Cleveland Public Auditorium (sometimes called Public Hall) is located in the central business district of downtown Cleveland, Ohio. Since it was opened in 1922, it has served as a concert hall, sports arena and convention center. Although it was planned and funded prior to World War I, construction did not begin until 1920. Designed by city architect J. Harold McDowell and Frank Walker of Walker and Weeks in a neoclassical style matching the other Group Plan buildings, it was the largest of its kind when opened, seating 11,500. The building has seen several additions, including the 2,800-seat Music Hall in 1929, and an underground convention center in 1932 which was expanded in 1964 by Cleveland architectural firm Outcalt, Guenther, Rode, & Bonebrake. Greater Cleveland leaders are currently examining replacements for the aging convention center.
Public Auditorium has hosted many notable events, including the 1924 and 1936 Republican National Conventions, General Eisenhower's address on Sept. 23, 1952 to 15,000 supporters immediately after Richard Nixon's successful Fund Speech, and the 1993 Cleveland Orchestra 75th anniversary concert. Public Auditorium also was the site for many rock music acts throughout its history, serving as a venue for performers such as The Beatles, Madonna, Queen & R.E.M., when they performed at smaller facilities earlier in their careers. Its use as a concert venue declined sharply after the completion of the CSU Convocation Center at Cleveland State University in 1991. In April 2009, it hosted the annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremonies.
The large Public Hall proper, houses the largest pipe organ ever built at one time by E.M. Skinner.