James B. Recchie Design Award


Congratulations to Nationwide Children’s Hospital, winner of the 2017 James B. Recchie Design Award! The award was the 28th given in honor of the late James B. Recchie, a founding trustee of Columbus Landmarks. It honors excellence in urban design reflected in historic or new buildings and places, additions to existing buildings, parks, public spaces and public art. The award celebrates projects that add to the distinctive character and improved quality of life of Columbus and the designers responsible for them. 


The five finalists were:

LeVeque Tower Renovation
50 W. Broad Street
Columbus, OH 43215
Architects/Designers: Schooley Caldwell, MKSK, ZHA Architects (Fairfax, VA); John Behal, Brian Kent Jones, and Gettys Group
Owners/Investors: Tower 10, LLC; Robert Meyers; Autograph Collection Hotels (Marriott International); Kaufman Development

The LeVeque Tower has been an iconic building in Columbus for the past 90 years. Completed in 1927, the AIU Citadel was designed to be 6” taller than the Washington Monument. By the early 2000s, the building was partially vacant and needed significant upgrades. This project, which utilized both state and historic tax credits, has resulted in the complete rehabilitation of the building, and reuse as a luxury hotel, office space, apartments and condominiums. The historic exterior was enhanced with reopened entrances with new canopies and landscaping while the interior historic lobby features were retained and a two-story lobby created for the hotel. All finishes are of the highest quality. This project places the LeVeque Tower back on the map as the center jewel of Columbus’s skyline.

Nationwide Children’s Hospital
700 Children’s Drive
Columbus, OH 43205
Architect/Designer: FKP Architects (Houston, TX); Ralph Applebaum & Associates (NY, NY), MKSK
Owner: Nationwide Children’s Hospital

Nationwide Children’s Hospital has called Columbus’ south side home for 118 years. The hospital needed to expand but wanted to do so in a manner benefiting children and patient care, while improving the physical location and enhancing the corner of Livingston and Parsons Avenues. This major project involves the new Hospital and adjacent outdoor park spaces. The building is large, as most new hospitals are, but it is filled with daylight; has a level of detail in everything from the lobby, to play areas, to patient’s rooms that recognize that a child-centered patient experience is different from other types of hospitals. It is the largest children’s hospital in the nation in terms of patient visits. The project also integrates Livingston Park, one of the city’s oldest parks, with hospital open space along Livingston Avenue. All of this allows for patients and their families to be outside when they are able and to relieve the stress of the hospital experience, as well as being a place for neighborhood residents to use.

Main Library Renovation
96 S. Grant Ave.
Columbus, OH 43215
Architect/Designer: Schooley Caldwell, GUND Partnership (Cambridge, MA), MKSK
Owner: Columbus Metropolitan Library

The historic Carnegie Building was built for the Columbus Metropolitan Library in the first decade of the 20th century. Now, the building has undergone a major renovation that has resulted in a forward-looking 21st century library. Both the historic building and the rear wing (added in the early 1990s) have been reconfigured to create light-filled open spaces, study areas, community meeting rooms, areas for children and teens, and the Carnegie Café. Among the biggest changes are the flexible two-story reading room overlooking the Topiary Park, which can be reconfigured for large-scale library events; and the landscaped terrace and access to the Topiary Park. It is a worthy flagship library for one of the consistently top-rated library systems in the nation.

738 Bryden Road Renovation
738 Bryden Road
Columbus, OH 43205
Architect/Designer: WSA Studio
Owner: Solihull Development Group

This Second Empire structure was used as a dormitory for the Columbus School for Girls (CSG), which was located next door before its move to Bexley in 1950. The building had a variety of uses over the last 67 years, including a halfway house and nearly a decade standing vacant. The deteriorated building has been sensitively rehabilitated for apartments. One of the distinctive features in the building is a surviving mural painted by Columbus artist, Russell “Smoky” Brown. Brown, a self-taught artist lived in the building for a time and filled the building’s walls with murals, but only one mural had survived by the time the building underwent rehabilitation. The porch was reconstructed based on historic photos and the combination of historic exterior and both historic and contemporary interior features make this a successful project in the Bryden Road Historic District.

YWCA Renovation
65 S. Fourth St.
Columbus, OH 43215
Architect: Berardi+Partners
Owner: YWCA Columbus

The YWCA just completed a $25 million-dollar renovation of its 1929, historic Griswold Memorial Building. The building houses a residency program for women with women with mental illnesses who have suffered from chronic homelessness, domestic abuse, and often addiction. The renovation upgraded the formerly cramped, dorm-style rooms to larger efficiency apartments, each with its own kitchen and bathroom. The number of women affected by homelessness and mental illness is growing, and so, too, has the residency program; expanding to accommodate 91 women, instead of the 60 it housed before the renovation. The project utilized historic and low-income tax credits and adapted the former pool to a special events area and the former basketball court as an open office area for core services provided to the residents. This building is now poised to help the YWCA reach its ultimate goal of teaching women self-sufficiency for life outside the building.

The 2017 James B. Design Award winner will be selected following site visits by a three-member jury:  Donna Laidlaw, past Columbus Landmarks President and retired urban planner; David Meleca, FAIA, David B. Meleca Architects, LLC; and Keith Myers, FASLA, Ohio State Planning and Real Estate.

The five finalists will be honored and the winner will be announced at the Annual Design & Preservation Awards Reception & Program on Thursday, October 5 at the Columbus Museum of Art, winner of last year’s James B. Recchie Design Award.  >>INFO/TICKETS

A walking tour of Weinland Park that will feature 2008 James B. Recchie Design Award Winner Community Properties of Ohio will be held on Sunday, November 5 from 1-4 p.m. The tour is The tour is approved for 2.5 HSW Learning Units (Continuing Education Credits for Architects, Landscape Architects and Planners.) >>INFO/TICKETS 

>>VIEW Past Winners

Thank you to our sponsors & supporters!