The Fifth Third Bank Building, Cleveland, Ohio

Fifth Third Center, Cleveland, Ohio
Fifth Third Center, Cleveland, Ohio

Designed by the architectural firm of RTKL Associates, Fifth Third Center, headquarters of Cincinnati’s Fifth Third Bank operations in Cleveland, was completed in 1992, at the corner of Superior Avenue and East Sixth Street, near the heart of the city’s financial district.

Arriving on the scene as the city’s sixth tallest structure, the office building was originally constructed as Bank One Center, prior to Bank One’s acquisition by JP Morgan Chase, and the subsequent relocation of Fifth Third Bank to the facility. Soon after Fifth Third’s occupancy, the building’s cap was adorned with the bank’s name and logo.

Rising to 28 stories and an overall height of 446 feet, Fifth Third Center provides Cleveland with yet another distinctively capped high-rise fleshing out the city’s core skyline. The building’s chunkily articulated upper floors — clad in a varied palette and patterning of materials with a unique color scheme — are typical of RTKL’s commercial design style of the period. (Similar forms and features can be found in the firm’s Pentagon City work and elsewhere.) The structure’s skyline profile is dominated by its green metal-hipped roof, topped by twin antenna spires.

The site of Fifth Third Center had for nearly a century (1890-1989) been occupied by the original Hollenden House Hotel (demolished in 1963) and its planned successor. Developer John Galbreath, who had already participated in the development of two other Cleveland high-rises, Erieview Tower and One Cleveland Center, was central to the construction of Fifth Third Center. The building, consisting of just over half a million square feet, was completed at a cost of roughly $70 million.

The office tower is graced with a rather finely articulated and ornamented entrance and lobby facing Superior Avenue.

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