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2010 Ohio Historic Preservation Office Award Recipients

The City of Piqua, Piqua Public Library, MKC Associates, Jeff Wray Architects and PSA-Dewberry for the preservation and rehabilitation of the Fort Piqua Hotel

Located just north of Dayton, the city of Piqua is a rural community that dates to the mid-18th century. The city has approximately 20,000 residents, along with a distinctive history that includes presidential visits and several milestone events in the Prohibition and civil rights movements. Much of that history is now on display in the Piqua Public Library, a fitting showcase for the community's colorful heritage. The library is housed in a stunning Romanesque building in the heart of Piqua's downtown. Formerly the Fort Piqua Hotel, the landmark structure had been vacant and in disrepair for many years, until a comprehensive renovation recently transformed this architectural gem into the library's spectacular new home.

Relocation of the library to the Piqua Hotel building was the subject of local debate for several years but the library trustees were determined to stay downtown and finally took the leap in 2007 and committed to the project to create a modern library space within a century-old hotel. The building's vacant status had left it in dire condition, with antiquated systems, structural deficiencies, hazardous materials, and even animal infestation. But the library committee's vision was fully realized in 2009 after a painstaking rehabilitation process that transformed the 80,000-square-foot building into a welcoming new library with additional space for public events.

The project team, which included Chicago based PSA-Dewberry as well as the Ohio-based firms of MKC Associates and historic preservation specialists Jeff Wray Architects, was able to see the opportunities the building presented and address the challenges.

The original lobby with a fireplace was converted to the main circulation area with areas for new materials and media.

Several intact original hotel rooms were converted to study and meeting spaces. In other areas, hallway door openings were retained but the spaces behind opened up to accommodate library stacks. The lower level became ideal space for a children's area due to its low ceilings and stone walls that were used to create a castle-like feel.

The library, which also operates the Piqua Historical Museum, can now celebrate Piqua’s community history and culture in a setting especially well suited to its programs and collections. The building itself helps tell the stories of the community.
Funding for this project came from the federal and state historic rehabilitation tax credits, the New Market tax credit, the Ohio EPA, state capital funds, the City of Piqua, the Piqua Public Library and over $ 3.5 million in private donations.

The combined functions of the library and museum in this very significant historic building have resulted in an institution that promotes reading and learning but also history, community, and historic architecture.

2010 Awards 
Presentation Image. Click to view slides of the awards presentation.

Click here to return to the list of 2010 Ohio Historic Preservation Office Award recipients.

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

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