Project Update: LeVeque Tower
Repairing the terra cotta “skin” of the iconic LeVeque Tower downtown is not an easy job – or a quick one. Workers are about to begin their second season of work on the exterior of the building, having completed about five floors last year. It could be five years before all 47 stories are completed, according to Bob Loversidge of Schooley Caldwell, the architect overseeing the project.
“It is actually in considerably better condition than I was afraid of, particularly the tower area,” Loversidge said, explaining that the building was inspected last year by a company that used rappellers to make a detailed inventory of the entire exterior. He added that terra cotta is a material that requires continual maintenance, something the tower has not always received over the course of its 85-plus years.
The lobby of the building should be finished by the end of this year – it will be restored to a full three stories and will be visible through the large bay windows on Broad Street. Work is also continuing on the heating and cooling of the building, while extensive site work – which will include new granite sidewalks, planters and lighting – should be underway by this fall.
As for the mix of uses planned for the building, the overall concept remains similar to what developers first announced last year; about 50% of the building devoted to office use, 25% to apartments (60 to 70 units), and 25% to a boutique hotel. Loversidge said they hope to have something to announce soon concerning the hotel portion of the project, but that nothing has been secured as of yet. He also explained that if the hotel doesn’t pan out, the plan can be adjusted so that offices take up closer to 75% of the building.
The building is currently about half-occupied with office clients, along with one residential unit – the penthouse suite – which is rented out.
“We are getting great cooperation from the city, downtown organizations and the building department,” added Loversidge. “Everyone is interested in seeing this project move forward.”
More discussion on the LeVeque Tower can be found on the Columbus Underground Messageboard.
Renderings via Schooley Caldwell Associates.