American Insurance Union Citadel and City Hall photograph   Save
American Insurance Union Citadel and City Hall photograph
Description: Dated ca. 1930-1939, this photograph shows the American Insurance Union Citadel (now LeVeque Tower) and the Columbus City Hall, as seen from across the Scioto River. The American Insurance Union Citadel, located at 50 West Broad Street at the corner of Front Street, was designed by architect C. Howard Crane in the Art Deco style with touches of a more modern version of the Byzantine. The 47-story tall skyscraper, designed mainly as office space, rises to an elevation of 555.5 feet, and was built to be 6 inches taller than the Washington Monument. Two 18-story wings flank the building; on the east, the 4,000 seat Keith-Albee Theater (now the Palace Theater), and on the west the 600 room Deshler-Wallick Hotel. The steel-frame building, completed in 1927 at a cost of $7,800,000, was the first building in Ohio to be erected on a caisson foundation. It was the fifth tallest building in the world for a time, and the tallest building in the city until 1974. Due to the Great Depression the American Insurance Union went bankrupt, and sold the building. The tower was purchased by John Lincoln and Leslie L. LeVeque in 1945. LeVeque was the designer of an automatic pinsetter for bowling which became known as the Columbus pinsetter. The Lincoln-LeVeque Tower was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975 and in 1977, the name was officially changed to the LeVeque Tower. The building changed hands to Lennar Properties in 2004, and then again to the new owners Finsilver/Friedman Management, a Michigan based regional developer and property manager. The City Hall, located 90 West Broad Street, bounded by Gay, Front, and Broad Sts., and Riverside Drive, occupies, with its park, and entire block in the heart of the civic center. The 5-story structure of Indiana limestone, in Greco-Roman style, was designed by the Allied Architects Association of Columbus and cost $1,700,000. Three of the four sections of the building, which surround a court, were completed in 1928, and the fourth was dedicated in 1936. The hall houses various municipal departments and contains a city council chamber that originally sat more than 400 people. At night multi-colored lights played upon a fountain before the Broad Street entrance. This photograph is one of the many visual materials collected for use in the Ohio Guide. In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the Works Progress Administration by executive order to create jobs for the large numbers of unemployed laborers, as well as artists, musicians, actors, and writers. The Federal Arts Program, a sector of the Works Progress Administration, included the Federal Writers’ Project, one of the primary goals of which was to complete the America Guide series, a series of guidebooks for each state which included state history, art, architecture, music, literature, and points of interest to the major cities and tours throughout the state. Work on the Ohio Guide began in 1935 with the publication of several pamphlets and brochures. The Reorganization Act of 1939 consolidated the Works Progress Administration and other agencies into the Federal Works Administration, and the Federal Writers’ Project became the Federal Writers’ Project in Ohio. The final product was published in 1940 and went through several editions. The Ohio Guide Collection consists of 4,769 photographs collected for use in Ohio Guide and other publications of the Federal Writers’ Project in Ohio from 1935-1939. View on Ohio Memory.
Image ID: SA1039AV_B11F05_42_001
Subjects: Municipal buildings--United States; MacMorris, Leroy Daniel, 1893-1981; Leveque Tower (Columbus, Ohio); Crane, C. Howard (Charles Howard), 1885-1952; Architecture; National Register of Historic Places
Places: Columbus (Ohio); Franklin County (Ohio)