First Financial - Deborah Berke

79 – First Financial Bank

Dwell magazine said “it may be the most refined bank branch in the world.”

The 4,000-square-foot structure, designed by Deborah Berke & Partners Architects, holds its own among superstores and parking lots. Suspended circular lamps and recessed fixtures bounce light off the white walls and the main lobby’s vaulted ceiling while lit glass roof panels give the exterior a bold glow. In Berke’s  words, “It’s a modernist building, but it’s absolutely inextricably linked to this site in relation to visibility.”

The clean lines and bright lighting of Eero Saarinen’s downtown Irwin Union Bank and Trust design carried over to Berke’s vision for the new bank building (formerly Irwin Union Bank and Trust). The drive-through banking treatment floats above the masonry building, a translucent “light box” which allows natural light to filter down into the banking hall.

Owing to quality of this glass, the “Light Box” also glows outwardly as an ambiguous sculptural object that is neither building nor sign. It floats in the air, lending the new bank building a steady, quietly elegant presence that serves as a counterpoint to the heavy, sprawling “big box” retail buildings nearby.

Berke, currently Dean and Professor at Yale School of Architecture, also designed the Hope library branch.

Columbus East High School

80 – Columbus East High School

Columbus East High School was designed by Mitchell-Giurgola Architects in 1972. The sleek building is sandwiched in a white skin and rests on 52 acres. The large brick entries define the courtyard spaces and emphasize the role of the entry.

The architects were challenged by the school administration to design a high school building to fit a flexible program.

The school program emphasizes individual study with faculty guidance, and the open floor plan reflects the concept that exposure to other subjects will generate wider interests.

The AIA (American Institute of Architects) gave the building an Honor award in 1975, one of five recognized in Columbus by the AIA.

Fodrea School - Paul Kennon

81 – Columbus Signature Academy / Fodrea

Paul Kennon, of Caudill Rowlett Scott, designed the building in 1973 as a “people-centered” school. It was one of the first schools in the country to serve the dual purpose of education and as a gathering place for the community. It offers elementary education, recreation, and community-civic organization space.

As with other Columbus elementary schools, Fodrea was named for educators in the school system – Hazel, Bessie, and Mabel Fodrea were three sisters who taught in the school system.

Fire Station 3 - William Burd

82 – Fire Station 3

William Burd is a Columbus architect who has designed several fire stations as well as other buildings around the area.

The exterior features bright graphics and large towers resembling the nearby Fodrea Elementary School. The two-story building has a hose-drying tower in the rear and a glass enclosed tower in the front with a visible fire pole.

The architect added a playful touch with a visible fire pole so the neighborhood children could run and watch the fireman sliding down the pole when they heard the fire alarm sounding. The fire pole is the main focal point of the design, accented by the red brick and the super-graphic numeral 3.

A cylindrical form is repeated in the towers and horizontally at the main entrance and the engine bay doors. The curves at the entrances and engine bays are accented by the red glazed brick contrasting with the grey fluted masonry block walls.

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