Building Description Lasalle, Koch and Company Department Store - Macys, Toledo Ohio
The Lasalle, Koch and Company Department Store is located in Toledo's Central Business District, adjacent to two parking lots and a vacant lot, and was completed in 1917 at a time when-the city's economy was responding to significant industrial and commercial development. This nine-story building is faced with stone and brick. Street level display windows are two stories in height and are framed by a great Roman colonnade of the Tuscan order. Its polished granite columns, wide graceful arches, and simple spandrel of medallions between the arches make this a primary feature of the building. In addition, there are decorated bands above and below the second story. The third through sixth stories contain austral steel windows in the brick walls on the Adams and Huron Street facades with single hung steel windows on the seventh through ninth floors. On the two remaining elevations, all windows are single hung steel windows. The seventh and eighth floors contain a Corinthian colonnade which mirrors the ground floor colonnade. The roof line features a wide overhanging metal cornice with decorative bracket work. The interior of the building was designed for utilitarian space with office and display space on the upper floors.
The building's exterior is divided into the typical tripartite division of base, mid-section, and capitol. The Adams Street (northeast) facade windows are grouped in five major ranks with two end ranks. The first floor features a two-story Tuscan colonnade with polished granite columns, terra cotta medallions, limestone arches, pane-glass tympanum, plate glass display windows and a centered entry with two revolving doors and a metal sash. Each display window has a decorative cast iron cornice and retractable awning. The arch above the entry features a metal grill tympanum with decorative terra cotta brick work in the intrados. There are three types of terra cotta medallions which recall the European craft guilds. The stone frieze above the arches between the first and second stories has slightly recessed square panels. The second floor has paired six-over-six windows in the five major ranks and an eight-over-eight window in the end ranks. The second and third stories are separated by a terra cotta cornice with limestone band. The brick-faced third through sixth stories have paired six-over-six steel austral windows with limestone sills in each of the five major ranks and an eight-over-eight steel austral window with limestone sill in each end rank. The fifth floor central rank windows are slightly taller and originally had flag poles above, and a narrow decorative limestone balcony below the window. The sixth and seventh stories are separated by a terra cotta cornice. The seventh and eighth stories contain a stone Corinthian colonnade with a four-part four-pane steel austral window with transom in each of the five major ranks and a two-part four-pane steel austral window with transom in each end rank. The seventh and eighth story windows are separated by a metal spandrel panel with wrought iron railing. The eighth and ninth stories are separated by a limestone band with slightly recessed rectangular panels adorned with a circular relief. The limestone-sided ninth story's fenestration is similar to that of the third through sixth stories. The roof line features a wide overhanging copper cornice with brackets and a terra cotta band.
The Huron Street (northwest) facade windows are grouped in thirteen major ranks and two end ranks. The Huron Street facade details are identical to the Adams Street facade with the exception of the fifth floor balcony and the number and placement of the entrances. The two main entrances are located in the major rank adjacent to the end rank. The Huron Street entrance, located towards the Adams Street end rank, is identical to the Adams Street entrance. The second main entrance, located towards the Spitzer Building end rank, is recessed and contains four recent vintage steel and glass doors-with transoms. The smaller, third entrance was used as an employee entry and is situated in the flat-roofed arcade that connects the Lasalle, Koch and Company Building to the adjacent Spitzer Building. The arcade runs the entire width of the southwest facade, and is similar in height to the first story details, but is slightly wider than the remaining ranks. The arcade has an identical arch and display window. The single door entrance with transom sits to the right of the display window. The original fifth floor limestone balcony encompassed the three central ranks, instead of a single rank, as found on the Adams Street facade.
The southwest elevation faces the adjacent Spitzer Building and therefore lacks much of the detail of the two previous facades. Architectural embellishment is confined to elements that carry over from the Huron Street facade. The fenestration pattern is irregular with single steel austral windows.
The alley (southeast) elevation has an irregular and functional fenestration pattern that pierces an elevation composed of exposed reinforced concrete vertical and horizontal structural members and brick in-fill. The only decorative detailing is found in the end rank closest to Adams Street, which is identical to the end rank found on the Adams and Huron Street facades. In 1927 the ninth, tenth and eleventh stories were added to the top of the building. Unlike that of the three previous facades, it was evident from the street level that the building had three additional stories, which housed some of the mechanical equipment for the building. However, in 1994, due to severe deterioration and weather damage, the tenth and eleventh floors were demolished, a new roof added, and new walls constructed on the mechanical tower.
The interior of the Lasalle, Koch and Company Department Store was designed with a utilitarian purpose, so that interior floors could be easily altered as fashion and industry demands changed. Much of the interior is primarily open construction with expansive ceilings, concrete floors and brick walls. The building has four main stairways, two located for customer access, two for employee only access. The alley (southeast) side of the building has a curved wail of eight elevators. A freight elevator is located next to the southeast stairway. Two express elevators were added for access to the eighth floor restaurants in ca. 1946. In 1947, escalators were added from the basement to the fifth floor. Most of the mechanical, electrical and utility shafts are on the northeast side of the building.
The sub-basement is a partial floor that contains the coal bin and some mechanical equipment. The sub-basement was positioned on the southeast side of the building and could be accessed by two small stairways.
The shipping room and boiler room level, which is about one-third the size of a regular floor, is situated above the sub-basement at the southeast end of the building. This floor is a half level below the basement and is directly below the basement mezzanine.
The basement is a split level floor and had bargain clothing on the lower level and men's and women's rest rooms, an equipment room and a cafeteria on the mezzanine level.
The first floor was the most substantial of the floors. Its ceiling is twenty-nine feet six inches in height and displays plain relief moldings between the octagonal columns with plain capitals. These octagonal columns flank the main aisle, which stretches from the Adams Street entrance to the first floor upper mezzanine stairs, located on the arcade side. Another mezzanine was added later when the escalators were installed, and was used as the portrait department. On each side of the Adams Street entrance are stairs that lead down to the basement.
The upper floors were open areas that could be easily altered and housed a variety of departments. The furniture finishing area occupied the fourth floor on the arcade side of the building. The fur vault with its chilling equipment was housed on the fifth floor. The seventh floor contained the general offices on the Adams Street side of the building. The most notable of these offices was the wood paneled President's office, which exhibits Tudor Revival details including a carved stoned fireplace and oak paneling. The eighth floor contained two dining rooms, a kitchen, and a variety of employee rooms.
There were two major alterations to the original eight-story building, including the 1927 addition of three additional floors at the top of the building. This alteration raised the copper cornice to the top of the ninth floor. The tenth and eleventh floors were stepped back from the cornice to make them less conspicuous at the street level. The second major alteration came in 1947 with the addition of plain, narrow escalators, commonly found in many commercial buildings today. However, all of the floors have been subject to continual minor alterations over the life of the building. As industry, fashion and personal tastes changed, so did the decor and the interior arrangement of the building. Floors were reconfigured, walls added or demolished, and floor and ceiling coverings changed.
The building has also been affected by deterioration due to neglect, weather and vandalism. The tenth and eleventh floors were demolished in the spring of 1994 due to structural weakness. These floors were removed and a new roof added (leaving the cornice in place) in order to protect the structural integrity of the building. At present, the arcade roof is leaking and needs to be repaired. The interior of the building presents peeling paint, falling plaster, and water-damaged floors. Portions of the building are open to the weather and the interior is littered with dead pigeons and bird droppings. Most of the fixtures and hardware were auctioned off in 1984. The scattered fixtures that remain appear to date to the 1970's. The only remaining original office is that of President A. B. Koch, on the seventh floor, which has been damaged by exposure to the weather.