorite places were the “arcades” I thought they were so beautiful and unique…how right I was. Even as a child I appreciated what a treasure they were to our city. I am delighted that they are still very much alive and a vibrant piece of Cleveland history. Love this….

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