KEY CENTER (formerly Society Center), is a complex on the northeast edge of PUBLIC SQUARE, which includes Cleveland?s tallest building, Key Tower, a 424-room Marriott Hotel, the restored SOCIETY CORP. BLDG. (1890, Burnham and Root), and a multi-level underground parking garage.
The project was announced to the public in 1988. Groundbreaking took place on 17 Oct. 1988, and construction began early in 1989. Cesar Pelli & Assn. was the architect of the complex, and Van Dijk Johnson & Partners was renovation architect for the Society for Savings Bldg. Richard E. and DAVID H. JACOBS were the developers. Cost of construction was estimated at $400 million. As part of the project the notable, terra-cotta ENGINEERS BLDG. was demolished for the hotel. The parking garage, constructed under the Mall A, caused a redesign of that area. The garage opened in Feb. 1991; the tower was topped out in May, 1991; and the project was completed in Jan. 1992. After completion, Key Tower (then Society Tower) was the tallest building between New York and Chicago. Major tenants of the building were the Society Corp. (now KeyBank), the law firms of SQUIRE SANDERS & DEMPSEY and Deloitte & Touche. The complex contains 1,550,000 sq. ft. of office space. The tower is 888' tall (948', including the spire) and has 57 occupiable stories. It is granite-faced and features a metal pyramid and spire. Pelli designed it as an archetypical skyscraper with roots in an Egyptian obelisk. Key Tower replaced Terminal Tower as Cleveland's tallest building. (See also CLEVELAND UNION TERMINAL and TOWER CITY CENTER.)