The Spitzer Building (1896-2013)
The Spitzer Building circa. 1896
The Spitzer Building as it stands today.
The main entrance to the Spitzer Building
Backstory and Context
The Spitzer Building was under construction from 1893 to 1896; the building was commissioned by Celina Spitzer and his cousin Adelbert Spitzer. The cousins had established a firm known as Spitzer and Company. Spitzer and Company specialized in buying and selling railroad bonds as well as municipal bonds. Construction on the Spitzer Building began in 1893, however, after completing two stories, construction stopped due to financial concerns. Construction began again in 1895; the building was fully completed in February of 1896. The building held a shopping mall on the first floor and law offices above; it was the first shopping mall built in Toledo. The mall held stores such as restaurants, coffee shops, jewelry stores, drug stores, dress and card shops, and hair salons. The mall contained 25 store spaces and 7 counters. Law offices mainly occupied the offices in the Spitzer; however, there were also insurance agencies, accountants, stockbrokers, custom jewelers, tailors, employment agencies, and mortgage offices.
The architecture firm Bacon and Huber designed the building. The building is believed to be one of the first structures in Toledo designed with a metal skeleton. The building features a red terra cotta ornamentation and a brick façade. The bay windows, as well as an arched entrance, the style is reminiscent of the Chicago’s turn-of-the-century skyscrapers designed by famed architect Louis Sullivan. The Spitzer building saw continued use as a mall and office space until 2013. The building was sold in 2008 to a private equity group located in San Francisco. The building was closed due to financial concerns stemming from dropping occupancy rates as well as the expenses of additional staff needed for fire safety checks after the building failed a fire alarm test. The Spitzer Building remains abandoned, no further efforts to renovate the building have been made.
Johannesen , Eric. Spitzer Building . National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form . Published March 21st 1983. National Register of Historic Places .
Reiter , Mark. Now-shuttered Spitzer Building marks era’s end, https://www.toledoblade.com. December 3rd 2013. Accessed November 30th 2019. https://www.toledoblade.com/Real-Estate/2013/12/02/Now-shuttered-Spitzer-Building-marks-era-s-end.html.
Boyd-Barrett, Claudia . Plans unveiled for historic buildings, https://www.toledoblade.com. February 20th 2012. Accessed November 30th 2019. https://www.toledoblade.com/local/2012/02/20/Plans-unveiled-for-historic-buildings-1/stories/20120220029.
Spitzer Building Lease Records, 1896-1960, https://www.utoledo.edu. Accessed November 30th 2019. https://www.utoledo.edu/library/canaday/HTML_findingaids/MSS-273.html.