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The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame makes a grunge town glam

From the March 26, 2001 Issue of New York

Cleveland supports one of the world's great orchestras and at least one equally world-class museum, but until recently, you probably wouldn't have called it hot. Then I. M. Pei's glass pyramid -- his Louvre on Lake Erie -- was erected to house the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. It's a cunningly thought -- out space on six levels, and it takes rock very seriously, employs all the latest technological-exhibition gimcrackery (kiosks let you sample sound bites and bios of every artist imaginable; another interactive setup features clips from the best rock movies), and makes an enjoyable case for rock's significance. Its fine history of rap was recently exported to the Brooklyn Museum, and a current exhibit about John Lennon is also strong. Two theaters have continuous showings of compilation films with all your favorite screamers, and a third features clips from performances by inductees into the Hall of Fame. Plenty of space is devoted to rock fashion -- if that's not an oxymoron. The Cleveland Downtown Marriott is within walking distance, as are the Cleveland Orchestra's Severance Hall and the Cleveland Museum of Art.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, www.rockhall.com; Cleveland Downtown Marriott Hotel at Key Center, 216-696-9200 (doubles start at $199).

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