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Visions for Vacancies: Port Haven Medical Building

What business could breathe some new life into the old medical building?

They don't make 'em like they used to.

According to Cuyahoga Falls Planning Director Fred Guerra, the fairly unique Port Haven building has sat vacant for five years and Patch readers have begun to wonder if the old site will ever see some new business. 

Located at 1625 Portage Tr., the 17,000-square-foot medical office building was constructed in 1963 and the Akron Institute of Herzing University was the last tenant to occupy the space.

The mixed-use building can be used for office or retail space. Only question is: what should go in the towering circular structure?

Tell us in the comments!

John Deike June 18, 2012 at 05:52 PM
My vote is for a food court. What do you think?
Bhed June 18, 2012 at 10:21 PM
Needs windows...not esthetically appealing.
John McMillan June 19, 2012 at 12:05 AM
I disagree completely, it is a very interesting piece of art! The style is very indicative of the 60's, and I'm certain it's probably the only building of its kind in the world. It should be preserved and made functional again. No reason to tear it down, if that's the sentiment! Any way the fire station next door could move in here?
John McMillan June 19, 2012 at 12:06 AM
Or just pick it up and move it to Portage Crossings!! hehe
Mat June 19, 2012 at 12:37 AM
I wanted to buy it but it's full of mold.
Mik June 19, 2012 at 02:27 AM
My pediatrician's office was the lower level back in the 70's......there alot w/allergies. there were very cool paintings on the wall just for kids. My hubby & I have talked about buying it & make it laser tag,paint ball or something like that. Food court sounds good too though.
Mik June 19, 2012 at 02:29 AM
Mat, EWWWW REALLY?? That is sooo sad. why can't the city do something about these vacant spaces??
Dave Wilson June 19, 2012 at 04:19 AM
I think it would make a great hotel!
Tom Tucker June 19, 2012 at 03:21 PM
A huge indoor Merry-Go-Round? LOL But, I question how outdated/inefficient that building is.
Tom Tucker June 19, 2012 at 03:22 PM
"why can't the city do something about these vacant spaces??" Why is this the city's responsibility again?
Geoffrey Watson June 19, 2012 at 06:10 PM
Mat, Is it really full of mold?? Mik, Why not have a food court and Laser tag or paint ball? It just seems to be a shame to let it set there and deteriorate. Maybe the city can buy, sell or give it to Stark so they can tear it down and just let the land go back to nature like State Rd.
Mat June 20, 2012 at 05:27 PM
Yeah, its got mold issues which is why no one has bought it yet. I love the building, would like to see it stay and would even be willing to pay someone to clean up the mold but the price would have to be right.
J. Paris Designs January 24, 2013 at 06:11 PM
Mat, what did you plan to do with it if purchased?
J. Paris Designs January 24, 2013 at 06:12 PM
I've never seen the inside, but simply because of the unique exterior, I feel it could work great as a center for the arts/cultural center/ community center/ etc. Although, I'm not sure that would bring in any great revenue...
g peterhansen January 24, 2013 at 07:33 PM
The Summit County Songwriters have wanted to turn it into a learning center.A place for children to learn music and other arts as well as a studio to teach the recording process, music lessons for all ages,a support center for creativity.But, the mold issue has been the big red flag.We would be willing to help where we can and if it was set up as part of a non profit ,it just might be a positive additon to the community.
Matt January 24, 2013 at 08:39 PM
I always thought it would make a great art studio & exhibition hall....with nice paintings and such for sale to the public at reasonable prices. The exterior kind of screams "Art" in my opinion.
David January 25, 2013 at 01:28 AM
I was just going to say, I think it should be an Art Museum or a Planetarium. I really do hope someone will be able to clean and salvage the building. I love it when I see reclaimed buildings made into something great. In Pittsburgh, where I used to live before moving here, they were brilliant examples of doing such things. Fingers crossed. Maybe, we as a community, could come together to volunteer to put in some time and effort, along with the city to bring it back to life? Just a suggestion.
Nancy January 25, 2013 at 02:47 AM
Shame that mold has taken over in the building. I feel with people living longer and younger adults having children later and being in the "Sandwich generation" why not make it a multi-generation daycare center. One place to take "MOM" or "Dad" with your child. The older adults would feel better with younger children around, and be able to feel useful. A special daycare for "Dementia" adults early stages still in the home and have something to contribute. Just a thought!!!
Craig Tickhill January 25, 2013 at 12:29 PM
