By James Caprio
Located near the corner of Main and Exchange streets, across from the Evans Building, the AC&Y Building has been a dominant feature of Akron’s skyline since 1919. The building was originally known as the Herberich Building, as it was built by prominent Akron businessman Charles Herberich. Herberich was the treasurer and later vice president of the Depositors Savings Bank. He was also a big time investor in the rubber, construction, real-estate, and land development industries. Due to the rubber industry’s role in World War I, Akron’s overall landscape was booming. One of the biggest players in the rubber industry was F.A. Seiberling, founder of the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. In order to move his products, he created the Akron Canton and Youngstown (AC&Y) Railroad Company in 1912. By 1920, the AC&Y Railroad line stretched over 170 miles and became the main rail line moving rubber products out of Akron. The AC&Y line was also a major transporter of chemicals, non-metallic minerals, coal, plastics, and lumber. It became the most profitable railroad line in America during the 1920s. In 1924, Seiberling rented the 6th floor and some units on the 7th floor to serve as the AC&Y headquarters, and by 1926, they leased the entire building. It was this year that the Herberich Building became known as the AC&Y Building. In 1964, AC&Y was sold to the Norfolk & Western Railway, but the building continued to serve as their headquarters until 1982 when the company ultimately dissolved.