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“Well worth a visit.”

Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum
Ranked #26 of 185 things to do in Cleveland
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
East Syracuse, New York
Level 6 Contributor
437 reviews
243 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 340 helpful votes
“Well worth a visit.”
Reviewed 14 October 2013

Some reviews were on the negative side. The museum was in renovation till this past June, with many autos not available. At present the entire museum is open, both floors.

Upstairs I counted 26 autos, 2 motorcycles and only four aircraft. About 60 autos in the lower level and 2 motorcycles. All autos are arranged separate, end to end or side by side. The total museum is well laid out.

I came across several autos I never heard of, so this was a history lesson for me. Good lighting for photography. Several staff members to answer any questions. If they didn't know any answer, they would ask another member for an answer. Also a small gift shop.

Parking is off Magnolia Street, just follow the street signs. $5.00 for any length of time. Parking is paid at admissions. A visitor well be given a token to be put in the unattended gate. Insert the token and gate will open up.

My visit lasted about 5 1/2 hours. This included recording what I photographed, talking with at least three staff members and a touring an attached mansion. The mansion tour is about 65 minutes. A visitor must sign up for mansion tour in the gift shop.

If a visitor enjoys autos from the 1890's (or before) up to the early 2000's, plan a visit. The museum will not disappoint. I recommend a visit.

Jack L., Syracuse, New York.

Visited October 2013
2 Thank Jack L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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126 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
New Jersey
Level 5 Contributor
72 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 115 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 July 2013

I had fond memories of this museum. I'm not quite sure of what is happening but there are empty rooms and half completed exhibits. The best part of the museum, the Hay-McKinney house is only available via a guided tour offered only twice a day. The costume show at the time of our visit was labeled "Dior and More" consisted of one room of dresses, which reflected a variety of periods and styles. I'm not quite sure what message the display was trying to convey, other than we have some nice dresses in the collection. The other displays were equally disjointed and there was very little that seemed to reflect the history of North East Ohio. The children's room was pretty generic and again, I'm not sure what plastic food had to do with the history of North East Ohio. The library was closed at the time of our visit. Admission is somewhat expensive. The Society should consider adjusting its prices when so much of the facility is torn apart or closed.

Visited July 2013
4 Thank nancym1010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lexington, KY
Level 4 Contributor
48 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Rare cars in great condition”
Reviewed 8 July 2013

The only thing I disliked was that the entire collection was not on display as the facility is still under renovation. Will return to see the rest. Surprised to see some very old cars that in today's world would be "hybrids" or pure electric.

Visited June 2013
1 Thank DC-3Nut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Flushing, Michigan
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Lots of Rare Makes of Autos”
Reviewed 8 July 2013

We needed something to do in Cleveland for a few hours before going to watch the Tigers whip the Indians. This museum, connected with a guided tour of an old mansion and an unguided tour of another mansion--all in connected buildings, was a wonderful choice. We did have to pay $25--two admissions plus $5 for parking, which seemed a bit steep, but not outrageous compared with other similar attractions in 2013.

We have been to many car museums all around and found this one exceptional in that it focuses on many of the cars built in Cleveland, by manufacturers most people have not heard of, such as Peerless, Winton and even Elmore--my father and grandfather's first name. They have dozens of these old beauties on display, with excellent informational signs telling about the history of each company, the features of that particular model, and a list of the mechanical specifications of each vehicle.

The museum also has some airplanes that were used in flying competitions in the early days of flying. There is a large display telling about Cleveland hosting huge fairs in the 1930s. Also on display are numerous bicycles and motorcycles of local make.

In a separate room was a large carousel that we didn't closely examine. There were signs telling that in the fall they plan to open the basement level for exhibit, with more cars and other items on display.

This complex includes things that I understand are not properly considered part of the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum, but since you pay one admission fee to see them all as part of the Western Reserve History Center, I will briefly review these below.

There is a room for children to learn about how clothing, cooking and travel have changed through the years. It looked like it would be fun for kids, but without any present, I don't really know.

Another large room featured fashions of "Dior and More." Another room featured aerial photos and films of Cleveland from the 1920s and 30s. I found a couple of large photos that showed their old, old ballpark, League Park. There was another large room showing maps of the United States and of Cleveland from decades and centuries ago. I found this rather interesting, although not so interesting as to spend minutes examining each of the dozens of maps on display.

I did like the "exhibit" showing the large electric representation of Chief Wahoo, the longtime symbol of the Cleveland Indians that hung above the team offices at Municipal Stadium for decades. Signs on the front told about the history of this sign, which stands larger than life right above. I was not a fan of the extensive signs on the side telling how a few people are offended by this imagery. I thought one-fourth of this would have been sufficient, since most of the different signs on this side were basically saying the same thing.

The other main part of this attraction was the opportunity to tour two old mansions of Cleveland, called the Hay-McKinney & Bingham-Hanna Houses. In the odd setup, when you enter the museum, you are encouraged to go through the auto-aviation part to the museum store to reserve a guided tour time of the Hay-McKinney house. Before and after your tour, you can see all of the museum exhibits and tour the Bingham-Hanna home on your own. You walk through the B-H home to get to the adjacent H-M home when the tour begins.

Most of the self-guided tour home is taken up with some of the various museum exhibits mentioned. Only one room is set up like a room in a mansion open for tours. The connected nature of what were two separate homes to a museum makes it tricky to keep straight which is part of which original structure.

The tour lasted about 40 minutes and the young lady who conducted it did so superbly. She was informative, interacted with all five of us on the tour well, and provided lots of information. The home was only a home for a short time, serving as a museum most of its history. There are only a few original furnishings, but all the rooms on the two floors of the tour are set up to show lifestyles of the people who lived there.

I suppose some will criticize this whole home tour because of the fact that the place was not used as a home for many years, not occupied by people atop the list of famous Americans, and doesn't have that many original furnishings. But if you know that going in, it still is a nice home tour of some former leaders of Cleveland society.

Visited July 2013
6 Thank FlushingCaps
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 6 Contributor
520 reviews
242 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 185 helpful votes
“Not finished but still worth a visit”
Reviewed 14 May 2013

We almost didn't go to this museum. What I had read on-line didn't do it justice. The museum is still being developed. There is an entire lower floor which is not opened yet, but looks like it will contain, as a minimum, several old cars. There is a carousel under restoration, which will also be finished within the year. Right now, there is an impressive collection of immaculately restored cars, motorcycles, and airplanes. The cars are from old Cleveland auto manufactures. We spent 2 hours there. When finished, you will need more time.

Visited May 2013
2 Thank Ricmar60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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