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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

STATLER OFFICE TOWER

STATLER OFFICE TOWER

The STATLER OFFICE TOWER at E. 12th St. and Euclid Ave. was for many years a prominent Cleveland hotel, which was converted to office space because of falling occupancy rates. The Hotel Statler, which opened 12 Oct. 1912, was built of steel, concrete, and fireproof tile, while the exterior was granite, Indiana limestone, red brick, and white terra cotta. The hotel, an impressive addition to the Statler chain, contained 700 rooms (later expanded to 1,000) complete with luxurious furnishings and appointments. In the 1930s the hotel expanded and modernized, adding a new ballroom, lounge bar, and dining room, and offered Big Band entertainment in its ballroom and the Terrace Dining Room.

When the Hilton Hotel chain bought out the Statler hotels in 1954, the Cleveland property was considered one of the finest in the chain, yet it was both showing its age and suffering low occupancy rates (49% in 1965). Hilton management launched a $3.3 million renovation, but before it was complete the Statler-Hilton was sold to the Ohio Hotel Co., although Hilton continued to manage it until 1967. The new investors took over the Statler operation, converted several floors to office space in 1971 to make the venture more profitable, and changed its name to the Cleveland Plaza in 1973. The hotel changed hands again, but more new owners and more renovations did not produce the desired rise in occupancy. When the Cleveland Plaza was sold to developer Carl Milstein in 1980 for $1.5 million, he converted the remaining rooms to offices and brought in Jim and Nick Swingos to operate the food and beverage service for the restaurant and banquet facilities. The name then reverted to its historical roots as the Statler Office Tower.