The streets of Licking County are speckled with gorgeous sites both natural and manmade, contemporary and historic, modern & traditional. But most residents and visitors will agree that one site stands just a bit apart from the rest.`
The Louis Sullivan Building makes Licking County a destination for lovers of architecture and the arts.
Explore Licking County Executive Director Dan Moder spent the day with Licking County Foundation Executive Director Connie Hawk to discuss the revitalization and imminent reopening of the Louis Sullivan Building - and to gush about just how exciting it is for the community.
Louis Sullivan was called the “father of skyscrapers” and the “father of modernism”. He was a mentor to Frank Lloyd Wright. He is known for his distinct architectural style - Modern and functional, but with ornate details. He coined the term “form follows function",” and his buildings reflect that. Like many famous artists he died early, bankrupt and with little recognition. Louis H. Sullivan is known internationally for many things, but here in Licking County, his name holds special weight. That’s because Licking County - Newark, specifically - lays claim to one of Sullivan’s final and most spectacular works.
The Home building Association Company building, now known simply as the Louis Sullivan Bank Building, was one of just eight banks build across the Midwest late in Sullivan’s life. The eight buildings, all of which still stand today, are known as Sullivan’s Jewel Boxes, and Licking County’s jewel shines bright. Though it was built more than 100 years ago and has been home to a swath of businesses, its luster hasn’t faded even for the oldest of residents.
In 2013, the Louis Sullivan Building was gifted to the Licking County Foundation by a county native. Even for someone who has long sinced moved and could have sold such a building, donation to an organization that would treat it the way it deserved was the only option. Since then, the building has been a site for reimagination, rejuvenation and, ultimately, renovation. Once the renovation is complete, the doors will reopen as the new home of Explore Licking County. The community will meet in the Louis Sullivan Building - just as Sullivan intended 100 years ago.