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The Hyatt Arcade - Sandvick Architect's Favorite Building

Updated: Oct 13, 2020

This post provides a brief historic overview of the Old Arcade in downtown Cleveland and explains its significance to Sandvick Architects that dates long before its renovation in 2001.

Streetcars and Holiday Decor

The Hyatt Arcade is easily one of Cleveland's most iconic buildings. It has one of the most exquisite interior in the city and was Cleveland's first building to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is also the very building that made Jonathan Sandvick realize he wanted to become an architect when he was only five years old.

If you ask Jonathan Sandvick about the significance of the Arcade, he will tell the story fondly of how he and his grandmother would take trips by streetcar to visit downtown Cleveland when he was just a young boy.

One year in particular, they visited the Old Arcade and reveled in the stately holiday decorations that adorned the interior. His grandmother was speechless and Jonathan wanted to know who was in charge of creating such incredible buildings. When his grandmother explained to him that architects are the ones who design and create buildings such as the Arcade, there was no going back. Jonathan Sandvick knew from that moment on that he would become an architect one day.

Historic Overivew

The Old Arcade was originally constructed in 1890 and was fully restored in 2001. The internationally renowned structure underwent meticulous restoration of its public spaces to return the building to its former glory, while transforming its office spaces into a contemporary 293-room Hyatt Regency Hotel with restaurants and retail. It is now a popular location to hold weddings and formal receptions.

When restoration of the Old Arcade first began, Sandvick Architects was not actually assigned to be the architect for the hotel portion. In fact, we were only in charge of the shell and exteriors of the arcade. However, when asked to give an opinion on design options for creating the appropriate number of hotel rooms, Sandvick Architects was able to use such innovative designs that not only created the correct number of hotel rooms, but also complied to all codes and regulations. Since then, we have become known for using innovative design techniques and strategies to fit the unique spaces of historic buildings.

Since the Arcade's completion in 2001, it has won a combined total of ten awards at both the state and national level.

What building influenced you to pursue a career within architecture/historic preservation? We'd love to hear!


The Sandvick Team

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