The Gettys Group's conversion of a skyscraper into a hotel stirs some personal memories.
By Matthew Hall
Every now and again, my personal and professional lives intersect. So it is with the feature in our May 2017 edition about the new Hotel LeVeque, a member of Marriott Intl.’s Autograph Collection, in a former office building in downtown Columbus, Ohio.
My dad once worked in a small sales office for Youngstown Sheet & Tube (YS&T) in the tower that now houses the new hotel. While I was born in Columbus, I don’t have any specific recollections of dad’s office there. He moved our family to northeast Ohio when I was a toddler to take a job at the steelmaker’s larger Cleveland sales operation.
YS&T subsequently underwent a series of ownership and name changes, ultimately emerging as LTV Steel. My dad (who passed a couple of years ago) stayed with the company through all that tumult. But he always had a soft spot for those days in Columbus—a sentiment he expressed more than once while visiting me during my college days at Ohio State University, whose campus sits a few miles from the LeVeque tower.
Despite having no memories of what the inside of that skyscraper once looked like, I was intrigued (and pleased) to see its interiors now. As associate editor Christina Green details in her story on Hotel LeVeque, The Gettys Group has drawn from the building’s prominent role in Columbus’ history to create a unique, celestial-oriented aesthetic within the property that’s quite memorable.
So, even for those who don’t have a semi-personal connection to the hotel like mine, the team at Gettys has created a place-based experience that will stick with them and encourage return visits. Isn’t that what good design should do?
Speaking of designing memorable hospitality experiences, be sure to check out the three other features in the May issue, all of which examine that proposition from a variety of angles. First up is contributing editor Oriana Lerner’s “Life Stylists,” which consists of Q+As with the brains behind Nobu Hospitality, Ace Hotel/Atelier Ace and Shade Hotels. Next up is “Mid-Tier Mod Squad,” my look at how hotels in that fast-growing sector are upping their design quotients. Then Oriana weighs in again with profiles of three projects that are exploding the definitions of what 250-plus room hotels "should" look like.
Indeed, an unforgettable package in so many ways.
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