Public Auditorium — often referred to as Public Hall — is a multi-purpose performing arts, entertainment, and exposition facility located in the central business district of downtown Cleveland, Ohio. Although Public Auditorium was planned and funded prior to World War I, construction did not begin until 1920, and the structure did not open until 1922. 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 auditorium cornerstone was laid on Oct. 20, 1920, and the completed building was dedicated on April 15, 1922. Smith & Oby was one local company involved in the project, at the time the largest convention hall in the United States. In 1927, the Music Hall was added at the south end of the auditorium. The main arena floor is 300 ft. long, 215 ft. wide, 80 ft. high. No columns were used in its construction. The main stage is 140 ft. by 60 ft., with a 72- by 42-ft. proscenium arch. The stage is set between the main hall and the music hall and is shared by both halls using a curtain system.
A key attraction was a spectacular pipe organ, the largest ever built at one time by E.M. Skinner with 10,010 pipes and 150 direct speaking stops. The seating capacity of the main auditorium, including the main floor and the U-shaped balcony, was more than 11,500. The Music Hall seated 2,800, the ballroom 1,500, the north exhibition hall 1,500, the Little Theatre 600 and other halls from six to 500. The basement Exhibition Hall provided more than 28,500 square feet of exhibit space.