Spitzer Building, Toledo Ohio

Date added: May 28, 2022 Categories: Ohio Commercial Retail Office

The Spitzer Building is a significant late nineteenth century tall commercial structure in Toledo. The distinctive design of the exterior, especially the projecting bay windows which suggest the Chicago school of commercial architecture, make it unusual in Toledo. The particularly fine terra cotta ornament is also distinctive. The building is also important in Toledo's commercial history, as it is still owned by the Spitzer family.

The firm of Spitzer and Company was established in 1871 and has been identified with the financial interests of the city since that time. Originally the company bought and sold municipal and railroad bonds. In 1896, the company erected a ten-story office building designed by Thomas F. Huber, prominent local architect and partner in the architectural firm of Bacon and Huber. In 1904, Charles F. Huber designed an addition to the northern section of the building.

This is a ten-story commercial skyscraper building of steel frame construction with brick and terra cotta facing. There is a large arched entrance on the Madison Avenue facade, ornamented with terra cotta foliated relief in the 16th century Italian Renaissance style. Three ranks of projecting tri-partite bay windows alternate with two ranks of windows topped by arches. In 1904, an addition was erected to the north on Huron Street, which conforms exactly to the style of the original structure.

The building has not experienced serious alteration. Six of the storefront bays along the west facade have been enclosed, however, the terra cotta piers remain.

The building displays a three part composition of floors articulated by projecting horizontal bands. This tri-partite division alludes to the functional use of interior space. The lower two stories are used for public/semi-public purposes, the uppermost story is used for services and the intermediate seven stories serve as office space.