Columbus November 01, 2017
This Jaw Dropping Place In Columbus Will Blow You Away
In Columbus, just about anywhere you look, one confident, intricate, bright landmark will look back at you — the Leveque Tower. With its grandeur and beautiful art deco style, this building has a big role in the city’s history and skyline. The recent 2017 renovation has reopened a hotel in the building, as well as a restaurant and bar that’s open to the public. It’s only right for every Columbusite to pay a visit to the Leveque Tower at least once.
The Leveque Tower has 47 stories and it is 555 feet 6 inches tall.
The original building design planned for a lower building, however, it was altered to be a foot taller than the Washington Monument. This comparison was often used in advertising campaigns as the building was being erected. Modern measurements show that the Leveque Tower is actually only 3/8 of an inch taller than the Washington Monument.
The building is located at 50 West Broad Street, just east of the Scioto River.
The building of the Leveque Tower coincided with several other major projects meant to overhaul the downtown riverfront area. To combat frequent flooding the river banks were expanded. A new Columbus City Hall and the 14-story Ohio Courts Building were both started at the same time as the Leveque Building.
Since the Leveque Tower is located so close to the river, extra precautions had to be taken in its construction.
The architect used a system similar to that used in the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge tower foundations. As a result, the building's foundation goes all the way to the bedrock and it is extremely stable. Five construction workers lost their lives.
The building was commissioned by the American Insurance Union. Its original name was the American Insurance Union Citadel and it was often referred to simply as the "citadel."
The tower was going to be the new office space of the AIU and it replaced the current four-story office building of the company, located in the same spot. Unfortunately, the AIU went bankrupt during the Great Depression and had to sell the building for a fraction of the building cost.
When it was completed in 1927, it was the fifth tallest building in the world and remained as the tallest building in Columbus until 1974.
After AIU's bankruptcy, the tower was purchased by John Lincoln and Leslie L. LeVeque and renamed to the Lincoln-Leveque Tower. Up until the 1960s, the tower had an observation deck open to the public for a small cost.
Famous for it's Art Deco style, the Leveque Tower was originally supposed to have many more sculptures on the outside.
Unfortunately, the terra-cotta sculptures began to crumble and fall to the ground, and many were removed for safety and legal purposes. Four 18-foot eagles were removed from the 36th floor. Several additional large statues were removed from the 40th floor so that Mr. Leveque could have an unobstructed view from his office.
The building was added to the National Register of Historic places in 1974 and officially renamed as the Leveque Tower.
The tower has been lit since the 1980s. Generally lit in white, other colors are used during special occasions. It lights up in red, white, and blue for Independence Day, green for St. Patrick's day, pink during Breast Cancer awareness month, and green and red for Christmas.
A renovation of the Leveque Tower was announced in 2012 and completed in 2017.
The renovation created a hotel, luxury apartments, and renovated office spaces. The building used to house a hotel, and the renovation, while modern, has kept many features of the original art deco style. Prices to stay at the hotel are $200-$300 a night.
Perhaps the best part of the recent renovation has been the opening of "The Keep."
This bar and restaurant that now sits within the Leveque Tower has finally created a way for Columbusites to visit and engage with this historic building.
The Keep is a French brasserie with a with a full bar and an extensive wine, beer, and liquor list.
Its ambiance is meant to reference the Prohibition Era, during which the Leveque Tower was built. The food is modern and excellent. The Keep is the creation of acclaimed chef Jonathan Olson. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can find more information on their
Finally, the Leveque Tower, a symbol of Columbus, is open to the public.
Columbus residents, who have loved and admired the building from the outside for decades, can now experience its beauty and history in an infinitely more special and intimate way.
Ready to visit this incredible place? Let us know what your favorite part is!