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Berj Shakarian
Cleveland International Hall of Fame
Class of 2020

Since 2010, the Cleveland International Hall of Fame (CIHF) has inducted people who have made significant and lasting contributions to our multicultural society. Cleveland is home to people representing about 120 different ethnic groups. The CIHF exists not only to honor those special people but also to inspire a new generation of leaders to follow in their footsteps.

Over 150 worthy candidates were nominated for the 2020 Class of the Cleveland International Hall of Fame. The selection committee was advised by previously inducted members of the Cleveland International Hall of Fame.

Berj Shakarian

Berj Shakarian

Covid-19 forced the always sold out induction ceremonies to be cancelled in 2020 and 2021. We tried to induct the 2020 class virtually but it was not the same. So once we were able to gather together again, we included the 2020 class in the induction ceremony for the 2022 class on June 7, 2022. The event at Windows on the River was a sell out and the 2020 class finally got their moment in the spotlight.

Here is a look at our attempt at a virtual induction of architect Berj Shakarian who was the driving force behind the Armenian Cultural Garden in Cleveland as well as the Centennial Peace Plaza among many other projects.

Cleveland Cultural Garden Federation president Dr. Wael Khoury introduced Berj and then previous inductee Paul Burik presented Berj and gave him his CIHF award and pin.

Berj Shakarian and Paul Burik

Berj Shakarian and Paul Burik


Berj Shakarian and Paul Burik


Berj Shakarian

Berj Shakarian in front of the Plaza he helped create

Click on the white arrow below to watch Berj be inducted virtually.





On the evening of June 7, 2022 Berj finally was honored in person and was inducted by 2019 CIHF inductee Paul Burik who is a delegate for the Czech Cultural Garden and past president of the Cleveland Cultural Gardens Federation. Paul is currently also serving as President of Sokol Cleveland and the historic Bohemian National Hall.

You can see Berj Shakarian's bio here but here are a few highlights.

Berj worked as a designer in the City of Cleveland's Division of Design and Construction. In 1975 he opened his own architectural office, and was offered a commission to do the Restoration of Lakeside Court House. In turn, that opportunity flourished into his appointment as Cuyahoga County Architect, a position that he held from 1978 until he retired in 2010 - and having completed more than $1 billion of construction over that time.

He continues to work after retirement. He has completed the award-winning restoration of Pacelli Hall and his superb design of the St. Ignatius Plaza at John Carroll University. He did restoration work on Playhouse Square, the Cuyahoga County Courthouse, and the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument on Public Square. He has designed churches for other ethnic communities, for example, St. Nicholas Byzantine Croatian Church on Superior. He not only designed the Armenian Cultural Garden, but he also served on the board of the CCGF, and designed the new Centennial Plaza.

Watch the video of Berj Shakarian being inducted into the Cleveland International Hall of Fame by Paul Burik

Enjoy these images from the Cleveland International Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

Paul Burik inducting Berj Shakarian

Paul Burik inducting Berj Shakarian


Berj Shakarian and Paul Burik

Berj Shakarian and Paul Burik


Berj Shakarian and Paul Burik with award

Berj Shakarian and Paul Burik with award


Berj Shakarian acceptance speech

Berj Shakarian acceptance speech


Berj Shakarian acceptance speech


Berj Shakarian with some family members

Berj Shakarian with some family members




Congratulations Berj!




See the entire Cleveland International Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

See pictures of many of the attendees at the event


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Back to 2020 Class Main Page

The Cleveland International Hall of Fame website






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