From Doom to Boom: Home to RNC, Cleveland Is Surging After Years of Urban Decay

It once looked like a war zone, but now Cleveland has been rejuvenated.

While the nation’s eyes are all on Cleveland for the Republican National Convention, the city looks clean and secure, but that has not always been the case.

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Photojournalist Seph Lawless has been documenting the urban decay of his native city for a series entitled "Autopsy Of America." It is the story of how Cleveland went from a doomed city to a boom town over the years.

He told Inside Edition that "3,000 abandoned structures and homes in East Cleveland alone tell a story."

It’s a renaissance in what used to be the rust belt. The people in the city are proud of upgrades as they work hard to shed the nickname, "The Mistake by the Lake."

LeBron James and the Cavaliers gave the city something to cheer about, bringing Cleveland its first championship in more than 50 years last month.

Joe Roman is the CEO of the Cleveland Greater Partnership. He spearheaded the rejuvenation of the city beginning with this $50,000,000 park project where the laughter of children fills the air.

Promenades and waterways have been cleaned up, there are theaters and glistening skyscrapers and streets are lined with trendy bars and restaurants.

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“It’s a great time to be a Clevelander,” he told Inside Edition. “Wanna come listen to great orchestra, do it right here. Don’t have to go to Europe. See it right here. Wanna great art museum? You can do it right here.”

Roman says the attitude of Cleveland’s citizens is more upbeat, though challenges remain as there are areas that still need help and they are "dealing" with fixing the remaining problems.

“Cleveland is addressing its problems, it's changing [and] it's investing in itself,” Roman said. “It’s here for another 100 years.”

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