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Guest dfly

Oh, the things that could have been...

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I was looking at some of the projects for Cincinnati that have been proposed over the years, but never built/completed.  I had seen most of these before, but a few were new to me--like the Crystal Forest thingy.  I found a few of these images on a page talking about the "Unbuilt Cincinnati" exhibit at the CAC about 5 years ago.  Did anyone on here go to that or have any pictures of it?  Does anyone have more images of proposed-but-never-built plans or drastically changed plans?

 

unbuilt1.jpg

fountainwest_317x600.jpgunbuilt3.jpg

crystal_550x424.jpg

canal_550x361.jpg

millenium_403x600.jpg

1-Cincy-aerial_persp.jpg

page41.jpg

 

Next on the list?

aerial.GIF

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That first one kinda reminds me of 225 S. 6th in Minneapolis (must be the round rim jutting out).

 

And baseball on broadway would have been the better choice; I still believe that. But don't get me started.

 

Call me an optomist, but I think at least some of what you see for "The Banks" will be done.

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I went to that exhibit. As you could imagine, it was cool as hell, but extremely depressing at the same time.

 

There have definitely been some big plans over the years. Missing opportunities and not realizing full potential are nothing new here.

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I agree with you about The Banks, WhoDey. While I'm sure something will come of The Banks project, it will be interesting to see in what time frame and on what scale.

 

Here are a few more renderings of other old Cincinnati proposals....

 

198517small.jpg

 

198512small.jpg

 

The Olympics...

olympicpark600.jpg

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There were two other Fountain Square West proposals on the table too. One was another design by Helmut Jahn, very similar to the tall blue glass building in downtown San Diego. The other was a tower with about a five story base and the tower on the back quarter of the block abutting Race and Fifth Sts., it was the tallest of the proposals at about 860', and was pretty cool. I have looked in vain to find the renderings but most people don't have a clue. The Jahn one I saw in a book of the architect's work and the other one I found a packet on in the late 80's when I interned with the city.

 

Also, where the Aronoff Center now stands, a developer by the name of Pluss had plans for an entertainment center with 6-10 movie theatres and a huge forty story square tower.

 

Finally, there were several other designs for Queen City Square, one with twin forty story towers with spires on top and one with a huge square flat-topped building. These would be cool renderings if anyone could find them.

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I went to that exhibit at the CAC. It was actually pretty small and was not very in-depth. Particularly interesting were proposals for two art deco skyscrapers at I believe 5th & Vine and 5th & Race. They were both to have been approximately as tall as the Carew Tower and were to have broken ground soon after the Carew in 1929 and 1930.

 

As a general comment folks, don't get carried away with these insinuations that there is something in Cincinnati's air that keeps grandiose projects from being built. No doubt Chicago and New York have had 10 times as many big projects proposed and cancelled. The recent Disney Concert Hall saga in LA outdid anything that's happened in Cincinnati short of the subway, and the subway saga might be outdone by Seattle's ongoing bus tunnel fiasco. Get out there, get some perspective, stop looking at other cities through beer goggles. Queen City Square just plain isn't a big deal. It isn't going to improve the quality of life for anyone in the city except the guys making money off it. Ground hasn't broken on the tower because they can't be sure they'll make money off it yet. It's not because "nothing ever gets done" in Cincinnati, it isn't because the city is "conservative", and it sure as hell isn't because of Article XII.

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As a general comment folks' date=' don't get carried away with these insinuations that there is something in Cincinnati's air that keeps grandiose projects from being built. No doubt Chicago and New York have had 10 times as many big projects proposed and cancelled.[/quote']

 

Agreed. There are constantly projects being proposed and never built for all cities. It's the nature of the business. But it is always interesting to go back and look at what was proposed in the past and think about how things would be different if the project had actually gotten off the ground--and also sometimes to wonder what the developer was thinking. And on the other hand, its also interesting to look at things like old master plans, like the 1948 Riverfront Redevelopment Plan, and see how many of the ideas were actually implemented.

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Yeah, that 1948 plan looked like a total mess. No doubt if it had all been magically built in the 1950's we'd be rebuilding it all right now. Really the only cities in the world where huge masterplanned things actually happen are ones with oppressive national governments (China, FRANCE, etc.). Here almost everything is market driven to a much larger extent than other leading countries and things get complicated as soon as some sort of public/private partnership is necessary to make things happen, like The Banks project. If downtown were healthier overall, the riverfront redevelopment would be happening by now because of a lack of developable and redevelopable properties in the central business district. It'll probably be quite awhile, probably at least ten years, before all of the planned garages are built on the riverfront and buildings built atop them.

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Hey, what's up with that first rendering?

 

I assume that the blue skyscraper is Fountain Square West, which was proposed in the 1990's, correct?

 

Then why does the rendering of the photo show the Fountain Square of the 1930's? Even the Government Building is still there!

 

This is either a mistake or very wishful thinking! Either way it's amusing. )

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isn't the property of those towers in the rendering still in nordstroms name but they won't use it or something like that? I forget the whole story it's so complex with so many names and dates and price tags I always screw it up. but maybe if the legal stuff with that is taken care of someone will renew their faith in that spot for a skyscraper someday (wishful thinking :clap: )

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I know that as recently as two years ago something again came up to the Urban Design Review Board from developers/Eagle Realty to build multi-story retail on the site. They were still talking about it as of April.

 

I know Eagle owns two adjacent parcels of land--I don't know about the Nordstrom site proper.

 

Here's another thread that dealt with this article:

Fifth and Race - Cincy

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