A grand Richardson Romanesque building that was a hotel for most of its existence has been transformed into a modern public library and historic museum. Constructed in 1891, the former Ft. Piqua Hotel in Piqua, OH underwent a $19.7 million adaptive reuse project that preserved much of its historic character.
The design team of PSA-Dewberry, MKC Associates, and Jeff Wray Associates was challenged by antiquated systems, structural deficiencies, hazardous materials, and animal infestation in the 80,000 s.f. structure, which had been vacant for many years. The project restored historic details including a dramatic skylight, a fireplace, and existing historic windows with glass inserts added to create an energy-efficient thermal pane effect. The stacked stone walls and low ceilings in the building’s basement helped to create a castle-like children’s area.
The building’s history, including a few US Presidential visits and an NAACP lunch counter sit-in for civil rights in 1947, is highlighted in exhibits. Another room is now the “Veterans Room,” containing military exhibits and special presentations. One corridor is dedicated to an art gallery. The project won the 2010 Ohio Historic Preservation Office award and a Heritage Ohio Public Improvement Award.