Office of Citizen
Rest in Peace,
John Eisenmann: designer of Ohio state flag, among notables
Submitted by Norm Roulet on Thu, 04/06/2006 - 16:38.
John Eisenmann designed the Cleveland Arcade, and...
To ensure that the first new building of Case School of Applied Science would reflect the high standards of the institution, John Eisenmann was selected to develop the design for the Case Main building. Eisenmann was the school's first professor of civil engineering and pioneered structural steel construction in the United States. He is also credited with co-designing THE ARCADE in Cleveland, Ohio-the first commercial building in the state designated an historic landmark in architecture. Case Main's spectacular three-story structure was designed with a full basement and a huge attic that later became the fourth floor. Construction began in April 1883, and by September 1885 classes were already being held in the new building. Both Case Main and the scientific apparatus within were outstanding, and the structure was known as a "technical tabernacle." The world-renowned Michelson-Morley experiments were conducted in Case Main, and the building served as a dormitory, classroom building and even as a gymnasium. The trustees hoped that Case Main would meet the needs of the school for all time. Unfortunately, on October 27 at 3:00am-three years after its construction-a huge mass of flames issued from the windows of the third floor of Case Main. When the fire department arrived, the entire building was in flames-only the walls remained. All of the expensive equipment was destroyed as well as the library, which held the valuable book collection left by Leonard Case. In the spirit of cooperation between the schools, Adelbert College immediately offered the use of the north end of Adelbert Hall and the basement of Adelbert Main, and with this assistance classes at Case were resumed just two days after the devastating fire. The Case trustees and President Staley resolved to restore the building "as rapidly as the means we can command will allow." The first two floors were restored in 1888, and in 1890 the third floor was fully restored. In 1892, the fourth floor, originally a huge attic, was fitted for the first Case gymnasium. After the federation of Case Institute of Technology and Western Reserve University in 1967, it was determined by the combined administration that the costs of renovating Case Main Building were too costly and impractical. Although the building was demolished in 1972-after much heated debate and controversy-parts of the historic building remain throughout the campus today. Stones from Case Main were used to build the base of the Michelson-Morley fountain and the base of the Case Institute of Technology sign located at the corner of Euclid Avenue and Martin Luther King Boulevard. Alumni of Case received some of the stones from the building as souvenirs.