Our View

“On June 13, the University of Akron acquired historic Quaker Square for $23 million. The complex contains not only a hotel, but also several restaurants and office space. Done right, and the new Quaker Square dormitory (the hotel) will be the hottest place to live on campus.”

On June 13, the University of Akron acquired historic Quaker Square for $23 million.

The complex contains not only a hotel, but also several restaurants and office space. Done right, and the new Quaker Square dormitory (the hotel) will be the hottest place to live on campus.

Done right.

That is, if the university doesn’t just knock down the building adjacent to the hotel to make room for parking. Ted Curtis, vice president of capital planning and facility management, said that when the dorms open there will be 460 parking spots available on the new land. We suspect that Quaker Station will have to go to make way for that many new parking spaces.

In the basement of the office building, which also contains a few shops, is a very nice restaurant and bar, reminiscent of the ’40s and ’50s. Laid back and spacious, the restaurant would be packed with students – if the university decides to use it. The restaurant on the second floor, a diner lined with train cars, would make a perfect food court, not to mention the nearby ice cream parlor.

Since the new dorm building on Exchange Street is complete with food and a small convenience store, it would only make sense to provide those things for the students living in the old hotel.

The office space is what baffles us, however. There is a ton of space, which could be converted for classroom use. Or, of course, it could be used as office space. However it goes, renovating the building will cost money – a lot of it. The university expects to spend $1 million renovating the hotel, and could easily spend more on the adjacent building, depending on how it is used. The new dormitory will be a little bit of a walk from campus, about a 10 minute walk from the Student Union. Still, you can’t beat living in an old hotel/grain silo/oatmeal factory, can you?