North Point Office Building and Tower, Cleveland, Ohio
When first proposed by Joseph Cole, the owner of Cleveland’s afternoon newspaper, The Cleveland Press, in 1979, North Point was to become a significant new development marking the northern end of Cleveland’s business and financial corridor along East Ninth Street. Intended to incorporate a 40+ -story office tower, a new hotel and prominent displays of newspaper printing gear — all to be built atop the newspaper’s existing structure —the grand scheme collapsed with the demise of the daily in 1982.
Local real estate developer John Ferchill then stepped into the picture. Acquiring control of the former Cleveland Press site, his company, The Ferchill Group, proceeded to construct a mid-rise structure of almost a quarter-million-sf, calling it North Point I. The building, clad in glass and patterned tile, is distinguished by a diagonally-slashed glass-covered atrium running from southeast to northwest. That atrium bisects the building into roughly triangular office floor plates, and orients to sunsets over Lake Erie and the Inner Harbor lakefront.
In 1990, The Ferchill Group completed the addition of North Point II, a 19-story stair-stepped tower, clad in bands of multi-colored glass. That structure encloses more than half a million square feet of additional office space, along with a sizable amphitheater, conference space, and exercise facility. The tower of North Point II is also served by a 1,000-space parking garage. Architects for the structures include Payto Architects and URS Consultants.
The North Point complex justifiably established the northernmost point of office development atop a bluff overlooking the shore of Lake Erie below. Also below are the primary east-west expressway into downtown Cleveland (Interstate 90/State Route 2) several railroad lines, the Regional Transit Authority’s Waterfront Line terminus, and lakefront facilities like the U.S. Coast Guard Station and Burke Lakefront Airport. North Point therefore stands as a welcoming sentry to many entering the city’s downtown from the north along East Ninth Street.