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Cincinnati: Downtown: Federated Department Stores Garage Redevelopment

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Now that the Fourth and Race garage is coming down, Downtown Cincinnati's worst garage is officially the Federated Dept. Stores Garage at 222 West 7th:

 

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Yeah. IMO, Cincy's second worst garage is being demolished. This Federated thing is just so ugly and nasty. It's been a 50 (?) year long continuous insult to the architectural treasures it smothers. Who was the idiot...?

 

EDIT: And can we once and for all get that useless black ladder thing off Cincy Bell? The building would actually be somewhat tolerable without that structure on it. Sidenote: I seem to remember it had some more uhm, substance to it back in the day. Like they have removed something in the past.

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it looks decent in this photo although it was new and in black and white. The silver on the outside is ugly and dated. I think the garage is fine but invest into renovating the building and turning it back into what it could be. Add a brick exterior, now that downtown is coming back add first floor retail, and look into if you can build on top of it apartments or something to look into.

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It looks like it also had a floor of office on top.

 

Another view:

garage%2Bstore.jpg


“All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.”
-Friedrich Nietzsche

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it looks decent in this photo although it was new and in black and white. The silver on the outside is ugly and dated. I think the garage is fine but invest into renovating the building and turning it back into what it could be. Add a brick exterior, now that downtown is coming back add first floor retail, and look into if you can build on top of it apartments or something to look into.

 

No. This garage is not worth saving at all.  It's a total slap in the face to have this monstrosity next to Wise Temple- one of the finest architectural landmarks in the state, and a site that's very important in Jewish America. Inside, the garage is also terrible and very outdated.  It needed to come down years ago. There's no fixing this POS.

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I realize downtown property is very valuable but what would be great here instead of the garage would be a park...with the growing population of downtown, more space will be needed for recreation and with the park bordered by the Wise temple and the Second Presbyterian Church, both beautiful buildings and the Cathedral right across the street would be a great attraction not just for the residents but for visitors as well......develop the area around the park.

 

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^ I could see a new residential development with restaurants/retail and a large corner plaza with outdoor seating. That could really make the area more pedestrian friendly and active from morning until late night. I don't think a park would do much. Piatt Park is already half a block away.

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I realize downtown property is very valuable but what would be great here instead of the garage would be a park...with the growing population of downtown, more space will be needed for recreation and with the park bordered by the Wise temple and the Second Presbyterian Church, both beautiful buildings and the Cathedral right across the street would be a great attraction not just for the residents but for visitors as well......develop the area around the park.

 

 

Piatt Park is right near there and Washington Park is only like five blocks away

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We don't need more parks downtown. We need more residents living downtown to add activity to our streets. We have so many underutilized plazas and pocket parks downtown already.

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I realize downtown property is very valuable but what would be great here instead of the garage would be a park...with the growing population of downtown, more space will be needed for recreation and with the park bordered by the Wise temple and the Second Presbyterian Church, both beautiful buildings and the Cathedral right across the street would be a great attraction not just for the residents but for visitors as well......develop the area around the park.

 

What is it with Cincinnatians liking parks more than their exceptional urban environment?  Parks are already good in Cincinnati, and there are PLENTY downtown, what's really needed is better utilization of the amazing old architectural bones you have.

 

About the only place I'd consider a park in the basin and even then its kind of redundant (with Washington Park and Ziegler Park being pretty close by) is at 12th and Vine, I think the parking lot there could be converted into a small plaza with a fountain in the center and be a pretty great gathering spot.  That's it.

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A less brutal, reflective glass building that didnt compete with the ornament of it's neighboring churches and was built with a respectable set back would accomplish a similar goal of letting the hidden sides of the more decorative neighbors shine. There could be landscaped entrances and even terraces in the facade for plantings that would also soften and blend a future new building into the context  of its environment vs the giant heavy built to the max and overwhelming building that is there now. 'Love your neighbors, dont crush them'- Mr Rogers

 

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I actually can't think of almost any plazas in Cincinnati's urban core. There's obviously Fountain Square. Nada has one, but that's limited to a single user, not a public space with open seating. You could argue the library has one, but that's not really a space for activity. These spaces really attract restaurants and retail and would make that intersection more inviting to pedestrians.

 

EDIT: to be clear, I'm still advocating for new construction on the site, just suggesting that we could open up some of the corner to accommodate a plaza with tables and chairs. Maybe a statue/sculpture or a fountain to make it an attractive place. Not that the whole thing should be a plaza.

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I actually can't think of almost any plazas in Cincinnati's urban core. There's obviously Fountain Square. Nada has one, but that's limited to a single user, not a public space with open seating. You could argue the library has one, but that's not really a space for activity. These spaces really attract restaurants and retail and would make that intersection more inviting to pedestrians.

