Elisabeth Knibbe has been a driving force for QEA's Detroit office and adaptive use projects throughout the nation. Originally designed by Harrison and Abramowitz, the Tower in Toledo and its plaza are classic examples of mid-century Modernism. Written by Mark Reiter, the Toledo Blade article examines the historical and cultural significance of the Tower on the Maumee.
"With its modernistic glass and steel architecture, Tower on the Maumee in downtown Toledo may not fit the description of what one would think is a historic landmark... But Ms. Knibbe said the 28-story skyscraper, formerly the Fiberglas Tower, grew out of the 1950s urban masterplan design authored by architect I.M. Pei featuring groups of low-rise housing contrasted with taller towers." -Mark Reiter
QEA completed a National Register of Historic Places nomination for the building, resulting in its listing in 2012. The final project will convert the Tower for mixed use including offices, ground floor retail, and loft housing, a strategy designed to meet the Secretary of the Interiors Standards for Rehabilitation and qualify the work for historic preservation tax credits.
"It is strange for me, who came to historic preservation as an effective tool to be used against the destruction of neighborhoods caused by urban renewal, to now find myself working to preserve some of the better architecture that replaced these neighborhoods... the Tower on the Maumee (historically the Fiberglas Tower) in Toledo demonstrates that single purpose office buildings can be adapted as multi-use buildings to create dynamic urban environments more in keeping with the visions of the original designers than what was actually implemented 50 years ago." -Elisabeth Knibbe, Principal, FAIA, LEED AP
You can read the full article here.