Hasenstab Architects is located at 190 North Union Street, Akron, Ohio, in the Union Point Building. Our offices occupy over 13,000 square feet of the top two floors of the 1930’s era building. We think that there is a great story behind our home.
In 1988, Emil Hasenstab and a partner purchased a derelict, but sturdy, building on the northern edge of downtown Akron. Perched atop a bluff overlooking the Cuyahoga Valley below, its views are framed by two major bridges spanning the valley. The building’s original function was that of a central bakery for a local grocery store chain. This noble purpose was followed by many years of neglect and disrepair, as the building was used primarily for storage, primarily on the lower floors—as the upper floors offered little in the way of watertightness or weather protection.
In the years to follow, the building was brought up to current codes, major building systems were renovated, and the exterior was revitalized. Hasenstab Architects set about designing not only their future offices, but tenant spaces on all six floors, catering primarily to design-oriented clients who would especially appreciate the rough character of the building as a backdrop for the new functions inserted within.
This character was one of the most attractive things about the building—though neglected, it was obvious that the structure was built to last. Its concrete frame, brick infill, and deep concrete beams and columns were originally designed to withstand the vibration from the bakery’s large mixers; the heavy floors accommodated the bulk materials stored in the building; and areas of thick cork on the walls were visible, defining the refrigerated storage areas. Heavy sheet metal surrounded the concrete columns, meant to protect them from wayward carts.
The building’s shape was also interesting. The siting dictated an unusual plan, with a long, angular shape tapering to a point at the rear of the building. This configuration caused the building’s deep floor structure to create a unique pattern on the ceiling of the spaces below, accentuating the volume of the space.
Today, the dock that received bulk materials is now the elevator lobby. The refrigerated storage area now houses our drawing archives. The walls and floors that echoed with the sounds of bread and pie production now support another kind of production, that of ideas and vision for the future.
The building provided a perfect foil for its new use, and continues today to be a source of pride for us and our tenants. We are especially proud that we are “pioneers” and participants in the ongoing redevelopment efforts of the University Park district of downtown, with our building anchoring the edge of the neighborhood just to the north of the University of Akron.
Come see us sometime…we’d love to show you around.