Greetings from The Republic newsroom:

This is an unusual time for us. Maybe even a little awkward.

One of our main stories today is about us.  You know by now that we’ll be getting a new home this year and that our architecturally significant office in the heart of downtown gets a new owner.

Well, the deal to sell the building was inked less than 24 hours ago.

An affiliate of Columbus Regional Health is the new owner of a landmark building that sparked the revitalization of downtown Columbus nearly 50 years ago.

Innovator and former Republic publisher Bob Brown’s fingerprints are all over every nook and cranny of this facility. He took a huge risk when he decided to purchase an entire city block and construct a newspaper office at 333 Second St. in the early 1970s.

Brown got renowned American architect Myron Goldsmith on board for the project, and they collaborated like only two visionary yet detail-obsessed engineers could. Brown was an electrical engineer, Goldsmith a structural engineer.

Brown’s son, Jeff, recalls his dad smack dab in the middle of the new office with a measuring stick in hand trying to determine just the right height for these newfangled cubicles. Bob Brown needed them to fit in exactly with the lines of the building and be conducive to a good employee work environment.

Columbus Regional Health affiliate purchases Republic building; location, architectural significance attracted growing organization to property

Bob Brown and Goldsmith’s collaboration made Columbus history in so many ways.

“The building was a linchpin in the redevelopment plan for downtown Columbus in the late 1960s. This plan altered much of the existing downtown area, combining contemporary design with the grandeur of 19th-century architecture,” according to a history of the building.

And here is Bob Brown’s own words:

“Our architect, Myron Goldsmith, was an extremely talented man. From the outset, it was our joint objective to create a building open and friendly to the public and of classic design, in keeping with the reputation of Columbus. Since the printing press was our most exotic asset, the building was designed to put it in the front window.

“We conferred at great length with press manufacturers, and it was the Goss Company that agreed to meet all of our specifications to fit it in available space. To conserve space along the front of our building, the paper reels were put under the press in the basement where the paper was stored. To keep the building proportion correct, a small skylight was put above the press to accommodate the highest point of the press. This was designed into the building, not added later.

“The press, with its bright yellow color, quickly became a unique kinetic sculpture which has attracted architects, publishers and visitors from throughout the country.”

Vision for newspaper office spurred downtown redevelopment

Other newspapers copied the concept, and the building was awarded the prestigious 1975 American Institute of Architects Honor Award. In 2012, it became the seventh Columbus building named to the National Register of Historic Places, becoming the youngest building in the nation to receive that honor.

Read more from Bob Brown in his own words: Click here.

We’re thrilled for Columbus Regional Health, especially about their pledge to be a good steward of this unique building. We’re also excited about moving to our new home and all the possibilities that will have for us. Stay tuned.

Here’s what else is going on:

Memorial Day weekend might be a time to kick back and relax for you, but our reporters, photographers and editors will be zooming as fast as those cars booking it around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in order to get you stories and photos from all the local events.

Our weekend is looking like this:

  • Honoring veterans. Tonight’s Salute! concert on the lawn of the courthouse starts at 7 p.m. Click here for all the details.
  • Hats off to grads.  We’ve got four ceremonies to cover – Columbus East and North (Saturday) and CSA-New Tech and Hauser (today).
  • Memorial Day observances. We’ll start at 9 a.m. Monday with the toss of wreaths into the East Fork White River from the Robert N. Stewart Bridge and then attend other events paying tribute to those who served our country. You should plan to attend these solemn and moving ceremonies. Click here for the details.
  • Sports. Our entire sports department heads to Bloomington tonight to cover sectional baseball – Columbus North vs. Bloomington South and Columbus East vs. East Central.

Oh, and there’s a couple of little races we will be keeping tabs on – the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 and the NASCAR race at Charlotte.

Still not sure what to do this weekend? Reporter Brian Blair has some suggestions. Click here for five things to do.

Have a good weekend. Be safe.