The Central Union Telephone Building Celebrates 110 Years, Receives Renovations and Major Upgrades

Updated: Dec 16, 2019

Columbus, Ohio – The Historic Central Union Telephone Building at 33 N. Third St. in downtown Columbus will receive a birthday present 110 years in the making – A renovation to bring back the original look inside the building and many other technological upgrades including a new CCTV network, WIFI thermostats and a new door security system. The plan is to create modern office space with a turn-of-the-century feel. The project will involve restoration of the original hardwood floors, installation of WIFI thermostats, exposure of the original ceiling, and installation of all glass enclosed office suites and conference rooms. “We are excited to bring the history of this building back to life,” David Bishoff, president of E.V. Bishoff Company said. “This building’s history is something many people do not know about in Columbus and our goal is to bring the building’s past back to life with several upgrades for our potential office clients.” The building, home to Wesbanco, was constructed from 1907-1909 by the architecture firm Richards, Bulford and McCarty. The firm was a familiar firm to Columbus in the early 20th century completing many of the current well-known buildings such as; the Athletic Club, Columbus Museum of Art, and the Lazarus Building.

Third Floor Space

When constructed completed in 1909 the building housed the Central Union Telephone Company operating as a switchboard to central Ohio phone subscribers. The telephone company operated in the building until 1921 when newly formed Ohio Bell Telephone Company took over operations. It was during this time Ohio Bell operated 505,000 subscribers throughout Ohio. Ohio Bell moved out of the building in 1947 and in its place came Ohio National Bank. The bank resided inside the building until 1988. During this time E.V. Bishoff Company purchased the building and made it the location of their corporate headquarters. E.V. Bishoff Company continues operating inside the building to this day and after some market research determined the restoration in some areas to its original look was necessary for downtown Columbus.

Fully restored 1908 hardwood floor

The first phase of renovations began in earnest in late-2018 and will continue through the first quarter of 2019. Included in the project are:

Renovations and upgrades

  • Restoration of the original hardwood floors on the third floor

  • Elimination of the drop ceiling and full exposure of the 12’ high original ceiling

  • Installation of all-glass individual offices and conference rooms

  • Installation of IP addressable WIFI thermostats on every floor

  • New CCTV monitoring system

  • Maintenance of the brick exterior

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