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BigDipper 80

Rhodes Tower 629'
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  1. I've become kind of obsessed with the "faux historic" buildings that populate the French Quarter, and I'm curious what everyone's opinion is on them. Most of them were built during the "Disneyfication" of the Quarter in the 1960s and replaced other buildings that were still historic, but didn't fit the overall aesthetic narrative that preservationists at the time were pushing for. Most of them look decent from street level as you're strolling past them, but if you spend enough time studying them you can tell they're a facsimile of lesser quality than the original buildings of the neighborhood. They're almost all hotels or parking garages, so their massing tends to be out of scale with the rest of the neighborhood. The hotel on the right is an infill block. Again, the building on the right is probably only 50 years old. These are both parking garages. I think this was one of the first infill projects in the Quarter, and you can see how it employs some of the same "broken facade" tricks that developers still use on their yuppie boxes.
  2. According to the national news though, Ohio's entire economy is supported by two steel mills and a car factory.
  3. It's amazing how easily you can spin a city's narrative through selective shots and interviews. I don't think anyone would argue that Middletown is "healthy" by any stretch of the imagination, but its population has been growing and its downtown has vastly improved even in the past few years.
  4. Cincinnati doesn't totally surprise me, but Milwaukee does. I wonder if it was a German thing?
  5. I'd like to see Franklinton go full Scandanavia and keep building more Gravity-type projects all over the peninsula. Maybe even add some canals for the heck of it, too.
  6. Pei did an Ohio Stadium renovation? I'd not heard that before. It isn't listed on the Pei Cobb Freed website.
  7. Wouldn't the Rock Hall be his most well-known Ohio building?
  8. I think he mostly means in terms of built form. Vine Street through Elmwood is very impressive.
  9. Cedar Point could have burned Cedars down with flamethrowers and salted the earth afterwards and they'd still not manage to purify that patch of earth... that place was basically a 1970s-era bathhouse cranked up to 11 most nights, it felt like.
  10. Those Quakers and their archaic alcohol laws!
  11. What's with the Stillers fans in NW Ohio? I knew there was a reason I hated Toledo...
  12. The death penalty is actually quite widely accepted there - something like 80% of the Japanese public supports capital punishment. I wouldn't be surprised if this is a result of how generally peaceful Japanese society is and a resulting low tolerance for exceptionally heinous crimes.
  13. Cincinnati is one of those cities that's really difficult to capture through photos. The topography isn't quite as extreme compared to what you might find in Pittsburgh, but you can find yourself suddenly high in the air over the course of a short walk. Photos also fail to capture how truly eclectic Cincinnati's architecture is. There aren't many places that have as many dramatic changes in style as I've found in various neglected corners of the Queen City of the West. One such street, notable both for its bizarre collection of architecture and its dramatic topographical changes, is McMicken Avenue. It snakes along the hill that forms the northernmost boundary of Cincinnati's "urban basin" and is roughly the dividing line between the "downtown" neighborhoods and the "uptown" areas surrounding the University of Cincinnati. Below are a few shots along just this one street that I hope help capture both the beauty and sheer weirdness of this isolated little pocket of the city. IMG_9554 by Ethan Kocjan, on Flickr McMicken's southern terminus is at Main Street, where it branches off at an angle roughly parallel to the base of the northern hillside. Because it runs off-kilter from the downtown street grid, you end up with a lot of oddly-shaped buildings. IMG_9555 by Ethan Kocjan, on Flickr A handsome stone townhouse sits at the start of the street. IMG_9557 by Ethan Kocjan, on Flickr McMicken is primarily located in the "Northern Liberties", or the northern half of the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. Although most of the lower half of OTR has been fixed up after decades of neglect, the northern half is only recently coming into its own. IMG_9558 by Ethan Kocjan, on Flickr