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Guest richNcincy

Covington, KY: The Ascent at Roebling's Bridge

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Guest Cincinnatus

If you right click and look at the "properties" of the photo of the rendering, it appears that it came from the Kentucky Post.

 

I just hope the unfinalized exterior colors are not dark browns. That monochromatic color scheme Corporex has going on the Covington riverfront is not attractive in my view. It needs some variety. It's a pity Cincinnati can't move this fast on garages etc. and those they do build, like the one at 7th and Broadway, is just sitting there with no 20-story condo being built on it as was supposed to happen.

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I was at UofK probably just overlapping Libeskinds time there. He came back as a guest lecturer, and was a quite fascinating speaker. Back then he was exploring line, plane, positive and negative space via a series of drawings called "Micromegas" (after the Voltaire story, I guess)

 

perfectactslibeskind.jpg

 

Libeskind_lge.jpg

 

...you can see a bit of Malevich going on there, or even Lissitzky.

 

But its quite a shock to see a Liebskind skyscraper going up on the banks of the Ohio! Now all we need is something by Rem Koolhaas and the region will have a complete collection works by the Deconstructivst masters.

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The developer also expects to seek some assistance from Covington to build a parking garage at the base of the condo tower.

 

oh, fantastic! this will just add to the ever-worsening hell that is downtown Covington at street level.

 

has there been a building built in the last 15 years down there that doesn't have parking and/or a blank wall fronting the street on all sides?

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Actually Covington is pretty neat at street level, at the Point (where the Licking meets the Ohio), and in the old downtown and Main Strasse. It just gets sterile around that new developement...yes....true.

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The 25 million seemed a bit low to me as well. But I did a bit of research and it may not be far off actually. Using the facts that it is 18 stories (eight stories shorter than Miranova in Columbus for example) and there will be about 75-90 units I worked up a figure - but hard to really know since I couldn't find a building area (only unit sizes) - and depending on parking, site issues, exterior cladding, etc. I can now see that number as realistic. Get's more expensive if parking is say underground but then it is hard to say even if the cost of a parking garage is included. My estimate is that it could be. They just say they want Covinton's financial support on building it. And remember too that the condo price includes a lot of the interior build-out.

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A new article in the 10/9/04 Enquirer:

 

 

Dramatic N.Ky. tower might be king of skyline

By Mike Rutledge

Enquirer staff writer

 

If Northern Kentucky developer Bill Butler builds his proposed 18-story, $25 million residential tower near the Roebling Suspension Bridge, Cincinnati's most dramatic-looking skyscraper will be in Northern Kentucky.  Butler, the chairman of Covington-based Corporex Cos., hopes his Daniel Libeskind-designed condominium tower proposed for Covington's riverfront will promote more unity between the Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati riverfronts.

 

The crescent-shaped building will offer 75 to 85 luxury condominium units.  All will have views of downtown Cincinnati.  Aside from the tower's sweeping curves, designed to maximize the views, it will have a sharply-angled roof that will start at the 11th floor and end at the 18th.  Each level will have a terrace.

 

Many aspects of the project - including exterior materials and colors and the costs - must be finalized before Butler hopes to break ground in the spring, with an opening in September 2006.  It is to be built west of the entrance to the suspension bridge, on the Coach & Four restaurant's former location.

 

Full article at http://www.enquirer.com/editions/2004/10/10/loc_kytower10.html

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Here's an update from the 12/1/04 Enquirer:

 

 

Butler revising plans for tower

By Mike Rutledge

Enquirer staff writer

 

COVINGTON - Corporex Cos. officials want to finalize details of a residential tower near the city's riverfront before they take their revised plans to the Kenton County Planning Commission.  The developers several months ago received the commission's approval for an earlier development plan, but now the proposed 18-story tower is taller, and the crescent-shaped building faces a different direction, said Mike Schwartz, deputy director of current planning.

 

The building was designed by architect Daniel Libeskind, who won the competition to design the new buildings at New York City's World Trade Center site.  It has generally won positive reviews locally, but not from Covington City Commissioner Bernie Moorman.  "You can quote me: It's ugly," Moorman said. "I don't give a damn if it was designed by the greatest architect of all time. It's ugly."

