Seneca Hotel Renovation
The Seneca Hotel, designed by Columbus architect Frank Packard and built in 1917, was the first high-rise apartment hotel in Columbus. The design for the Seneca has three distinct parts: the two-story, white glazed terra cotta base and five stories of unadorned red brick with the top two stories ornamented with terra cotta cornices and pediments. Three light wells divided the upper seven stories into four brick shafts and filtered natural light into the interior spaces. The hotel sat vacant for nearly 20 years. The current renovation of the historic hotel is converting the building to a mixed-use facility of apartments and first floor retail. The 95,000square-foot building is on the National Register of Historic Places. Nine stories of market rate rental units range from 500 to 900 square feet for the one- and two-bedroom apartments. The renovation required that much of the brick parapet and some of the bowed brick veneer had to be rebuilt. The pan joist and concrete frame were in good condition with large steel, riveted, built-up girders spanning the grand ballroom at the second floor and supporting the eight stories above it. An extensive reframing of the elevator penthouse machine rooms was required to accommodate the new elevators. The facility opened in the summer of 2008 and has been selected as a finalist for the Columbus Landmarks Foundation, James B. Recchie Design Award.