How We Helped a Design Firm Transform an Iconic 110 Year-Old Bank Into a Popular Downtown Food Destination.


The Cleveland Trust Company building in downtown Cleveland has been an iconic architectural treasure from the day it was built in 1907. 

So when we were asked to help transform this landmark into a Heinen's supermarket and downtown food destination, we knew a lot was on the line for this high visibility project. 

Tiffany Was Here

The building’s most prominent feature is its 85-foot high domed rotunda. Sitting on top of this rotunda is a 61-foot diameter green stained-glass window designed by Louis Tiffany himself. 

Walking Into History

Entering the interior of this neo-classical, George B. Post-designed building, one is immediately struck by the vastness of space under the rotunda, with its colossal columns, ornate pediments of figures of commerce, and intricate wrought iron railings.

Near the top of the rotunda, around the entire third-floor wall are several murals looking as fresh as the day they were painted by American painter, sculptor and writer, Francis Davis Millet.

This popular, Harvard-educated artist and close friend of Mark Twain died on the Titanic.


Most of this building’s rich and storied history has been spent as a bank and other financial institutions. That is until Heinen’s Grocery Store, a regional, family-owned supermarket chain, bought the building with plans to create a downtown food destination.

The Heinen brothers invested $10 million to insert a full-service, 27,000-square-foot supermarket into the widely admired architectural masterpiece. 

The new Heinen's opened in February of 2015 to rave reviews.

"It's a huge win for historic preservation," said Jennifer Coleman, who chairs the city's Landmarks Commission and its Downtown/Flats Design Review Committee, as she stood in the bank's gleaming rotunda, gazing at signs for "Joe's Meat Market," "Seafood" and the Heinen's "Global Grille."

Creating these signs and 400 more was the focus of our work for the design firm tasked with transforming the space. 



Everything about the rotunda is a living testament to art, architecture, history and culture. But even in this visually opulent environment, the clear and obvious focus is directly above as you are drawn to find the source of the special green glow cast by the Tiffany stained glass dome.  

Tiffany was a maestro of color and design. The green of this glass is unlike any other. It was a clear design choice to make this color play a leading role in this branded environment. 

So we were tasked with helping the designers find a way to match and reproduce this Tiffany green for many of the new environment’s permanent signs, and then fabricate and install them.

After several meetings with the design team to help them identify and select materials, we matched the green glass using a half-inch green acrylic panels. And we recommended the lettering be printed on a brushed titanium laminate.


Some of the other permanent dimensional signs we fabricated and installed were designed to mirror the opulent metalwork found in all the surrounding railings. We suggested that real walnut veneer would serve as the ideal complement to the frames and use silver and white lettering.

This branded environment project required quite a bit of value engineering. From fabricating the custom metal fixtures used to hang the signs to specifying the metal coatings, Brandecor worked very closely with the design team to make certain that every last detail of the nearly 400 signs needed for this project met their ultra-high expectations and vision.  

Michael Ruhlman, the nationally renowned Cleveland-based author of best-selling books on cooking and cuisine, also had nothing but praise for the new Heinen's.

"It's like a cathedral of food," he said. "It symbolizes the rebirth of so much in Cleveland -- ... All of these things are embodied in this structure."

When you are designing your next landmark branded retail environment, do what this architectural design firm did and make Brandecor your first (and last) call.

It’s a huge win for historic preservation.” As she stood in the bank’s gleaming rotunda, gazing at signs for “Joe’s Meat Market,” “Seafood” and the Heinen’s “Global Grille.
— Jennifer Coleman, Chairperson, City of Cleveland Landmark Commission


Let's talk about how we can help with your next retail branded environment. 

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