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Calfee Halter and Griswold building | by Tim Evanson
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Calfee Halter and Griswold building

Calfee, Halter & Griswold building at 1405 E. 6th Street in Cleveland, Ohio, in the United States.


The Beaux-Arts building was designed by William Bunker Tubby and erected in 1915 as a headquarters for the East Ohio Gas Company. It was the first private-sector building on the Cleveland Mall, and has a two-story atrium, seven floors of office space, and three below-ground levels. There is a total of 115,000 square feet of interior space, and the adjacent parking garage was built to permit additional floors to be built atop it. (The atrium originally contained a showroom for gas appliances, and was ringed with teller stations where customers could pay bills as well as small offices where they could visit with staff to schedule and obtain service.)


East Ohio Gas vacated the building in 1959, and WKYC -- a radio and television company -- took over the structure. The Mike Douglas Show was produced there for three years in the late 1960s. A number of other businesses rented office space in it as well.


The building had a series of owners in the 1970s that left First Union Real Estate in control in 1979. They sold it to CRM Real Estate Services (then known as Bedford Properties) in 1996.


WKYC moved out in 2001. The building's owner, CRM Real Estate Services, sold it in 2002 to developer Lewis Wallner for $2.4 million. Wallner knocked out the wall between the parking garage and the atrium, and used the atrium for additional parking space while he worked on plans to convert the structure to an apartment building. For eight years, the structure had stood vacant.


CRM Real Estate bought the building back for $1.3 million in 2009 after creditors (owed $3.7 million) foreclosed on Wallner's project.


Calfee, Halter & Griswold signed a 20-year lease on the structure in 2009, with an option for another 20 years.


When the law firm took occupancy, the building was largely a wreck. The atrium had been stripped, leaving nothing but steel columns and concrete floors and walls. The elevators had been removed. Rainwater and snowmelt had flooded the basements for at least a decade, leaving the floors covered in mud. Debris from the failed renovation was left in eight-foot high piles on the floors. About 90 percent of the interior stonework was missing. The false ceilings were in a state of collapse.


The renovation was overseen by Sandvick Architects. Cleveland Construction was the general contractor for the core and exterior walls, and The Albert M. Higley Co. the general contractor for the interior. The interior spaces were designed by the architectural film Vocon. The total cost of the renovation exceeded $30 million.

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Taken on June 16, 2018