A state panel voted Friday to recommend that Akron and North Canton landmarks be added to the prestigious National Register of Historic Places.
The Akron sites now up for consideration at the federal level are Goodyear Hall and the Ohio Savings and Trust Co. Building at 1201 E. Market St., across from the old Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. headquarters in Akron.
The 17-member Ohio Historic Site Preservation Advisory Board also voted to recommend the proposed Hoover Co. Historic District at 101 E. Maple St., North Canton.
Ohio Historical Society spokesman Tom Wolf said once the paperwork for the sites is completed it will be submitted to the National Park Service that oversees the national register.
“We should know the outcome in about three months,” Wolf said.
The state and federal designation provides prestige and federal tax credits. The buildings can still be altered or razed, but federal funds would not be used for the demolition.
The six-story Goodyear Hall and the adjoining two-story Ohio Savings building were both designed by the prominent Cleveland architectural firm of Walker and Weeks and were completed in 1920.
Goodyear’s decision to build Goodyear Hall is attributed to plant superintendent (later CEO and president) Paul Litchfield.
The building was devoted to employee recreation and education. It housed a 1,786-seat auditorium and the state’s then largest gymnasium with seating for 5,000. There were also meeting rooms for the Industrial Assembly, a representative body created in 1919 to give Goodyear’s 30,000 employees a voice in corporate management.
There were also a cafeteria and dining hall, a 12-lane bowling alley, six rifle ranges, handball courts, a community room, a music room, a pool room and classrooms for the Goodyear Institute, which offered training and Americanization classes for immigrants.
The Ohio Savings and Trust Co. was incorporated in 1917 by F.A. Seiberling. It was Ohio’s first company-owned bank and later became the fourth-largest bank in the nation.
The two buildings — together they cover six acres — are owned by IRG RC Lessor LLC.
The city of Akron previously designated the buildings to be Akron historic landmarks.
In North Canton, the nomination covers six Hoover buildings built from 1916 to 1970 on 37.9 acres off East Maple Street.
The site was originally home to the W.H. Hoover Co., a leather-good firm established in 1875. William Henry Hoover expanded into the vacuum cleaner business in 1909 when he purchased the “Electric Suction Sweeper” patent from his brother-in-law James Murray Spangler and began the Hoover Suction Sweeper Co.
In 1918, Hoover dissolved the leather business and concentrated his business efforts on the development and sales of the sweeper. In 1922, he reorganized the Hoover Suction Sweeper Co. and renamed the sweeper business the Hoover Co.
The district is composed of two large factory complex buildings, two warehouses (one is non-contributing), a company store and the international headquarters building that retain their historic architectural features.
The property is owned by Maple Street Commerce LLC.