Fort Piqua Shows off $20M Renovation

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From the Dayton Daily News:

PIQUA — The Fort Piqua, which has hosted many events in its 117 years from military homecomings to presidential visits and even a human fly making a journey up the exterior, officially welcomed its largest guest — the 140,000 piece collection of the local public library — during a grand opening Sunday, Oct. 19. This building is the heart of our community, of our history,” Jim Oda, wearing two hats as library director and the city’s historian, told the late afternoon dedication crowd.

Known over the years as the Plaza Hotel, Orr-Statler Block, Favorite Hotel, Fort Piqua Hotel and now the Fort Piqua Plaza, the building lording over the downtown drew a few thousand visitors Sunday in its first public showing following a $20 million renovation. The building, which had fallen into disrepair before a push for a new life by the Hotel-Library Alliance, a group of local residents, will serve as home to its main tenant, the library, as well as a restaurant, coffee shop and banquet/conference center. The restaurant is to open in early 2009, the coffee shop later this year.

Delays in approvals for the elevator and fire alarm system held off the bulk of the library move until late last week, but books were on shelves Sunday as people made they way through a the library filled with chatter and piano music from the lobby…

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