As a former longtime resident of Cuyahoga Falls I recall this building from my childhood and have always been fascinated with it. I've been disappointed in the Falls lack of vision and effort when it comes to saving it's history (Charles Boyd home, Peterson home, numerous other old structures to name a few) however to let this building continue to deteriorate to the point of destruction would be an outrage, It is uniquely Cuyahoga Falls and pays homage to the post WWII building boom of the 1950's and 60's that the city experienced. How about all those Heslop homes? The city should embrace it's mid century modern feel and utilize this space as the historical society building. It would be the perfect setting for this - easy access, good parking, and nearby schools...
Sumco Res January 25, 2013 at 12:58 PM
Why is it the City's responsibility to maintain PRIVATE property? Do you want you tax dollars to fix private buildings or to plow and pave your streets? You are seeing what happened when the owner of the State Road Shopping Center didn't maintain his property. Citizens wanted it cleaned up. so the City declared eminent domain, and has cleaned it up and now has a developer working in the area. And people are whining about how long it takes and how much money it costs! Can't have it both ways!
David January 25, 2013 at 01:28 PM
The city is not responsible, but it is nice to hear that people are hopeful for saving something that is architecturally unique to CF. I am a home owner who would be willing to pay extra tax, if it meant the city was improving the area in some way. That's just good business sense for home values. It won't be the first or last time our taxes would go up. Get used to it. It takes a community to improve a city, not negative nelly's who aren't willing to step up. Not once did I read anyone whining, but you with your "in your face" exclamations! Somebody forgot to take their happy pills.
Craig Tickhill January 25, 2013 at 02:21 PM
Definitely it's not the city's responsibility to maintain a "private" property, however it does seem to me that the city DOES have the right to see to it that properties are properly taken care of and hold the owners liable for allowing something to deteriorate (ergo the rightful and responsible seizure of the shopping center). There just seems to be many instances over the years where CF has allowed history to be lost. Perhaps there is no easy answer, but it appears to me that this should be a somewhat of a priority to maintain the integrity and uniqueness of the Falls, otherwise it risks becoming lost in the blur of other mundane towns who have given up their identities. Sure - times are changing, but what's wrong with hanging onto some of the past? It would be nice to see CF on list recognizing it as one of the nicest places to live - something that happened way back in the late 1960's...
Sumco Res January 25, 2013 at 04:09 PM
The City does have building code ordinances that require owner maintenance. But at some point, the decision needs to be made when does City control over-ride private property rights. The building does not look deteriorated from the outside. Health inspection may prevent interior occupancy, but that is not a sufficient cause for the City to arbitrarily take the building down. That also applies to "historical" structures. I certainly do not want the City to be purchasing (or condemning) structures just because someone thinks they are historical. I remember a "historical" baking company on the corner of 11th and Portage that is now a nice medical building. I remember a "historical" power house on the river that is (or was and soon to be again) a nice restaurant. People need to remember that it is not someone else's magic money that the City spends - it is OURS and it comes out of our pockets! I'm sure if you want to pay more taxes, that could be arranged. I do not. Cuyahoga Falls IS a nice place to live. Our streets are maintained and plowed. Our garbage is picked up regularly and for less money than in adjacent cities. Our electricity and water utilities are less expensive than any surrounding cities. We have nice shopping and medical facilities close by. What's not to like?
Wanda Minor January 25, 2013 at 06:56 PM
There's a developer working in the area?
Vito Colonna January 25, 2013 at 10:38 PM
Mat, I own the round building. Please call me at 440-342-4113 Vito
Sumco Res January 26, 2013 at 01:24 AM
Hey Vito - Looks like you owe a whole bunch of money in back taxes on that building? When is the foreclosure sale? From the Summit County Site: "APPRAISED VALUE 200,050 " "Total Tax Amount Due Reflects Payment & Adjustment To Date AMOUNT DUE 31729.61 "
Vito Colonna January 26, 2013 at 05:26 PM
By the way I owe zero on the building. I have been contesting its value. For your own information, since you seem to have an interest in the bldg. there are 5 parcels on this property. You have checked only one parcel. I don't like to talk private matters openly. If you have an interest call me at 440-342-4113
Vito Colonna January 26, 2013 at 10:17 PM
As far as the mold is concerned it was caused by a lack of circulation because all of the HVAC systems have been shut off. We completely removed the mold four years ago. This can be thoroughly cleaned in two days by two people. This is an unusually well built building, it is solid concrete, and with proper usage it could last longer than the Colosseum.

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