: This photograph shows John J. Lentz (1856-1931), founder of American Insurance Union (AIU), delivering a speech during the cornerstone laying of the AIU Citadel building, Columbus, Ohio, on February 23, 1926. Lentz is standing on a wood platform next to the cornerstone, whose face is hidden by a U.S. flag.
A few years after building's formal dedication in 1927, AIU was in serious financial straits. The stock market crash and cost overruns incurred during the Citadel's construction led AIU to declare bankruptcy in 1935. Businessmen Leslie LeVeque of Columbus and John Lincoln of Cleveland bought the building, which became known as the Lincoln-Leveque Tower. In 1977 its name was changed officially to the LeVeque Tower. One of the city's most famous architectural landmarks, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.
Lentz was born in Belmont County, Ohio, and graduated from Columbia Law School in 1883. That same year he was admitted to the bar in Columbus, Ohio. He founded AIU in 1894 and served two terms as a U.S. Representative from Ohio's 12th Congressional District (1897 to 1901).
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: AL06936 Subjects
: American Insurance Union Citadel; Leveque Tower (Columbus, Ohio); Construction industry--Ohio; Construction; Lentz, John Jacob, 1856-1931; Columbus (Ohio)--Buildings, structures, etc.--Design and construction; Cornerstone laying; Architecture Places
: Columbus (Ohio); Franklin County (Ohio)