: This photograph shows the groundbreaking ceremony at the site of the future American Union Insurance (AIU) Citadel building, Columbus, Ohio. The ceremony took place on September 23, 1924. Among the dignitaries present were John J. Lentz (1856-1931), AIU founder and former Congressman, and James J. Thomas, mayor of Columbus.
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 U.S. Representative from Ohio's 12th Congressional District (1897 to 1901).
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: AL06938 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; Architecture Places
: Columbus (Ohio); Franklin County (Ohio); Ohio