Architects designed Page Hall to personify achievements of former astronaut and U.S. Senator John Glenn and the John Glenn College of Public Affairs.
Perched on the southeast corner of Ohio State’s oval, renovation was finished on the century-old building at the end of 2004, in time to become a permanent home on the fifth anniversary of the John Glenn Institute of Public Service and Public Policy.
“We tried to make the building reflect who he is,” said Kevin Miller, of Miller Watson Architects in Columbus. "Page Hall was deemed the appropriate home for the Institute, which later became the John Glenn College of Public Affairs, because it is a gateway to the university and because of it’s style," Miller said.
“With it’s big columns and monumental stairs, it reminded Glenn of Washington D.C.,” Miller said. “And we wanted it to be accessible to all so that the experience was common to all.”
Except for three of the outside masonry walls, crews gutted the building, but the steps and columns were maintained.
The challenge was to put a 'Glenn' mark on it, without changing the building’s name. The solution? "We put in a three-story glass box suspended inside the building,” Miller said. “The whole space under the box is open, so it’s like a space capsule suspended in space.”
Connecting bridges were to be constructed from glass to mimic a “walk in space,” but concerns over vertigo prompted that idea to be dropped.
But Sen. Glenn’s office is the one break-out element of the box.
“That has the predominate setting throughout the whole building and you can see it from anywhere in the building,” Miller said.