The creative class has been a driving force that has breathed new life into many city centers, according to Peter F. Spittler. The arts, in particular, have contributed to the rebirth of a number of cities. As an example, Peter F. Spittler and GSI Inc. spearheaded the historic renovation of the Allen Theater in Cleveland, Ohio’s Playhouse Square. Peter F. Spittler noted that the Allen started out as a 1920s movie palace, became a rock venue in the 1970s, and was slated for the wrecking-ball by the 1980s.
According to Peter F. Spittler, the Allen Theater came in at about a fifth the cost of a new-from-the-ground-up entertainment complex, but the project wasn’t without its problems. Cleveland’s downtown is densely-packed, making construction a challenge, while constructing a new loading dock area and stage house. Peter F. Spittler and GSI incorporated conceptualized lavish architectural details such as figurated panels and illusionistic windows, replacement of original plaster moldings, and painstaking cleaning and restoration work. The result, says Peter F. Spittler, is a showplace theater that seats 2500 people. The design also incorporates features like a removable trap floor for special effects and a new dressing room complex in the basement. Peter F. Spittler points out that the Allen’s new stage house façade brick panels were carefully matched to blend into the surrounding buildings.
Another favorite example cited by Peter F. Spittler regarding the creative class impacting a downtown community, is the relocation of Rosseta from the suburbs to the downtown. Rosseta is an multi-media interactive marketing company that decided to relocate 400 employees in a historic building located in the urban core. The investment repurposed a vacant building into a mixed-use complex consisting of offices, a hotel, restaurants and apartments. The result has been remarkable in energizing the area with hundreds of new downtown workers, which has inspired dozens of locally owned businesses. Peter F. Spittler is gratified to the impact that his projects have had on downtown Cleveland.
Peter F. Spittler has served as senior project manager for Figgie International and The Austin Company. As part of the Austin Company team, Peter F. Spittler traveled to Eastern Europe to study privatizing industries there after the fall of the Iron Curtain. Peter F. Spittler also spent time in Brazil as a consultant for an American healthcare company that was considering expansion. Currently, Peter F. Spittler serves as the President of FORUM Architects.