Old hotel sign to return to downtown building

The Rieger’s uncovered marquee being restored.
Andy Ouriel
Nov 29, 2013

 

Hidden for years, construction crews unearthed a marquee feature once welcoming visitors into a legendary hotel.

In July, workers fixing up the former Rieger Hotel uncovered a lime green and white canopy sign hanging above a main entrance of the old hotel off Jackson Street in downtown Sandusky.

The lettering and condition of the sign was rather pristine, workers discovered, when they removed a facade that had been carefully placed over it during an earlier makeover of the building.

The uncovered marquee sign stayed for several weeks, but workers recently removed it.    But fear not artifact lovers and retro hotel aficionados: It’s just getting a much-needed makeover.

“The sign will be restored and reinstalled once we receive design direction from the project architect,” project manager Andrew Rahrig said.

An ambitious transformation of the Rieger Hotel began in February.

The project got started after Columbus-based Buckeye Community Hope Foundation secured $8 million in tax credits to fund a complete property restoration. Local tax dollars are not funding the project.

Crews, maintaining the Rieger’s early 20th century look, are sculpting space to accommodate 37 apartments for senior citizens. Those units should be ready by sometime late next year.

The bottom floor, meanwhile, is being geared toward a banquet hall and other businesses, which could debut as soon as spring 2014.