Design for Innovation


The Athletic Club of Columbus is a membership based fitness center/event space on Broad Street. In 1991, this was a building that needed some influence. It was an old fashioned idea of a men’s club downtown in a time when it needed to diversify to survive. Wandel & Schnell, Architects jumped on board and increased expectations.

This renovation was one of the early projects where the primary focus was hugely interior. The first phase was the ball room. It hadn’t been updated in 40 years and the focus was to restore it with continuity and resolution.

The second phase was a series of improvements to the athletic facilities. The available facilities were rooms for jumping jacks and medicine balls. The 90s brought more of a weighted workout, so the renovation focused mainly on developing an area where people could go get a full, well-rounded workout. This included machines and free weights and things along those lines.

In the third phase, a restaurant/bar was added on the first floor near the formal dining area. The restaurant/bar, Carmichael’s, was intended to be a well-appointed and appealing area for both male and female young professionals (yuppies). Before Carmichael’s, there was an area upstairs carved out and specified for men to drink and smoke away from women. Wandel & Schnell, Architects’ renovation diversified the specified area by transferring it to the first floor and broadening it, so it was accessible to anyone, the goal being to spark some evolution in the former boy’s club and make it appealing to potential members.

1991 Pop Culture Facts

1991 was definitely a year for movies and shows. Luckily Magic Johnson retired, so he had time to get in on some of that action. Watching movies and shows was probably his main motivation for retiring. Am I right? With movies like Father of the Bride, Hook, Silence of the Lambs, My Girl, and Beauty and the Beast, why would anyone want to play basketball? He had to watch and contemplate human relationships and growing up… and cannibalism. Yikes! I can only assume that watching these movies was an activity he saved for the evenings because during the day, he had to catch up on Jerry Springer and Nicktoons. Can’t miss Rugrats and Doug. He would have definitely been wearing extra large parachute pants too. Sidenote: Patrick Swayze was voted the sexiest man alive. That mullet though! The holidays brought a lot of pogs for the kids. And who could forget that Full House had its 100th episode, celebrated by the birth of Nicky and Alex? Not me and not Magic. That’s for sure.