June 26, 2014 at 1:00 am

5 hot spots for a tour of Toledo's architecture

Toledo's Old West End neighborhood features dozens of historic cottages and houses. (Michael H. Hodges / The Detroit News)

Interested in architecture? A drive around Toledo can be deeply satisfying. Just check out the following:

National City Bank Building (now PNC Bank) — Lit up a brilliant red at night, this 1932 art deco tower is one of the dominant elements on Toledo’s skyline 24 hours a day. 405 Madison

Pythian Castle — Built in 1890 by a secret society, this hulking, five-story Romanesque pile with tower is both a Victorian horror show and a total visual delight. 801 Jefferson

University of Toledo Center for the Visual Arts — What’s a great city without a Frank Gehry building? Opened in 1992, this metallic gray, almost Cubist building houses university departments as well as the reference library for its next-door neighbor, the Toledo Museum of Art. 2445 Monroe

Old West End Historic District — Also right around the corner from the art museum is the tony neighborhood where Toledo movers and shakers built to impress starting in the 1870s, resulting in a great collection of late Victorian and arts and crafts houses. The district is a little older than Detroit’s mansion neighborhoods, and with its numerous clapboard structures, quite a contrast to brick-dominated Indian Village or Boston-Edison. The Old West End is roughly located between Monroe and Collins Streets, and Glenwood Avenue and Collingwood Boulevard.

Toledo Skyway / I-280 — This ultra-modern bridge across the Maumee River (officially the Veterans Glass City Skyway) is a cable-stayed freeway bridge that opened in 2007. As Ohio Department of Transportation projects go, it’s unusually snazzy — complete with colorful LED lights that illuminate its single tower at night.