 

EDIT: to be clear, I'm still advocating for new construction on the site, just suggesting that we could open up some of the corner to accommodate a plaza with tables and chairs. Maybe a statue/sculpture or a fountain to make it an attractive place. Not that the whole thing should be a plaza.

 

Well there is P&G and the one at the old Chiquita HQ too but they seem to like to keep non employees away. The building across from the old Chiquita on fourth street sorta has a buffer space between it and the street that is plaza like too. I agree with you that a built solution is better than keeping the entire space open to be a good neighbor to the church & temple.

 

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I actually can't think of almost any plazas in Cincinnati's urban core. There's obviously Fountain Square. Nada has one, but that's limited to a single user, not a public space with open seating. You could argue the library has one, but that's not really a space for activity. These spaces really attract restaurants and retail and would make that intersection more inviting to pedestrians.

 

EDIT: to be clear, I'm still advocating for new construction on the site, just suggesting that we could open up some of the corner to accommodate a plaza with tables and chairs. Maybe a statue/sculpture or a fountain to make it an attractive place. Not that the whole thing should be a plaza.

 

There's kind of a plaza at the Centennial Buildings two blocks away, but lets say you have a plaza there. What's going to activate that space in any way? I think it would get a small lunch crowd and otherwise be empty. 12th and vine would have tons of activity going on there.

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^The problem with every plaza in Cincinnati is that it's almost exclusively for the use of the tenant in the building (or isn't meant to be used at all). With the Centennial Buildings you have to walk up stairs to get to the plaza and it isn't inviting. Also, there are no businesses around Centennial to support a true public plaza like there could be at at redeveloped 7th and Elm Site. The dunhumby building added restaurants to a dead street. This development could do something similar by bringing in bars/restaurants that are open longer than just lunch hour (especially with a lot of added residential going in on the rest of the garage site).

 

The P&G plaza literally has a fence around it. Same with the Federal Reserve building. We only have one real plaza meant for people to hang out at and that's Fountain Square.

 

I'm all for a plaza at 12th and Vine (as well as 13th and Main).

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What is it with Cincinnatians liking parks more than their exceptional urban environment?  Parks are already good in Cincinnati, and there are PLENTY downtown, what's really needed is better utilization of the amazing old architectural bones you have.

 

About the only place I'd consider a park in the basin and even then its kind of redundant (with Washington Park and Ziegler Park being pretty close by) is at 12th and Vine, I think the parking lot there could be converted into a small plaza with a fountain in the center and be a pretty great gathering spot.  That's it.

 

Anyone ever try walking a dog around downtown?  We have a lot of parks, but there are vast expanses without a patch of grass in sight.  We do have a lot of amazing parks, but a better distribution of green space would make it much easier to live downtown.  As a dog owner, I wouldn't currently consider downtown as a residential option because it would make walking the dog a pain in the rear on a daily basis.

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If you look at the drone photos, the garage is roughly T shaped, occupying the entire block face on 7th, and extending between Wise Temple and Second Presbyterian Church.  I think it'd be kind of cool to have a park or plaza in that space between the church and temple. Those are both beautiful religious buildings of vastly different architectural styles. To build something between them would be tricky, and given the quality of infill we usually get in this city, I think the odds of building something that would detract from its surroundings would be fairly high. Now I think the 7th St. side absolutely should be developed as housing. ~12-15 stories seems appropriate for the location, and residential would add to the housing at Piatt Park, Shilito building, etc.

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That's why I haven't made a suggestion for what would replace this garage. I really can't think of what could be built there. It's a similar problem as the parking lot between Music Hall and Memorial Hall.

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Think the block long face on 7th would be perfect for a mid-rise tower or two, as long as there was a with a monolithic glass, or perforated/woven metal scrim base on the North facade (first 6 floors).  The space between Wise Temple and Second Presbyterian Church would be perfect as a plaza for entry to the tower but also for use by the Temple and Church.  Add a few benches, a fountain or sculpture, and it could be named Inter-faith plaza.  Might sound hokey but it could work.

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The lithko people had a post about it Saturday & Henry Frondorf says they are going to repair and repaint the existing facade and not cover it again. No more prison bars!

 

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51 minutes ago, SleepyLeroy said:

That metal is older than i thought. I wonder if there is a premodernized photo of it somewhere? I would have sworn the auditor photo showed it pre-metal, but nope. image.thumb.png.487373452d2ff8597e526e58d38fd442.png

Anybody know the history of that top floor? What was it used for? When was it removed?

 

The 1996 aerial photos from CAGIS show that the top floor was still there... but then removed at some point between 1996 and 2006.

 

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9 minutes ago, JYP said:

Screen-Shot-2018-01-29-at-2.27.40-PM.png

Thanks! That explains why the top looks different from the bottom part too. I guess all those weird reinforcements inside (that i may have once hit in my van) are to hold the extra stories.

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