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AT&T Building, Cleveland, Ohio
Prior to this building’s completion in 1927, it is estimated that 10,000 miles of telephone line and switches had to be relocated from the previous Ohio Bell Telephone Company switching center on the former Michigan Avenue (which was vacated to allow for construction of The Terminal Tower complex on Cleveland’s Public Square).
This 24-story, 365-foot-tall AT&T Building — formally The AT&T Huron Road Building — was also the tallest structure in Cleveland for a brief one-year span from its erection until the Terminal Tower’s completion in 1928. It is still a significant presence on the city skyline (especially as perceived from the decks of Progressive Field, formerly Jacobs Field).
The distinctive stair-stepped office tower was designed by the well-known architectural firm of Hubbell & Benes, which had completed several other significant structures within the city, including the Cleveland Museum of Art. The Art Deco building was cast in what its architects then called a Modern American Perpendicular Gothic style.
From its inception, the pale limestone structure served as the headquarters offices of Ohio Bell, then one of the regional ‘Baby Bells’ owned by AT&T. By 1964, Ohio Bell had relocated to the newly erected Tower at Erieview. It would several decades later — under its new name of Ameritech — relocate yet again to its own new office building adjacent to Erieview Tower. Meanwhile, this Huron Road Building was retained as a primary switching center for central Cleveland. It has since been upgraded to handle DSL traffic as well.