Cincinnati's Crane-Hawley Building
Downtown Cincinnati, Ohio has a load of often-overlooked buildings, such as this unmarked and unassuming six-story building at 824 Broadway that is home to offices for Hamilton County.
The building was once home to the Crane-Hawley Company
, a plumbing and heating outfit. Founded by George Hawley in 1899 after purchasing out his associates from what was the Gibson and Clark Company, this Broadway location was built from July 1912 to December 1913 at a cost of $150,000.
Their Court and Sycamore location.
The new 100,000 square-foot building contained a full basement and sub-basement, had a frontage along Broadway of 152 feet and a depth of 90 feet. The frame of the building was composed of cast-iron columns and structural iron beams embedded in concrete, with floor slabs of reinforced concrete. All floors were reachable by two stairwells with tin-clad doors and two electric elevators. After numerous spectacular fires in the past with other industrial buildings in the city and across the nation, care was undertaken to make the new building as fireproof as possible – down to fireproof stairwells, fireproof wells for elevators, and elevator doors made of rolling steel shutters.
Pipe sheds, automobile garage and receiving and delivery yard were situated in the rear towards Eggleston Avenue, covering a ground area of 33,000 square-feet.
The plumbing and heating showroom occupied 3,600 square-feet on the second floor, with a 6-foot greenish/gray Rookwood tile wainscoting and gray tile floor. Lighting was provided in the showroom with 400-watt indirect “X-ray” tungsten lamps. The ceilings and walls above the wainscoting were a sand finish, painted in a light tint. The only windows were installed on the street side with opaline glass.
The second floor showroom.
The showroom annex.
The city sales office was located on the first floor, and contained a Lamson tube system for order slips. The pipe shop occupied 6,000 square-feet in hte basement, and could handle and thread pipe in all sizes up to 18 inches. All 15 machines were direct driven by 220-volt direct current motors. An overhead trolley system, with switches and curves, allowed for the overhead carrying of pipes and fittings from one machine to another, from beginning to end.
The city order office.
The pipe fitting room in the basement.
The pipe yard.
The boiler room.
The engine room.
On July 13, 1915, the Crane-Hawley Company surrendered its foreign license when the Crane Company bought out Hawley’s interest. Hawley remained on as a local manager until his passing on July 24, 1917.
Today, the building is home to offices for Hamilton County.
Crane-Hawley Building: http://urbanup.net/cities/ohio/cinci...awley-company/