The Fort Piqua Plaza has been around for nearly 130 years. Taking up nearly an entire city block it has been witness to the towns rich history. What brought about such a magnificent building?
The history of the Fort Piqua Plaza goes back to the 1850’s in the feud between Piqua and Troy. In the battle to gain the courthouse, Troy raided and trashed the town, evidently gaining the states favor for the courthouse. Piqua retaliated from these events in 1891 with the building of a grand hotel that now shines in the heart of downtown and remains a token of the towns history.
The hotel stood tall with 4 floors, over 100 rooms and a great balcony. Teddy Roosevelt and William Howard Taft spoke from that balcony during their campaign tours in 1912. In the late 1930’s, at the end of the prohibition, the hotel was home to the first Piqua bar. Even Harry Houdini spent the night! Other figures like Woodrow Wilson and John P. Sousa left their marks here as well.
Sadly, in the 1950’s the hotel began to fade, shop owners left, and the hotel became nothing more than a bus stop, and by the 1980’s the hotel was boarded up.
Hope was restored to the Plaza in the early 2000’s when the renovation began; a project estimated to cost $22M. Incredibly, $4M were privately donated. Nearly 3,000 people attended the Plaza’s reopening in October of 2008. The following year, in 2009, the building won the Honor Award from the Nation Trust for Historic Preservation.
Today, the Piqua Public Library holds a majority of the building space. It is also home to Winans Chocolates & Coffee House as well as Mulligans Pub. With seven different banquet rooms, the hotels fourth floor is home to many events, making it’s mark on our present history.
There is no doubt the Fort Piqua Plaza was and will remain a great icon of town history for years to come.