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Former Lazarus Kingsdale | Columbus Landmarks

2020 Most Endangered Sites

Former Lazarus Kingsdale

Year Built: 1970
Address: 3180 Kingsdale Center, Upper Arlington, OH 43221
Original Building Use: Department Store
Owner: The Kroger Company

The Lazarus Department Store was founded in downtown Columbus in 1851. This structure is a good example of the suburban Lazarus store design of the mid-20th century.  The entrance is emphasized by three ground-to-roof bays of pebble-embedded rock defined by New Formalism style white pilasters and arches. Designed using the same glazed multi-colored blue bricks as the Lazarus Eastland and Northland stores, these materials were selected “not only for their handsome color and sparkle, but for their durability and quality of never needing cleaning.” The design was influenced by Raymond Loewy, considered the father of industrial design, who had a decades-long working relationship with Robert Lazarus.

Why is this Site Endangered?

The Former Lazarus Kingsdale (later Macy’s) has been vacant for five years, since The Kroger Co. purchased it in 2015. While Kroger initially indicated plans for a mixed-use development on the site, no timeline has been presented.
UPDATE 6.5.20 Kroger announces plans for an “exit strategy" >>READ Columbus Dispatch
UPDATE 6.10.21 Building demolished to make way for new Upper Arlington Community Center; effort to salvage glazed bricks that will be donated to Upper Arlington Community Foundation



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Terry – May 15, 2020

Gotta’ love these cool Mid century buildings! They are undervalued in Columbus. Too many have been lost, would love to see this one saved!

Justine – May 16, 2020

Worked in the Kingsdale Center for thirty plus years. Spent many hours in the Lazarus building as did many Upper Arlington people. Certainly would hate to see it gone.

sam Smith – May 16, 2020

This is absolutely absurd! I live in the neighborhood. This is a vacant eyesore that is in disrepair. It needs to be torn down by Krogers who has owned it since 2015 and done nothing with it. Nostalgia is one thing – it is far from being a “landmark”.

Carolyn Ellsworth – May 16, 2020

This is a beautiful building that needs some TLC, not tearing down. I hope it can be restored and repurposed. I would hate to see it replaced with a generic Kroger’s grocery store building.

E. Russell – June 24, 2020

I think this building is iconic in that location and should definitely be saved. I think it needs to be repurposed and quickly. I am tired of the painfully obvious way that many building owners manipulate the use of buildings such as this. They buy them up, refuse to do any maintenance or upkeep on the property, sit around for five or ten years, and then limp out in front of the public and announce that the property is beyond repair and must demolished immediately. It’s the only option, they claim. Well of course, it’s the only option because you have worked feverishly to make sure that it is the only option.

MAUREEN DAVID – October 13, 2020

I completely agree.

Oliva – June 24, 2020

Please save this building – but repurpose its use. Upper Arlington needs a senior center. This building would be a great place for that type of center. I can envision that building having meeting rooms, a kitchen to make and feed senior citizens in UA, an exercise facility/walking track, a small medical center for immunizations, etc. Please take my suggestion and run with it.

Oliva P. Riley
former UA resident

Kelsey – June 24, 2020

Ideas: YMCA, Fitness Center, gaming complex (Lazer tag, arcade, bowling), North-market style dining location. The truth is, Upper Arlington needs to continue to be spruced up. It’s not a museum. Nostalgia definitely has it’s place, but we also have to advance and keep up with the times. Don’t want to get left behind. We really could use a community center.

N’sync – June 24, 2020

Bye, Bye, Bye

*NSYNC – June 25, 2020

You’re Tearing Up My Heart

elli – June 25, 2020

As a resident for 30 years, I would love to see this saved and turned into something that serves the city. Love the community center/ North market idea. YMCA can do some of this for profit, and the tax payers benefit.

Mary J Piper – June 25, 2020

I shared this page on the UAHS 1971 FB page and my classmates are posting some great stories. This is a historic building as much for these stories and our memories as for the architecture. If Kroger does not save and repurpose the building, they should be required to do an “oral history” and document it architecturally. Just think of what was lost when Union Station was torn down in the middle of the night (I was working at the Ohio Historical Society at the time).

Nancy – June 25, 2020

I remember when this was built and opened. I spent many hours there over the years. I love the iconic blue bricks and hope the new owners can repurpose the building to its old glory days. Truly I miss Lazarus.

JoeGo – August 12, 2020

This ugly eyesore is not a historic site, it is a blighted, dated shell that needs to be torn down. Kroger screwed UA for 5 1/2 years promising development and now that they are going to sell it (for a loss), something attractive and useful has a chance to take its place. Unless do-gooders that don’t live in the neighborhood get in the way.

Maureen David – October 13, 2020

I love these mid-century buildings, and I agree with another poster who said they are not being valued or preserved. This building could be repurposed in any number of ways without losing that exterior character.

Stan Corl – November 12, 2020

Anyone know the manufacturer of the blue glazed brick on the Lazarus stores ?

Paul R Fishel Jr – May 7, 2021

Stan: See my independent reply below.

Paul R Fishel Jr – May 7, 2021

Stan: I can’t be certain about the actual bricks, but the glazing was done by Claycraft, formerly located on Claycraft Road in Gahanna. In the 1950’s they developed a low-temperature glazing process that allowed already-fired bricks to be glazed. I did some bookkeeping for the successor company, Ceramitec, which continued the glazing after the brick plants were sold. The owner, Phil Tefft (deceased) told me of several other examples: the blue and orange glazed bricks on Whetstone High School and the old dark blue glazed bricks on the former Sheraton Hotel (covered up when Adam’s Mark took over the property, now a Renaissance). While I was at Ceramitec the company glazed the bricks for the Owens Corning offices along the Maumee River in Toledo. The company also clear-glazed bricks for a school in Philadelphia and a subway station (I don’t remember where). Although not graffiti-proof, they could be washed with a light muriatic acid solution. The old office building remains at the corner of Claycraft & Morrison Roads; it was constructed with bricks from all of Claycraft’s plants. Although not glazed, Phil said much of the 50’s/60’s era OSU hospital buildings were also Claycraft bricks.

Stan Corl – June 7, 2021

My father was an architectural rep for a big builders supply company in Toledo for many years and sold many a Claycraft job. He knew both Phil and Carvel Tefft.
More to the point, I have a dozen each of the yellow and orange glazed units (mostly corners), and I hope to obtain a few of the blue units when they become available.
Thanks for taking the time to provide a little historical insight.

Dave Paul – June 9, 2021

The former Lazarus is being demolished this week.

“Among the projects slated for the area is a tentative plan by Continental Real Estate Cos. to redevelop the 6.23-acre site at Kingsdale that formerly housed Macy’s.

Continental CEO Frank Kass has said he plans to purchase the property from Kroger Co. and build a six-story building with 104 senior-housing units on the northwest portion of the site with a 6,000-square-foot restaurant. He also has preliminary plans for a seven-story building to the east of the property, along Northwest Boulevard, that would have five floors of 383 apartments, and a nine-story building on the southwest portion of the site that would have 75, two-bedroom apartments and 50,000 square feet of office space on the top two floors.”

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