 

Moorman said the new tower will not match the other riverfront buildings built by Butler.  "It's going to be a sore thumb sticking out of the other things he's developed, which isn't great, but by the same token, it's inconsistent with - it's not part of a plan," Moorman said.  Butler responded: "I wouldn't want to comment on Bernie Moorman's taste."  Mayor Butch Callery sided with Butler. "I don't know if that's a good assessment, if he doesn't like it," Callery said. "He just doesn't like Bill, period."

 

Full article at http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20041201/NEWS0103/412010370/1059/news01

 

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Moorman said the new tower will not match the other riverfront buildings built by Butler.

 

"It's going to be a sore thumb sticking out of the other things he's developed, which isn't great, but by the same token, it's inconsistent with - it's not part of a plan," Moorman said.

 

god forbid something stray from the bland brick that composes the covington skyline in its entirety.  this type of thinking is laughable.

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I guess I'm in the minority here, but I have to say, the continuity of styles in Covington's skyline is extremely appealing to me.  Especially in context with Cincinnati - you've got a lot of variety on the north bank, and then this series of structures that almost look to be of a piece on the south bank.  I think it looks just lovely, especially near sunset - almost looks like bronze sometimes - and while that doesn't mean something new and striking should be rejected out of hand, I do think the consistent style is a special circumstance that should be considered...

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You know, this is just like the Freedom Tower project that is now in the hands of another architect. If someone would just follow through with Libeskind's original designs WITHOUT changing them drastically, we will never really know how Libeskind's visions look when actually built the way he designed them. Shame on Covington. The might as well change it to another box...and Moorman is a doofus.

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sounds like typical cincy thinking to me.  don't try to be different, don't stand out, don't take any risks.  it really wouldn't surprise me to see Liebeskind just drop the whole thing and this end up as another coulda, shoulda, woulda thing.  the majority of the people in this area really don't understand how lucky we are to have these type of things.  everyday i see a crap load of people from out of town walking through the daap building and the Vontz Center that aren't even from anywhere around this area not to mention we also have a pritzker prize winning building downtown.  when are we gonna wake up and realize that were not gonna see any growth or progress from sitting back and building cookie cutters.  Bilboa, Chicago, and Copenhagen have not become world tourist destinations over the last few years because of building structures that fit in with everything else, they took chances and built structures that cause controversy, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.  I think cincy has a choice, to continue at the rate we've been going over the last 50 years or so, or take some risks and get this thing done quick and use this as a center piece for a hopefully continued openess to all things different and unique in this city (besides just the architecture).

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I couldn't resist this...what a disappointment that Mooron er I mean Moorman doesn't like it. I find the continuity of design appealing in Covington's skyline but cmon...

 

There needs to be arch. diversity in order to keep it interesting. Sounds like most of us feel this way.

 

Build it exactly as designed only 10 stories taller, I say!

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>sounds like typical cincy thinking to me. 

 

Sounds like typical cincy criticism to me.

 

>which isn't necessarily a bad thing.  I think cincy has a choice, to continue at the rate we've been going over the last 50 years or so, or take some risks and get this thing done quick and use this as a center piece for a hopefully continued openess to all things different and unique in this city (besides just the architecture).

 

This condo tower looks like it might be the best of the buildings built by famous architects in the last ten years, although that's not saying much.  A similar tower on the opposite side of the bridge approach, where today there is some kind of low rise business, would go a long way toward downtown Covington achieving some semblence of credibility.  Meanwhile, plans for the parking lot between the garage and the Rivercenter towers, as well as the big development near the Clay Wade Baily Bridge, have been shelved for a half decade.  When that happens in Cincinnati people roll their eyes and say "here we go again".  But when the Millenium Tower failed to materialize, a few hundred public housing units are demolished for private development, and Newport-on-the-Lamey putters along four years after its opening with more than a dozen vacant storefronts, nobody notices. 

             

 

 

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But when the Millenium Tower failed to materialize, a few hundred public housing units are demolished for private development, and Newport-on-the-Lamey putters along four years after its opening with more than a dozen vacant storefronts, nobody notices.

