Apr 15, 2009

VOCON Custom Installation

A Piece of Cleveland crafted this site-specific conference table from wood recovered during the renovation of VOCON’s 2nd floor offices. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and to preserve its history, APOC upcycled the floor joists, designing and installing a custom conference table made of Douglas Fir and other soft woods.

The Neo Classical Revival style building was constructed by AA Lane Construction Company in 1921. AA Lane was a prominent general contractor at the time and from the 1920s to the 1940s, the company renovated many buildings at the Case School of Applied Science, now Case Western Reserve University.

Karl Best and Edward G. Hoefler of the Best & Hoefler Architecture Firm were the engineers. Best and Hoefler were partners from 1921 to1927. The Templar building is the only commercial structure they built together, mostly designing Tudor style homes in Shaker Heights. Prior to partnering with Best, Hoefler was an architect with the Austin Company and in 1929 he and John Kalsch Jr., ran the firm Kalsch & Hoefler.

Originally home to Templar Farrell Motor Sales, the building was used as a showroom for “pre-assembled” cars. Templar motors operated in Cleveland from 1917 to 1924. The engine that powered their cars was the Templar Vitalic Top Valve Motor. Advertising themselves as "The pioneer builder of quality small cars, Templar produced 6,000 luxury vehicles.

Templar offered innovative features such as electric searchlights, tilt steering wheels (nicknamed "fat man's" wheels), a folding Kodak camera, compass, tire pumps and air compressors. Each car had twenty-seven coats of paint and wheels made of naturally polished wood.

Just as Templar motors made cars with the utmost attention to detail, VOCON is also known for its, creative and quality architecture and design. We at APOC believe that this conference table serves as a symbol—bridging Cleveland’s inventive past with its innovative future.