Information and photos from http://www.clevelandskyscrapers.com/...unbuilt08.html
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Getting the information for this tower took some time and effort but it was well worth it. It all started as a simple email to Progressive CEO Peter B. Lewis (his address was posted in a local blog about four years ago). I didn't hear anything for a while and then I got an email from his spokeswoman (Jennifer Frutchy) to contact Gehry Partners LLP, using her as a referral. I'm glad she did - Keith Mendenhall and Laura Stella at Gehry Partners couldn't have been more helpful - they sent a great photo of the model along with a detailed description of the components/schematics of the tower. Until it appeared on my site, the photo was never available online to the public.
This tower was proposed in the late 1980s for a site in downtown Cleveland just northwest of City Hall and southwest of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The tower was to be the headquarters for the Progressive Corporation (aka Progressive Insurance) - Progressive CEO Peter B. Lewis befriended Frank Gehry, and in addition to this tower, had asked Gehry to design his personal residence (which also was not constructed) http://www.guggenheim.org/exhibition.../lewis_12.html
Aside from its unorthodox design, the tower created a stir among civic leaders concerned with an 850' tower looming over City Hall and the historic Burnham Mall. Eventually the board of directors at Progressive chose not to build the tower, and instead built an office campus near I-271 in suburban Mayfield Village. The official statement is that "the decision to not build the tower was a business decision made by the Board of Directors when Al Lerner was chairman".
Image and project description courtesy of Gehry Partners, LLP. Special thanks to Jennifer Frutchy, Peter B. Lewis, Keith Mendenhall, and Laura Stella.
Occupying a site as the northern end of Cleveland's historic Burnham Mall, the corporate headquarters building would have been erected within the space provided by air rights over the existing railroad tracks, separating the Mall from Lake Erie. The master plan called for the end of the Burnham Mall to be flanked by the Progressive Corporation tower and a high rise hotel, creating a gateway to the city and mirroring the positioning of City Hall and the County building. The project would have brought together under one roof the majority of Progressive Corporation, an innovative and rapidly expanding insurance company currently housed in a number of buildings throughout the suburbs. In addition to the one million square feet of office space in the high rise configuration, the project would have included an art museum, a creativity center, a health club and a research center.
The visual mass of the office tower was broken down into two contiguous vertical elements clad with metal and stone, respectively. Executive and mechanical penthouses, and a restaurant were articulated at the top of the building by changes in both form and material. The art museum, with its scholars' library and auditorium, was to be located to one side of the health club, training center and cafeteria were to inhabit a structure separated from the tower to preserve views from City Hall to the Lake.
The 100-foot walkway from the Mall to the Lakefront was to be designed by Donald Judd. Richard Serra was to craft a sculpture on the deck of the parking garage, the first installation of a proposed art park. Claes Oldenberg's carpenter's C-Clamp sculpture was to appear to hold down a part of the health club and an oversized newspaper perched atop the tower was to create an unusual sky landmark.
CLIENT: Progressive Insurance Company
AREA: 1,000,000 sq. ft. (approximately)
SCHEDULE: Begin Design: 1987 (not scheduled for completion at present)
PROJECT TEAM: Frank O. Gehry - Design Principal;David Denton - Project Principal; Bruce Biesman-Simons - Project Architect; C. Gregory Walsh - Project Designer; Eileen Yankowski - Project Team; Susan Narduli; Andrew Alper; CJ Bonura
ASSOCIATE ARCHITECT: van Dijk, Johnson & Partners
AWARDS: 1991 LA/AIA Honor Award