The first building on this location in downtown Akron was a coal-fired direct-current power house for the new electric streetcars that were running up Howard Street beginning in 1888. 
In the 1930s, the power plant was replaced by a new building, the BEECH STREET STEAM PLANT. This new facility had two boilers that generated steam to heat businesses in downtown Akron and was expanded twice, each time adding an additional smokestack and two boilers.  Coal was brought in by rail and lifted by a coal elevator.  From the top of this elevator it was carried on a conveyor into the hoppers that fed the boilers by gravity.  The powerhouse served downtown Akron businesses for two decades when it was replaced by a newer powerhouse at another location. We're not sure of the history after that, but ohio edison used (or possibly still uses) the back of the building as a substation.
the BEECH STREET STEAM PLANT was demolished in 2005
if anyone has any historical photos or other info -
please contact us