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National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.


Property Name Tower East
Reference Number 14000029
State Ohio
County Cuyahoga
Town Shaker Heights
Street Address 20600 Chagrin Boulevard
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 2/22/2014
Areas of Significance ARCHITECTURE
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Tower East is a significant example of the work of master architect Walter Gropius (1883-1969) during his tenure with The Architect's Collaborative (TAC), a firm he founded with 7 young architects in 1945 and where he served as a principal until his death in 1969. Designed beginning in 1964 and completed in 1967-1968, Tower East is representative of the modern International Style of architecture Gropius was instrumental in developing and propagating from the 1910s through the 1960s, and it provides an instructive example of design issues he continued to grapple with during the latter part of his career. Within Gropius' body of work, Tower East represents an illustrative example of his philosophy of architectural design with an eye toward a building's relationship to its surrounding context, in this case going against existing zoning rules to create a vertical tower as a strong visual focus for what is otherwise a disjointed and confusing intersection. Gropius himself also saw the building as a successful resolution for designing a concrete building with a sense of lightness and openness at the corners, a characteristic of his earlier steel and glass compositions that he felt was lacking in his previous concrete works like the Pan Am Building in New York and John F. Kennedy Federal Office Building in Boston. It is nominated under Criterion C in the area of Architecture.


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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria