Dittrick Museum of Medical History staff member shows students a historical image showing the human anatomy

Did You Know: History in University Circle

Case Western Reserve University is one of the many institutions in University Circle that make our area a cultural hub. As we welcome new members to our community this month, we will highlight some of the local resources that make our neighborhood thrive. For students, some of the local attractions are available at a free rate through the Free Access Program.

Though the Case Western Reserve University campus has a rich past of its own, students also can explore history at several University Circle locations.

Cleveland Historical Tours

Created by the Center for Public History and Digital Humanities at Cleveland State University, Cleveland Historical offers three digital tours with locations in or near University Circle—“In Search of the Underground Railroad,” “University Circle: A Cultural Necklace” and “Coventry Village”—each of which can easily be visited by students.

Cleveland Museum of Natural History

The Cleveland Museum of Natural History is free for those with a student ID. The museum features exhibits on Cleveland wildlife, a planetarium, dinosaurs, Lucy the hominid and famous sled dog Balto.

Dittrick Museum of Medical History

Students don’t have to walk far to visit this museum—it’s in the Allen Memorial Medical Library on campus. Free and open to all, the Dittrick Museum of Medical History has hundreds of objects on display that chronicle medical practices, like rare books, old microscopes and historical contraception.

Western Reserve Historical Society

Named after the tract of land that Cleveland now sits on (and from which CWRU got its name) the Western Reserve Historical Society houses a variety of exhibits, including the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum, tours of historic Cleveland mansions and the Euclid Beach Park Grand Carousel. It is free for students with an ID.

Beyond University Circle

The university community also can see (and smell and taste) local history in Little Italy, which is just a short walk from campus. The neighborhood features shops like Presti’s and Corbo’s bakeries, which opened in 1943 and 1958, respectively, as well as several fixtures from the early 20th century, including La Dolce Vita (1914) and Holy Rosary Church (1910).