The hot list Featured

9:45am EDT July 22, 2002

Curtis Moody

president and CEO

Moody/Nolan Ltd. Inc.

Curtis Moody listed as one of his local favorites the Southern Theatre restoration project by Feinknopf Macioce Schappa Architects Inc.

“We’ve done projects where you’re dealing with a historic restoration. That means you have to do some study as to what the details were like at that period,” Moody says. “We know what the challenges are, so I’m particularly impressed with how well that job was done.”

Moody, whose company was architect of record on projects including the Value City Arena and Smith Brothers Hardware building renovation, also favors the Brio restaurant, which sits in the middle of Easton, giving a town square impression. He likes the quaintness of the exterior, as well as the interior appeal of the building by architects Design Collective Inc.

“You go inside and it sets a warm mood for anybody coming in there to eat,” he says.

Robert Vennemeyer

principal and CEO

DesignGroup Architects

Robert Vennemeyer’s favorite local architecture is in the Ohio Statehouse.

“The entire statehouse complex — including the grounds, the original statehouse, the atrium, the Senate, the veterans memorial now on the plaza — is just a tremendous effort to preserve an architecturally significant project and site,” he says.

He enjoys taking tours of the building “to see and hear and live vicariously what was going on.”

Vennemeyer complimented the latest restoration project’s architects, which included Schooley Caldwell Architects and Moody/Nolan.

“I think they were able to preserve the character of the overall complex,” he says.

Another of his favorites is also a destination point: the Ohio Historical Society, designed by Ireland & Associates. Vennemeyer likes the cantilevers, or projecting overhangs, at the top of the building, as well as the function of the building with its theater and displays and concrete flooring on the lower levels.

“The structural system integrated with the architecture is just a very dramatic statement,” says Vennemeyer.

“I remember going through that building when it was under construction while I was in college, in the mid-’60s,” he says. “Here it is, 30 years later, and I’ve taken all of our kids through there. That building has just weathered very well. I think it’s a timeless facility.”

Another of his favorites is not even finished.

“I think the downtown arena is going to be a real spark plug and a draw which will really enliven and reinvigorate the downtown area,” says Vennemeyer, whose company was architect of record for the main branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library and the State Teachers Retirement System building and is serving as an architectural consultant for the Ohio Stadium renovations.

He likes the exterior shape of Nationwide Arena, designed by NBBJ of Columbus and Heinlein + Schrock Architecture Inc. of Kansas City, Mo., and the district around it.

“I think the way this has been integrated into the downtown fabric is what’s going to make it so exciting,” he says.

Wolfgang Doerschlag



The St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church at 30 W. Woodruff Ave. tops the list of favorites for Wolfgang Doerschlag.

“It has a glass area toward Woodruff and it makes a nice scale with the outside coming in. It’s sort of an organic type of design,” says Doerschlag, whose firm does national corporate work including designs for restaurants such as Max & Erma’s, Bob Evans and Red Lobster, as well as for Sears and oil companies, including Mobil.

He also favors a housing development, Session Village off Broad Street, because of its use of stone and a courtyard-type design.

Another of his favorites is the Columbus Convention Center, designed by Peter Eisenman.

“It basically comes off as a sculpture. It’s a building as art,” he says, noting he likes the Wexner Center, too, which also involved Eisenman.

Joe Kuspan

vice president and design architect

Karlsberger Cos.

St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church and the Wexner Center make the list for Joe Kuspan.

He says many architects may have chosen to face the church toward High Street, but Woodruff was a better choice because it’s more calm.

Kuspan, who designed the new Midwestern Auto Group building in Dublin and whose company is working on the Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University, chose the Wexner Center “because it’s so outrageous. I like buildings that terrify people.”

Another favorite is the Rhodes State Office Tower, especially the bottom part of the building that faces the Statehouse. That portion, he says, “makes nice reference to the scale of the historic buildings that flank either side of it.”

“It’s just a really nice skyscraper,” he says. “I just think it’s very nicely handled.”

Joan Slattery Wall ( is associate editor of SBN Columbus.