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2009 Ohio Historic Preservation Office Award Recipients

Preservation Merit Award to Concord Hospitality Enterprises Company, Powers & Company, Wachtel McAnally Architects/Planners and the City of Columbus for the rehabilitation and adaptive use of the 1926 Buckeye Building at 36 East Gay Street in Columbus as the Residence Inn by Marriott.

Rehabilitation of the Buckeye Building, a 15-story tower in the heart of the central business district of Columbus, has given an important anchor building a renewed role as a vibrant contributor to the downtown.

The Buckeye Building, originally an office building with a grand banking hall on the ground floor, was constructed in 1926 as the main banking headquarters for the Buckeye State Building and Loan Company, the largest savings and loan financial institution in Columbus for many decades. The building is significant as an outstanding example of the Classical Revival style, and as a major work by the New York City architectural firm of Hopkins & Dentz.

The rehabilitation began in 2005 when Raleigh, North Carolina-based Concord Hospitality Enterprises Company purchased the 83-year-old building. By this time its banking hall had been vacant for more than ten years. Lubert Adler Partners of Philadelphia teamed up with Concord in working with the architecture firm of Wachtel McAnally [“Mack-in ally”] of Newark, Ohio on the project.

Powers & Company was hired to provide historic preservation consulting services including nomination of the building to the National Register of Historic Places and submitting the project for the Federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit that was awarded in 2008.

The ornate cast stone exterior of the building was carefully restored and stabilized by Midstate Contractors. The former 4-story grand banking hall on the ground floor was sensitively divided into two areas for hotel use and future retail space. The hotel utilizes its portion of the massive room for a check-in area, a waiting lounge, and a breakfast dining room with the buffet located in the former vault and safe deposit rooms. The mezzanine level overlooking the banking hall was transformed into a contemporary lounge space, exercise and meeting rooms. The features of this impressive space, from the decorative plaster ceiling to the marble floors and teller walls, were carefully restored. The former office floors on the upper stories were adapted to accommodate 126 suites for long-term stays. The basement parking garage, original to the building, was retained and continues in that use.

The Buckeye Building is part of a city-wide program to increase residential units, strengthen commercial activity and attract new businesses to downtown Columbus. Included in the program was a multi-million dollar city-funded program to return E. Gay Street to a two-way thoroughfare. Rehabilitation of the Buckeye Building into a Residence Inn has improved the tenor of east Gay Street from abandoned to welcoming, from underutilized to occupied.

2009 Awards 
Presentation Image. Click to view slides of the awards presentation.

Click here to return to the list of 2009 Ohio Historic Preservation Office Award recipients.

Click here for a list of past Ohio Historic Preservation Office Award recipients.

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