The Heights-Rockefeller Building (1977)


The man who designed this commercial-residential building was unique among architects. The dream of Andrew Thomas of New York was to erase slums from the urban landscape; he devoted his career to upgrading mass housing through such original concepts as the garden apartment. When he undertook the Rockefeller Estates project he was applying his avant-garde ideas to create a planned community on a much higher socio-economic scale than his work elsewhere


This Heights-Rockefeller Building was to be the "gateway" to the proposed Rockefeller Hills Village, which was conceived as a harmonious residential estate of six hundred brick homes in French Norman style, set on the original Rockefeller acreage. Only eighty-one of these houses were built before the Depression and World War Two prematurely ended the project. After the War, in the 1940s and 1950s, the development was completed in contemporary style — still maintaining the exclusive and restricted tone of life.


This building was constructed of concrete, brick and tile with steel casement windows. The style of façade is Romanesque, freely interpreted in the American manner. The central portion stands four stories high under a peaked slate roof with hipped dormers. The entrance fašade features stone quoins and exposed beam design. There are shops at ground level and twelve apartments plus offices upstairs. The Cleveland Trust bank office boasts a beautiful hand painted ceiling.