Columbus Neighborhoods: Driving with Darbee – Newark’s Louis Sullivan Bank

Columbus Neighborhoods: Driving with Darbee – Newark’s Louis Sullivan Bank


MUSIC>>>WE’RE COMING INTO DOWNTOWN NEWARK, THE SEAT OF LICKING COUNTY, ABOUT 35 MILES EAST OF COLUMBUS. IT’S AN INTERESTING OLD TOWN. SETTLED RIGHT AROUND 1800, 1802. SO, PRETTY EARLY. THERE’S SOME REALLY GOOD ARCHITECTURE HERE. THERE’S A NICE OLD RAILROAD STATION. THE COUNTY COURTHOUSE IS WONDERFUL. IT’S ON A SQUARE, SURROUNDED ON ALL FOUR SIDES BY BUILDINGS. SO, I WE’LL HAVE A GOOD TIME VISITING NEWARK AND THEN THERE’S ONE VERY SPECIAL BUILDING WE’RE GOING TO SEE. IT’S A BANK, BUT’S NOT LIKE ANY BANK YOU’VE EVER SEEN.>>HI CONNIE.>>HI JEFF.>>HOW ARE YOU? GOOD TO SEE YOU.>>GOOD. GOOD TO SEE YOU TOO.>>PETER, HOW ARE YOU?>>HELLO JEFF.>>NICE TO SEE YOU.>>GOOD TO SEE YOU.>>THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR HOSTING US TODAY AT THIS WONDERFUL, UNIQUE, NOBODY HAS ONE EXCEPT THIS ONE BUILDING HERE IN NEWARK. SO, MAYBE YOU CAN TELL SOME OF THE STORY OF THE BUILDING ITSELF.>>THE LOUIS SULLIVAN BUILDING, IT STARTED CONSTRUCTION IN 1914, OPENED IN 1915. AND IT HAS SERVED THE COMMUNITY WELL SINCE THEN.>>AND NOT ALWAYS AS A BANK. IT HAD OTHER USES.>>NO, IT WAS BANK PROBABLY THE LEAST AMOUNT OF TIME IN ITS HISTORY. A JEWELRY STORE THE MOST, A BUTCHER SHOP. SO, IT’S BEEN CLOSED FOR A DECADE. SO –>>WELL, AND TELL ME HOW THE LICKING COUNTY FOUNDATION CAME TO ACQUIRE IT.>>WE WERE GIFTED THE BUILDING AT THE END OF 2013. AND STARTING IN 2013, WE REALLY STARTED THE MISSION OF FIGURING OUT WHAT THE BEST USE OF THIS BUILDING IS TO PROVIDE VALUE TO THE COMMUNITY. AND ADD SOMETHING TO THE COMMUNITY.>>AND PETER, THAT WOULD BE THE TIME YOUR FIRM WAS ENGAGED? YOU’RE A COLUMBUS ARCHITECTURAL FIRM?>>YES. SO, OUR FIRM, ROGERS-KRANYAK ARCHITECTS, STUDIED THE BUILDINGS TO MAKE SURE WHAT WAS HERE COULD NO FURTHER BE DAMAGED WITH ANY OF THE WEATHER. UNDERSTANDING THIS BUILDING WAS VACANT FOR QUITE SOME TIME.>>RIGHT. AND WEATHER’S ALWAYS A THREAT. GETTING THE ENVELOP OF THE BUILDING ENCLOSED AND SAFE AND SOUND WAS THE FIRST STEP. WELL, LET’S HAVE A LOOK INSIDE. I KNOW IT’S A SPECTACULAR BUILDING. OH MY. OH, THIS IS WONDERFUL. WHAT A SPACE. SO, THIS PHOTO, BIG BLACK AND WHITE PHOTO, WOULD HAVE BEEN TAKEN RIGHT AT THE TIME THE BANK FINISHED I ASSUME. SO, YOU CAN USE THAT AS A REALLY GOOD GUIDE FOR RESTORATION, REPAIR, RENOVATION.>>AS WE’VE STUDIED THE PHOTOGRAPHS AND THE DRAWINGS AND UNDERSTOOD WHAT THIS PLACE MAY HAVE FELT ACOUSTICALLY. AND WITH THE DAYLIGHT COMING IN, WE KNOW THAT THIS PLACE TRULY HAD A PRESENCE. IT WAS STRIKINGLY DIFFERENT FROM MANY OTHER PLACES IN THE COMMUNITY.>>YEAH, IT’S NOT YOUR TYPICAL VICTORIAN ARCHITECTURE THAT EVERYBODY WAS USED TO BY THIS TIME. SO PETER, TELL US ABOUT LOUIS SULLIVAN. HE’S A BIG NAME IN THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN ARCHITECTURE. TELL US ABOUT HIS STORY.>>SO, ORIGINALLY BORN IN BOSTON. HE’S PROBABLY MORE WELL KNOWN FOR HIS WORK IN CHICAGO. WORKING WITH ADDLER AND CREATING A FIRM THAT DID SOME VERY SIGNIFICANT BUILDINGS. AND HE WAS REALLY IN THE SEARCH FOR AN AUTHENTIC AMERICAN ARCHITECTURE.>>NOT DERIVED FROM EUROPEAN DESIGNS, CLASSICISM.