 

No, I think I've been on about those.  Dig through some threads and you'll see that they've come up.

 

So it really wouldn't be "nobody".

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Except we are nobodies -- while in town last week for the holiday, I was blown away by the misinformation traded by my own relatives and on a segment I listened to on 700 WLW.  It wouldn't be such a problem if the general population simply had no idea about what is going on, but when complete lies are perpetrated by the media it's disastrous. 

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UPDATE:

 

From the GBBN website...the name will be Rivercenter Scott Condominiums, and they are currently in the schematic design phase.  There will be 72 units in 13 stories, as well as plaza-level retail and amenities.  Structural parking will provide space for 2 cars per unit.

 

http://www.gbbn.com/index.lasso?pgID=74&pfID=274

 

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An update from the 3/4/05 Enquirer:

 

 

Kenton planners OK 'swoosh' roof, backup

By Mike Rutledge

Enquirer staff writer

 

COVINGTON - Corporex Cos.' proposed crescent-shaped condominium tower with a swooping roof won approval Thursday from the Kenton County Planning Commission.  In an unusual move, the commission also approved a far more conservative version for the site. 

 

On the one hand, the commission approved the Stage I development plan for a 21-story building designed by renowned architect Daniel Libeskind. His 80-condo building features what Corporex describes as a dramatic "swoop" to its roofline, which would soar upward several stories.  The commission also approved, at Corporex's request, a 17-story crescent-shaped tower with a much flatter roof.

 

The project now must receive approval from Covington: a development agreement must be struck, and the building's architecture will be reviewed.  "We don't want to go way downstream and spend a lot of time and money," Marty Butler said, only to have city officials say, " 'Hey, we've seen the first one (the more traditional building), we like it, but the second one? Eh. It's got issues,' " which would force the company to start all over.

 

Full article at http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050304/NEWS0103/503040378/1059/news01

 

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ok, so basically the article reveals that we will not end up with the libeskind design, but a conservative run-of-the-mill tower that i'd bet $100 will be covered with the exact same brick facade as the rest of rivercenter.

 

not good.

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You can bet your life it won't look anything like the original design.  As I predicted, this was just a marketing move to get people talking.  It will be a very conservative cheaped out design.  Butler cares about one thing - money. 

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The latest from the 3/17/05 Enquirer:

 

bilde?Site=AB&Date=20050317&Category=NEWS0103&ArtNo=503170359&Ref=AR&Profile=1077&MaxW=600&title=1

The 21-story, 80-condominium, crescent-shaped building would transform the Covington skyline.  Photo provided

 

Riverside tower could make splash

Designer to meet with review panel

By Mike Rutledge

Enquirer staff writer

 

COVINGTON - Developer Bill Butler's proposed condominium tower near the riverfront here could "raise worldwide curiosity and interest in this region," a former dean of University of Cincinnati's College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning said Wednesday.  "There's no question this would be a very significant residential structure in Cincinnati, if not the most significant one, in terms of residential structures in the whole metropolitan region," said Jay Chatterjee, an architecture professor at UC.

 

Chatterjee called the vision worthy of the reputation of its designer, Polish-born architect Daniel Libeskind, who last year won the competition to design the new buildings at the site of New York City's World Trade Center.  The proposed 21-story, 80-condominium, crescent-shaped Covington building has a notable "swooshing" roofline that sweeps to the sky.  The Kenton County Planning Commission recently approved two versions proposed by Butler's Corporex Cos., but Corporex has made clear it prefers the Libeskind version over a plainer one with a flatter roof.

 

bilde?Site=AB&Date=20050317&Category=NEWS0103&ArtNo=503170359&Ref=V1&Profile=1077&MaxW=600&title=1

The view of the proposed tower from the Cincinnati side of the Ohio River.

 

Full article at http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050317/NEWS0103/503170359/1077/news01

 

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Guest Cincinnatus

I still like it a lot and hope it will not be "watered down" to suit provincial tastes.

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What an incredible design.  If it is built like this, it will be a true landmark. I hope the relevant decisionmakers realize what an opportunity this project is!

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