News - June 17, 2016

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Architects have upbeat reviews of new downtown Hilton


Lots of hits and a few misses.

That summarizes how area architects who were not involved in development of the 32-floor Hilton Cleveland Downtown hotel at Cleveland Convention Center describe the results at the recently opened building, the city’s 12th-tallest. The lead architect on the hotel was Cooper Carry of Atlanta.

Jack Bialosky, president of the AIA Cleveland Chapter and chairman of the city’s Downtown Design Review Committee, said, “It is a welcome addition to the skyline. I like the use of the glass exterior. I like the fact it has some unexpected moments where it reacts differently to the sky downtown.”

A ripple on the east side of the building, he said, helps make the building different and exciting.

However, Bialosky, whose firm is based in Midtown Cleveland, said he wished for more illumination of the building and more signage on the tower’s east and west sides as the landmark Hilton side is atop the north side facing Lake Erie.

“The relationship to the (Cuyahoga County Justice Center) is quite a contrast between the formidable building and the glass (hotel),” he said. “Otherwise I think it’s a building that plays well with its neighbors.

The angled top of the tower is a source of much debate. Some worry it’s trendy and may be outdated quickly, but most argue the building would suffer without it.

Robert Bostwick, president and design director at Cleveland-based Bostwick Design Partnership, likes the feature.

“The slight slope conveys a sense the building is addressing the lake; it’s looking north to our greatest asset, Lake Erie,” Bostwick said. He also likes the changeable look of the reflective glass.

“It separates the building from its context in a nice and subtle way,” Bostwick said. “Its slenderness (on the north and south sides) and verticality looks strong on the skyline. It’s a great addition to Cleveland’s architecture.”

Jennifer Coleman, an architect and former chairwoman of the Cleveland Landmarks Commission, said she likes the design for a convention-focused hotel.