The Schofield building in Cleveland was, in hindsight, begging to be a hotel. The conversion of this former office building into a 122-room hotel is five years in the making, and coincides with the city's current spate of development. And as the first Kimpton hotel in Ohio, let alone Cleveland, the brand wanted to be sure it was in the right spot.
The hotel's GM, Adam Gurgiolo, joined the property in October 2015 as the development was concluding, but the Chicago native said the enthusiasm for the new hotel reflects the pride of Cleveland's residents in their city. "There is a lot going on to revive the city today," Gurgiolo said. "We are a part of that revival. There are a lot of landmark historical buildings that are underutilized."
During the process of converting the office building into a hotel, developers had to first remove a false façade that covered much of the building, like a shell. Though the Schofield was built in 1902 and sported red brick, terra cotta designs and the artistic touches of the turn of the century—trademark elements from Levi Tucker Scofield (originally Schofield), the building's architect and prominent Cleveland builder—the hotel had been hidden behind a veneer of panels and sheets of steel and aluminum.
This cover-up, which took place in the 1970s to match the popular aesthetic of the era, obscured much of the building's historic flash and hid the top of the structure. Builders had to be careful when removing the coverings to avoid damaging the century-old building's aesthetics, and worked to preserve its construction in the name of history.
"It was like wrapping something in tin foil," Gurgiolo said. "When they removed the false façade, they discovered the red brick underneath, and they did an excellent job restoring it. Looking today you wouldn't even know it was covered."
The hotel is the first boutique lifestyle property from Kimpton to open in the city, and is located at an intersection that is the focus of a great deal of development in the city. The location was chosen in order to take part of Cleveland's growth, and is located in a growing restaurant scene. In addition, the property is at most a 15-minute walk from every sports venue in the city, as well as residential options. The hotel is also located near lakefront areas and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.
"What makes us unique is our place in the downtown element." Gurgiolo said. "What Cleveland is doing is growing into a destination; it's attracting conventions and groups and we want to be in the middle of that."
Most of all, Gurgiolo reiterated that the hotel is part of a major effort from Kimpton to ingratiate itself into the Cleveland scene. "We are truly a Kimpton hotel, born and raised," Gurgiolo said. "We are excited to set the tone in a state where before we didn't have a presence!"