Former newspaper building sold to Columbus Regional Health

The downtown Columbus building that has housed “The Republic” newspaper for 45 years has been sold to Columbus Regional Health. The hospital closed on the sale of the property, located at the corner of Second and Washington streets, on Thursday. CRH officials say they paid approximately $2,770,000 for the property.

Kelsey DeClue, spokeswoman for the hospital, said that CRH would be taking ownership of the property in October. She says that an exact use for the property has not been determined, but added that the hospital has numerous pent-up space needs in many support services and physician office areas.

The formerly locally-owned family newspaper chain was sold last year to a company out of Texas, but the newspaper offices on Second Street were still owned by the Brown family. The family announced its intention to sell the building earlier this year.

The building itself was designed by Myron Goldsmith of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the same company which designed Chicago’s Willis (formerly Sears) Tower. The glass and steel building was designed to include the newspaper operations, including the company’s presses, although those were moved to Walesboro in 1998. The building was the sixth in Columbus to be identified as a national historic landmark, according to the Columbus-Area Visitors Center.

DeClue says that the building’s standing as a national historic landmark played a part in CRH’s decision to purchase the property. She noted that architecture is an important part of life in Columbus and added that the hospital already owns architecturally significant buildings, including the Lincoln Park building that spans Haw Creek. DeClue adds that architecture and design is more than just nice buildings and a sign of stature. She says that architecture and design can also play an important role in the healing process of patients.

There has been no word yet on where the newspaper will be moving its offices.