Oberlin College Archives


Peter B. Lewis Gateway Center




10 E. College Street


Solomon Cordwell Buenz (SCB), Chicago, San Francisco (architects)
Albert M. Higley Company, Cleveland, OH (contractor)




Groundbreaking for the new Peter B. Lewis Gateway Center took place on June 12, 2014. The four-story complex currently includes the 70-suite Hotel at Oberlin, the Wiliam and Helen Birenbaum Innovation and Performance Space, the Clyde McGregor '74 Office of Admissions, the 1833 Restaurant, Lemle Center for Teaching Innovation and Excellence, and StudiOC. The Center will become the cornerstone of Oberlin's Green Arts District, an ongoing development encompassing the northeast corner of North Main Street and East College Street. The Lewis Gateway Center project is a planned 100,000 square-foot, mixed use development that will incorporate renewable energy systems, and it is designed to meet the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED Platinum rating. The hotel lobby features a Maya Lin installation focused on climate and landscape--the final part of her "Ohio Trilogy."

The Gateway Center is named for its major donor, Peter B. Lewis, whose $5 million gift is the single largest contribution in Oberlin's campaign for support of the Green Arts District, and came in the form of a challenge that was successfully matched by other donors. Lewis, who launched Progressive Insurance, funded a number of pioneering building projects in Cleveland. His son Adam Lewis was the largest donor for the Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies built in 2000.  Thus father and son Lewis were "instrumental in bringing Oberlin to the forefront of the ecological design movement," in the words of David W. Orr, the Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics and senior advisor to the president of Oberlin College.


Peter B. Lewis Gateway Center, Oberlin College website, accessed November 9, 2017.

"Oberlin Names New Hotel and Conference Center in Honor of Peter B. Lewis," The Oberlin News Center (web), Oberlin College, February 25, 2014, accessed May 22, 2015.

"Update: The Oberlin Project," Oberlin Alumni Magazine, Vol. 110 No. 3, Summer 2015, 4.

Solomon Cordwell Buenz (SCB) website, accessed May 22, 2015.


Image Description

Hotel at Oberlin in the Gateway Center, 2016.

Digital photograph by Tanya Rosen-Jones '97, 29 September 2016.
(© Oberlin College)