University Circle is the cultural, educational, and medical center of Greater Cleveland, and is located on the east side of Cleveland, Ohio. University Circle occupies approximately 550 acres (2.2 km²) around the campus of Case Western Reserve University and the adjacent Wade Park Oval. It borders Cleveland's Little Italy, home to many private art galleries and restaurants, as well as the neighborhoods of Hough, Glenville, Buckeye-Shaker, and Fairfax (also known as Midtown).
University Circle is a major source of employment in the Cleveland area, currently providing more than 30,000 jobs in a variety of fields. Over 13,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students attend area institutions, and approximately 2.5 million people visit the Circle each year. University Circle Incorporated, a not-for-profit corporation established in 1957, fulfills many administrative and quasi-governmental functions for the area, including security, transportation administration, and marketing. Nearly 50 cultural, medical, educational, religious, and social service institutions are based in the University Circle area, the largest of which is Case Western Reserve University.
University Circle houses a large number of allied and independent institutions, most of which are members of University Circle Incorporated. The Cleveland Museum of Art
, a world-renowned art museum situated in front of Wade Lagoon, is currently undertaking a massive expansion project that will more than double its exhibit space. The Cleveland Museum of Natural History
is located in the Circle as well. Severance Hall
is home to the Cleveland Orchestra
, one of the United States' Big Five orchestras
. The Cleveland Botanical Garden
includes a greenhouse offering two ecosystems: Madagascar
desert and Costa Rica
cloud forest. The Cleveland Institute of Art
, Cleveland Cinematheque
, and Sculpture Center are located in the Circle. Case Medical Center
is one of the nation's premier cancer hospitals and is closely affiliated with Case Western Reserve University
. The Louis Stokes Veteran's Administration
Medical Center is another medical institution in the area. The Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine
is currently located in the Circle, but will soon move to suburban Independence
. The Cleveland Institute of Music
with its affiliated Cleveland Music School Settlement
is located here. The Circle is home to a variety of smaller museums as well, such as The Western Reserve Historical Society
and Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum
, the Children's Museum of Cleveland
and the Dittrick Museum of Medical History
Located nearby are a number of other museums, places of worship, and specialty health care facilities, including the Cleveland Clinic and the Cleveland Play House.
The Circle area is served by public transportation
, including a stop
on the RTA
's Red Line
. The CircleLink shuttle service
(colloquially known as the "Greenie") provides free public transportation within University Circle. In the fall of 2008, the $200 million Euclid Corridor Project
will enter full operation, which will introduce bus rapid transit along Euclid Avenue
from Public Square
to East Cleveland
along the system's Silver Line. University Circle is a major destination on the line, and Euclid Avenue will be rebuilt during construction, with the installation of public art, new lighting, and sidewalks included in plans.
In the spring of 2006, Charter One Bank
announced its $150,000,000 "UPtown Initiative". The UPtown Initiative will earmark $100 million in funding for economic development, including financing for the large amount of research, medicine, and technology industries in the area. This funding will be used to create jobs and spur further investment in the circle and areas around it. The other $50 million in funds will be used to upgrade, renovate, and build new housing in the Circle and surrounding neighborhoods. Portions of the funding are earmarked for local retail and other amenities of a successful urban district.
In addition to this investment, Case Western Reserve University, Zaremba Homes, and MRN Ltd have announced a partnernship to develop a new urban "uptown" district within University Circle, to be centered on the "triangle" at the corner of Euclid, Ford, and Mayfield. Anchored by the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, which will be moving to the area as part of the project, the university envisions a $120 million development that will include restaurants, bars, entertainment venues, fashion and specialty clothing stores, general retail, and over 400 units of housing and office space. The current apartment towers of the Triangle development will remain. It will also be the new home of the university's bookstore.
There are a large number of future plans for producing growth in the University Circle area. Case Western Reserve University
is involved with a large amount of planning in the area, including the creation of a large medical and technological research center, known as the "West Quad", which is to be built on the campus of the former Mt. Sinai Hospital. Future plans for the area include large apartment and condominium towers, and other housing for residents, with projections of 20,000 people living within the University Circle area.