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Guest Ronnie

Newport, KY: Millennium Monument Project

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I kind of thought this project was dead, but it seems it really is just on hold. I found an article dating back to 2001, along with many other articles and discussions about this project. Also NBBJ (the architect firm that designed it) references the project under the World Peace Bell section as if they think it's still going to happen.

 

http://www.kypost.com/2001/jun/06/tower060601.html

 

I guess my question is, is this going to happen or not? The way it sounds to me...possibly. Not now...but maybe in a few more years?

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I saw the financing plan for the tower as proposed in 1999. It was a total joke. They forecast like $3million a year in skating rink revenue, a restaurant that had revenue similar to the Montgomery Inn Boathouse, while being half the size, and other far fetched revenue from gift shop and admission fees. All this with the State paying something like $40 or $50 million.

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I saw the financing plan for the tower as proposed in 1999. It was a total joke. They forecast like $3million a year in skating rink revenue' date=' a restaurant that had revenue similar to the Montgomery Inn Boathouse, while being half the size, and other far fetched revenue from gift shop and admission fees. All this with the State paying something like $40 or $50 million.[/quote']

 

 

That has changed since then. They formed a non-profit organization called Millennium Monument Center, INC., so that the IRS would allow them to do a few things. They had to scrap the Ice Rink, restaurant and other money making ideas. The whole project would be non-profit. As far as I see it, this is not a pipe-dream. One thing I have learned about Newport is that they get things done. the reason why they didn't build it to begin with was that the FAA would not allow them to build it so high (supposedly, it was in the direct path of an emergency landing strip for Lunkin), so they had to redesign it at 200 feet lower. Then the IRS stepped in and told them they couldn't have the restaurant and other things. That delayed it further. Then the economy died. That put it on hold.

 

Newport, the develpers and the architects want this thing to happen. They still own the air rights and have the financing available once they decide to do it. I think it is still something that will happen. Here's the most recent pic of this I could find. It has been you can tell that the tower design has changed drastically from the older design on the next pic...

 

 

New...

millennium1.jpg

 

Old...

millennium2.jpg

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Are the World Peace Bell’s best years ahead?

 

Wedged between a parking lot and a White Castle, many had expected more for the World Peace Bell.

 

When shipped from France to Newport in 1999 to an awaiting crowd of 15,000, the world’s largest swinging bell was meant to crown a 600-to-1,200-foot “Freedom Tower” that would also have contained the world’s largest carillon.

 

Instead, 16 years later, the 66,000 pound bell remains in a two story cage, but some hope it’s best years are ahead.

 

With it’s central location in Newport, something will likely get built on the adjacent parking lot at Fourth and Monmouth streets in five years, said Jack Moreland, president of the economic development agency Southbank Partners, which runs the World Peace Bell. That’s where the Freedom Tower was supposed to go.

 

Cont


"It's just fate, as usual, keeping its bargain and screwing us in the fine print..." - John Crichton

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The idea of a central park/plaza space and pushing for high density development along its borders (7+ stories) would be a huge boon to Newport. This spot connects old and new Newport and a connection is necessary for future growth.

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