By 1812Blockhouse

An important and imposing Mansfield architectural icon is nearing its 100th birthday.

When the ceremonial groundbreaking was held for the new Ohio Brass Company Administration Building in November 1926, the concern was nearing 40 years in operation. The sprawling works of the complex on North Main Street fashion products for the quick growing electric power industry.

The business started in 1888 by Frank B. Black and a handful of other men had become the world’s largest producer of porcelain suspension insulators and had opened a subsidiary operation in Canada. It was soon to be headed by Charles Kelley King of Kingwood Center renown.

A good overview of the history of Ohio Brass can be found here.

It took a year and a half to build the new structure, which opened for use on May 15, 1928. The location chosen was the former site of the Aultman and Taylor Machinery Company.

The five-story office building featured the latest in design and technology. It boasted a steel framework with reinforced concrete floors, and the exterior was faced in red brick with decorative stone trimming. The structure was 252 feet long and 52 feet wide and cost an estimated $250,000 to construct.

On the interior, there was (and is) a magnificent 60×37 feet reception space and executive offices on the first floor, both over a basement cafeteria which opened that August. Special ornamental plaster was present throughout the main spaces, and the building featured a pneumatic tube system for communication.

On the same date of its public opening  in July, a local paper noted that during the previous six months Mansfield had had the 11th strongest building spending in the state.

The Ohio Brass Company Administration Building was designed by the noted Mansfield architectural firm of Althouse & Jones. Other commissions by that firm include the Park Avenue Baptist Church building, the former Madison Theatre, and the Westbrook Country Club.

Sources: Wikipedia, Mansfield News

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