Because of its Germanic heritage, Cincinnati was a huge beer producer for much of its history. The Northern Liberties have been adding signage recently to highlight this heritage and to hopefully transform the area into a tourist magnet not unlike Kentucky's Bourbon Trail. IMG_9559 by Ethan Kocjan, on Flickr Notice how the one house is set a bit further back than its neighbors. For whatever reason, this is fairly common in Cincinnati, where you'll have an odball building or two on a block not built up to the lot line. IMG_9562 by Ethan Kocjan, on Flickr The Second Empire house in the foreground recently got fixed up and sold for quite a bit of money. People have been snapping up some of the properties higher up the hillside for cheap and renovating them, since many of them have spectacular views of the urban basin. IMG_9566 by Ethan Kocjan, on Flickr IMG_9568 by Ethan Kocjan, on Flickr IMG_9569 by Ethan Kocjan, on Flickr IMG_9570 by Ethan Kocjan, on Flickr IMG_9573 by Ethan Kocjan, on Flickr This beautiful building, situated at a five-way intersection in the heart of the neighborhood, has recently been undergoing some restoration work. IMG_9575 by Ethan Kocjan, on Flickr IMG_9578 by Ethan Kocjan, on Flickr IMG_9579 by Ethan Kocjan, on Flickr IMG_9581 by Ethan Kocjan, on Flickr IMG_9582 by Ethan Kocjan, on Flickr Another beautiful old brewery building. Some wonky houses because of the street grid's angle. IMG_9586 by Ethan Kocjan, on Flickr IMG_9589 by Ethan Kocjan, on Flickr IMG_9593 by Ethan Kocjan, on Flickr Things start getting a little weird once you cross into West McMicken and the road beings to head northbound. IMG_9594 by Ethan Kocjan, on Flickr IMG_9597 by Ethan Kocjan, on Flickr IMG_9598 by Ethan Kocjan, on Flickr IMG_9599 by Ethan Kocjan, on Flickr IMG_9600 by Ethan Kocjan, on Flickr This is the famous "Mockbee Building". It's hard to get a sense of how massive it is - because it's on a hillside, it's actually two-three stories taller on the south face than on the north face! Another angle on the building. The views in this area really are spectacular. This shot is from a block further up the hill, so the buildings in the foreground are all along McMicken. IMG_9602 by Ethan Kocjan, on Flickr Another funky-angled dude. IMG_9605 by Ethan Kocjan, on Flickr I love how this house wraps around on itself but then suddenly stops. IMG_9607 by Ethan Kocjan, on Flickr Look at all the bizarre editions this house has had over the years! IMG_9609 by Ethan Kocjan, on Flickr A beautiful Second Empire mansion. Yes, we're still on the same street, just over a mile from where we started. IMG_9611 by Ethan Kocjan, on Flickr Cincinnati suddenly gives way to San Francisco and this gingerbread stunner, directly across the street from the previous mansion. IMG_9613 by Ethan Kocjan, on Flickr IMG_9614 by Ethan Kocjan, on Flickr A gorgeous little chunk of rowhouses. IMG_9618 by Ethan Kocjan, on Flickr The Fairview Steps climb an additional 200 or so feet up to the Fairview neighborhood uphill from McMicken Avenue. IMG_9619 by Ethan Kocjan, on Flickr IMG_9621 by Ethan Kocjan, on Flickr The poor guy in the foreground has been mutilated beyond recognition. IMG_9622 by Ethan Kocjan, on Flickr More strange additions. IMG_9623 by Ethan Kocjan, on Flickr IMG_9625 by Ethan Kocjan, on Flickr IMG_9626 by Ethan Kocjan, on Flickr IMG_9628 by Ethan Kocjan, on Flickr It's hard to tell here, but we're 100 or so feet up now. Below us is the Camp Washington neighborhood. IMG_9629 by Ethan Kocjan, on Flickr IMG_9631 by Ethan Kocjan, on Flickr This might look like a narrow shotgun-ish house, but it's perched on the hillside and actually has a second unit and a cellar below it. IMG_9632 by Ethan Kocjan, on Flickr Meanwhile, this house is tucked well down the hillside and almost completely invisible from the street. IMG_9635 by Ethan Kocjan, on Flickr A better view of how far back this house is. It has no driveway and no back alley access, so it's completely isolated on its lot. IMG_9638 by Ethan Kocjan, on Flickr And then out of the blue... some bungalows. On one street we've gone from Brooklyn to Los Angeles. IMG_9641 by Ethan Kocjan, on Flickr And there you have it. The last building on McMicken Avenue. Hopefully these photos gave some good insights into a very unique street in a very unique city.
  14. They might as well put a couple pedal wagons up there and add a few "honky-tonks" to compete with Nashville, it's already got the bachelorette crowd built right in.
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