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Let The Sun Shine (into Acorn Corner)

Windows going into old hotel this week; interior build-outs begin next week; National Register process continues.

One of the most-noticeable elements of Ron Burbick’s resuscitation of the old starts today: the installation of its refurbished historic windows and their modern-day replicas.

That noteworthy sign of progress comes on the heels of Burbick and a soon-to-be-announced tenant signing ’s final lease Monday, this one for the basement level of the five-story hotel completed in 1920.

And last Friday, the Ohio Historical Society announced that Acorn Corner had taken yet another step forward in the process of getting on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Ohio Historic Site Preservation Advisory Board voted Friday to forward the nominations of nine Ohio sites – including the old Kent hotel – to a National Parks Service official whose title is “keeper” of the National Register.

But that was old news for Burbick. “Friday was just kind of the official announcement ... We’ve actually had that in the works for a long time, and they’re just doing their paperwork now to make it official,” he explained.

Tom Wolf, communications manager for the Ohio Historical Society in Columbus, said the keeper’s staff will study the Ohio nominations to ensure each meets national eligibility requirements. The step is more of a formality, though, as both the state and national entities use the same set of criteria for National Register nominations.

“If the keeper staff concurs, the state board will recommend that the Kent hotel be added to the National Register,” Wolf said. “The keeper has 45 working days by law to issue her decision, but it typically takes about 90 calendar days to complete.”

If all goes according to schedule, that final National Register announcement should come just weeks prior to the grand opening of Acorn Corner. Burbick said he’s planning on having the restoration project complete by mid-November.

The labor-intensive process of repointing nearly the entire exterior of the building began in mid-June and is about 25 percent complete, Burbick said.

“Trial windows” were installed in the old hotel last week, he said, and the "real" installation of all windows begins today.

Burbick said the available historic windows have been repaired and refurbished to include double-paned glass. They will be installed on the building’s basement level and first and second floors. Replicas of those historic windows will be installed in the upper three floors.

Burbick said his restoration crew will begin the interior build-out process next week – and that he’ll continue keeping a close eye on the work.

“My office is only two addresses away (in his retail development), so I’m there several times a day checking on progress,” Burbick said.

Acorn Corner’s committed occupants include:

  • First floor and second-floor mezzanine:
  • Third floor: and
  • Fourth and fifth floors: luxury apartments

For complete coverage of this story, follow our Kent Patch topic page created exclusively for the old hotel restoration.

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