A Look Back: The Origin of Hixson’s Historic Headquarters

On January 25, 1993, Hixson’s associates had officially moved in and began working in our new-to-us headquarters building, nestled at the foot of Cincinnati’s historic Mt. Adams hillside.  Commissioned by owners The Daylight Realty Company in 1927, the Daylight Building as it became known was designed by architects Kruckemeyer & Strong (who would go on to design the now-iconic administration building at Lunken Airport, among other structures), with engineering provided by Frank Hill Smith of The Dayton Hydraulic Company, “an early innovator in the use of reinforced concrete within the United States.” At the time of construction, the building was touted as “unusual” because it had daylight on all four sides and all floors had a ground entrance directly from the street…a fact which would ultimately lead the building to be listed in the Guinness Book of World Records!  In addition, the Daylight Building once had the lowest insurance rate of any industrial or mercantile building in the State of Ohio because of its fireproof construction, absence of adjoining hazards, and the installation of an early version of today’s modern sprinkler system.

Original plans for the building called for a three-story structure, however the high demand for building space at the time led to five stories being built, a change which could be accomplished since the foundation and structure of the building were designed to accommodate up to eight stories.  One of the biggest selling features was that the building faced Cincinnati’s Gilbert Avenue, known as “Automobile Row.” Some of the building’s earliest tenants included The Crocker Cadillac Company, the J.I. Handley Company (distributors of Chrysler cars), and the Goldsmith Stores Company, which used the space as a distribution center.

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