The John W. Heisman Lodge almost was on the move years ago.

There was a plan afoot to relocate part of the University of Akron-owned building from its home near the former Rubber Bowl in Akron's Ellet neighborhood to the school's on-campus football stadium, which opened in 2009.

Only one thing stood in the way — money.

Ted Curtis, the retired University of Akron vice president for capital planning and facilities management, recounted the idea Wednesday after the Beacon Journal/Ohio.com reported that the university has decided to give the vacant building to the city. His grand plan was to relocate one of the floors to the north end of InfoCision Stadium and have the building, which has large windows, rented out for games.

"But because of its location, it just wasn't practical to move it," he said.

The 5,150-square-foot structure sits in a wooded area down a hill off George Washington Boulevard and is just east of Derby Downs, where the All-American Soap Box Derby is held. It was built in late 1934 as a winter shelter and has four fireplaces.

The city owned the building for decades, but sold it to the university in the late 1980s for $1. The school used the building mainly before and after football games held at the nearby Rubber Bowl, which is just a short walk away along a concrete path. UA trustees opted to name it the John W. Heisman Lodge after the famous football player who coached at the university in the 1890s.

"It would have been so fitting to bring the Heisman to the new stadium," Curtis said. "It could have been used by a lot of different people whether there was a game there or not."

Alas, movers advised UA that a whole new structure could be built at the stadium for less money than the cost of moving it. So the Heisman Lodge stayed put.

UA didn't have much use for the lodge after it sold the Rubber Bowl, which has since been half-demolished. The building has sat unused since 2013.

Akron has no immediate plans for the lodge.

 

Rick Armon can be reached at 330-996-3569 or rarmon@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter at @armonrickABJ.