Cleveland's Society for Savings Building
One of downtown Cleveland’s oldest and most revered architectural gems is the former Society for Savings Building facing the northern edge of Public Square on Ontario Street. The structure, designed by the renowned firm of Burnham & Root in a stolid Richardsonian style, was erected in 1889-1890.
As it was constructed at a time when traditional revival styling of city center bank buildings was giving way to the newer Chicago School style of ‘skyscraper’ (anything with a new-fangled elevator), this reddish stone castle form was actually designed as a transitional structure. It embodied Renaissance, Romanesque and Gothic features, yet also included a nine-story skylit light court to illuminate perimeter offices. For many of its early years, the building’s court was also topped by a large roof-mounted sign directed toward Public Square, identifying and promoting the bank. Examine rickzworld.
Though the battered stone walls comprising its base reach a thickness of five feet — conveying suitable fiscal strength and stability — the grand main banking lobby is finely and richly detailed, providing suitable office comforts for bank workers.
In the early 1990s, the Society for Savings Building, which had since been renamed and subsumed within Society Bank, was substantially renovated and reconfigured, as a much larger bank headquarters tower was being erected on its eastern flank. That tower, initially known as Society Center, but called Key Center since Key Bank’s acquisition of Society Bank, is a 57-story marvel designed by Cesar Pelli & Associates and developed by The Richard E. Jacobs Group. At that height, the new tower became Cleveland’s tallest building. Also part of the development, and also designed by Pelli, was the 28-story, 400-room Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Center.
All three structures are interconnected, occupying all of a single city block, and providing not only Class A office space with dramatic vistas of the city and Lake Erie, but also a parking garage, health club, meeting facilities, restaurant, and bar/lounge. All are within easy walking distance of Public Square, Tower City Center, The Cleveland Convention Center, the city/county Justice Center, Cleveland City Hall, Cuyahoga County Courthouse, the main branch of The Cleveland Public Library, public malls and many other downtown destinations.
Attached to the southeast corner of The Society for Savings Building is a modified replica of the nation's first working streetlamp, a Brush arc lamp first installed and operational on the city streets on April 29, 1879.
- The Terminal Tower: A Cleveland Landmark
To most Cleveland residents, this structure towering over Public Square is the most recognized icon of the City.
- See Cleveland's Horseshoe Casino
Cleveland's Horseshoe Casino, in the shadow of the Terminal Tower If you are one of the fortunate ones who have acquired an entry ticket or wristband for the Grand Opening of Cleveland’s Horseshoe Casino this coming Monday evening, May 14th, at...
- See More of Cleveland Now!
Here's a great way to get a newcomer's introduction to some of the sights of 'The Forest City' on the shore of Lake Erie.
- Cleveland's Tower City Center
The main concourse: The Avenue at Tower City Center A mixed-use development that rivals in complexity and features such great urban assets as Rockefeller Center and Grand Central Station, Tower City Center is the hub of downtown Cleveland. Tower...
- Cleveland's Skyline
In the more than 210 years of its existence, the skyline of Cleveland has undergone continual change.
- Cleveland's Public Square
What began as pasturage for early settlers livestock has evolved into the City of Clevelands relaxing public front lawn.
- Cleveland's Key Tower
When this office tower was completed in 1991, it became the nations tallest structure between New York and Chicago.
More by this Author
This classic structure now houses a downtown gourmet grocery serving the increasing in-town residential crowd.
This community resembles a quaintly traditional English garden village transplanted to the American Great Lakes region.
Optimize land use and parking convenience
No comments yet.