>>NOT PULLING FROM THOSE ARTS. HE TOOK NATURE AND GEOMETRY AND COMBINED THEM TOGETHER IN A WAY THAT AS VERY CREATIVE AND VERY EXPRESSIVE. INCLUDING THE MURALS THAT YOU SEE HERE ON THE WALLS AND THE CEILING. AND WE’RE LUCKY THAT THE MURALS WERE PRESERVED. A LOT OF THAT HAPPENED BECAUSE THERE WAS A FALSE CEILING THAT WAS DROPPED IN HERE, RIGHT AT THE TOP OF THE SERPENTINE STONE.>>RIGHT.>>SO, THAT WAS OUT OF VIEW FOR DECADES AND NOW WE FORWARD TO RESTARTING.>>SOMETIMES YOU GET LUCKY AND THEY JUST HIDE SOMETHING AND THEY DON’T DO ANYTHING ELSE TO IT. WE HAVE A TERM FOR IT IN THE PRESERVATION FIELD. IT’S CALLED BENIGN NEGLECT.>>THE PROJECT ACTUALLY WILL RESTORE THESE MURALS TO A POINT WHERE WE’RE CLEANING THEM TO SHOW THEIR ORIGINAL COLOR AND DETAIL. ON THIS WEST WALL WHERE THE DAMAGE HAS OCCURRED, WE’RE GOING TO RESTORE THAT ONLY TO A POINT WHERE IT’S STABILIZED. AND THEN THE NEXT PANEL OVER, WE’RE GOING TO ADD ADDITIONAL RESTORATION TO IT TO ACTUALLY TELL THE STORY ABOUT HOW THIS BUILDING WITH ITS GLORIOUS MURALS, FELL INTO SOME DECLINE AND NOW IT’S RESTORED. IT WILL ALLOW FOR PEOPLE TO SEE THE DECLINE STATE AND THEN THE RESTORED STATE OF THESE MURALS.>>THAT’S A GREAT IDEA. NOT EVERYBODY DOES THAT. SO, PEOPLE WILL WALK IN AND NOT SEE A PRISTINE RESTORED SPACE COMPLETELY. THEY’LL SEE AN AREA WHERE THEY CAN UNDERSTAND THIS IS HOW IT LOOKED ORIGINALLY, THIS IS HOW IT LOOKED AFTER DAMAGE OCCURRED WHICH SOMETIMES IS ALMOST UNAVOIDABLE. THIS IS HOW WE’VE TAKEN CARE TO REPAIR. I THINK THAT’S A GREAT IDEA. NOT EVERYBODY APPROACHES IT THAT WAY, BUT IT REALLY DOES TELL THAT STORY. WELL, THERE’S A SECOND STORY HERE AS WELL. THAT HAS MORE WOOD. YOU DON’T SEE A LOT OF WOOD HERE ON THIS LEVEL, BUT THE SECOND FLOOR OF COURSE WAS FUNCTIONAL, PART OF THE BANK.>>SURE. SULLIVAN’S REALLY SAVED ALL THE BEAUTIFUL SURFACES AND DETAILS FOR THE BANKING FLOOR. SO, YOU SEE THE EXECUTIVE OFFICES UPSTAIRS ARE QUITE MODEST IN COMPARISON.>>AND THEN THE PLANS FOR THE BUILDING, THE FUTURE USE THAT YOU HAVE IN MIND WOULD BE?>>THE FUTURE USE IS EXPLORE LICKING COUNTY, OUR COUNTY’S TOURISM ADVOCATE IS GOING TO HOUSE THE WELCOME CENTER AND THEIR OFFICES IN THIS BUILDING. SO, IT WILL BE REALLY THE FIRST STOP THAT FOLKS WILL — FOLKS COMING TO TOWN, VISITORS COMING TOWN, THE FIRST STOP THEY MAKE IN LICKING COUNTY WILL BE REALLY A SPRINGBOARD FOR EXPLORING ALL THE OTHER REALLY GREAT THINGS WE HAVE IN LICKING COUNTY FOR FOLKS TO SEE AND ENJOY.>>WHAT A GREAT FIRST STOP. PRESERVATION OF OUR HISTORIC LANDMARKS HAS REALLY CAUGHT ON. HERITAGE TOURISM, PEOPLE VISITING HERITAGE PLACES IS A HUGE BUSINESS. YOU’RE GONNA BE READY FOR THEM. THAT’S GREAT. THANKS FOR SO MUCH.

One Reply to “Columbus Neighborhoods: Driving with Darbee – Newark’s Louis Sullivan Bank”

  1. This work is so long overdue. There are eight "Jewel Box Banks" by architect Louis Sullivan across the Midwest, all in a much better state of preservation and, I say this as a native of Ohio, this one has long been an embarrassment to the state of Ohio, so it certainly will be great to see this happen.
    For some reason the building is now being called the "Louis Sullivan Bank Building of Newark" instead of the name it so prominently displays on its facade,"Home Building Association Company" and "The Old Home."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,