Terminal Tower

Terminal Tower


Margaret Bourke-White

(American, 1904-1971)

Gelatin silver print

Overall: 49.4 x 37.2 cm (19 7/16 x 14 5/8 in.); Matted: 76.2 x 61 cm (30 x 24 in.)

Gift of Huntington Bank 2003.361



Bourke-White established her reputation during the late 1920s by photographing industrial subjects in Cleveland. She was especially attracted to the city’s most distinctive landmark, the Terminal Tower (completed in 1927), at that time the second tallest building in America. She documented the tower from numerous vantage points, at different times of day, and under various atmospheric conditions. This photograph shows the tower at the apex of a visual pyramid, as if ascending from a smoky pit, flanked by the “High Level” or Detroit-Superior Bridge and smokestacks in the Flats. This gift to the Cleveland Museum of Art is probably the largest known print of Bourke-White’s most popular image of this landmark. The tower seems to symbolize Cleveland’s industrial power and meteoric rise from a small settlement on the banks of the Cuyahoga River to one of the most modern, progressive cities in America.

See also
Type of artwork: 

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Is something not working on this page? Please email help.website@clevelandart.org.

Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email imageservices@clevelandart.org.