The Herberich Building - A.C. & Y Building.
The building at 12 E. Exchange St. is often referred to as the Herberich Building, and, of course, the AC&Y Building. Charles Herberich, an Akron businessman, an investor in the rubber industry, construction, real estate and land development, built the Neo-Classic Revival eight-story tall building in 1919. The architectural firm of Boenish, Kraus and Helmkamp designed the Herberich Building.
The Akron Beacon Journal announced in the June 30, 1919, daily paper: “Ground has been broken for an eight-story office building on E. Exchange St. near S. Main St., to be built by the Herberich Realty Co. The first floor is to be occupied by the Herberich Company, and the balance of the building is to be devoted to offices. The site upon which the new office building is being built is 50 by 60 feet and the structure will cost approximately $125,000.”
Constructed on the former site of the wood frame two-story former carriage manufacturing and blacksmith shop complex owned by T.J. Santom’s who established it around 1880. It was the tallest building in South Downtown Akron in 1919 and the second tallest building being built in the Main-Exchange District. Offices of doctors, construction companies, insurance companies, as well as non-profits like the American Legion occupied the upper floors. Also, one of the rubber industries had its offices there, the General Tire Co. of which Charles Herberich was one of its founders. In 1923, the general offices of the Akron, Canton and Youngstown Railroad moved to this building.
In 1920, the AC&Y absorbed and consolidated the western section of existing railroad lines exiting Akron. This growth created the need for space for headquarters and in 1924, they rented the whole 6th floor and some space in the seventh floor of the Herberich Building. In 1925, they also occupied the fourth and fifth floor, and the following year they leased the whole building from Herberich and it became known in 1926 as the AC&Y Building where the company established its headquarters. The AC&Y Railway Co. and the Northern Ohio Railway Co. occupied seven floors of the eight-floor building. The law firm of Albert Herberich, Herberich Burroughs & Bailey and the Metropolitan Securities Co. occupied the 8th floor; they provided automobile financing. In 1941, AC&Y purchased the Herberich Building. The railroads in Akron were providing freight and passengers services and were crucial to the economic development of the rubber industry. This building afforded the AC&Y offices located in the heart of the city. The AC&Y occupied the building until 1982 when the company dissolved.
Late 1940's photo of the AC&Y Building
Today the AC&Y Building is owned by the Crucible Development Corp. Renamed 12 E. Exchange St. by its new owners. In 2009, the Main-Exchange Historical District, which includes the AC&Y Building, has been added to the National Register of Historic Places. Historical Tax Credits have allowed Crucible Development Corp. to refurbish the structure.
The preserved AC&Y Building in 2015