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Guest richNcincy

Cincinnati: Downtown: Queen City Square

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How old now are the renderings of the tower? At least 2? Certainly there have been changes, and as I have said for years(!), this is going to end up being a pretty awkward building both in the skyline and at the street level. As can be seen in the rending of phase 1, it will more or less be dead at street level, with no possibility of retail. It will be the same story with the phase 2 tower, at least along 3rd. The 4th St. entrance might turn out halfway decent, but I don't have much confidence. In short I anticipate the whole development to be a an aesthetic and functional train wreck, again, both on a human scale and its presence in the skyline. However it's preferable to what's there now, so I'm not going tie myself to the orange garage when they show up with the wrecking ball. Also, with phase 1, there was potential to create a striking corner right there where so many exit from the tunnel and drive north on Broadway from under Ft. Washington Way. It doesn't look like that's going to happen.

 

Third street in general is doomed to mediocrity because street activity is weak and its odd combination of "front door" and "back door" structures, i.e. the Scripps Center and Olympic Auto Park. This area is visually a front door, and functionally from arriving automobiles, but at street level it is just a place passed to get somewhere else. Queen City Square doesn't really help that situation.

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^

I totally agree. I'm not sure what they are trying to do with the project overall. Cincinnati has to have something else in mind with the general area around QCS.

 

As for the second phase rendering, my guess would be to pretty much look for the same design, but with the facade matching what is going to be on Phase 1, and minor detail changes here and there.

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I really don't see anything wrong with Phase 1. It could have been a lot worse. Looking at the renderings of Phase 1 & 2, it doesn't appear to me that they have settled for the 'next best thing' or something second rate like we are so used to seeing here in Cincinnati.

Phase 1 looks fine to me, I'm not going to be picky.

I like Phase 2 also. I don't care if it doesn't match the current skyline one bit. It's the 21st century. Lets move on.

It seems like forever since they build a tower downtown, and the fact that it will be the tallest makes me happy no matter what it looks like.

 

By the way, does anyone have a picture of this facade that you guys are talking about? I won't be able to get down there for another couple weeks.

 

Anyway, I don't totally agree with the train wreck theory. If you look at the rendering for Phase 1, it makes it look like there is a BIG open space in front of the building. As most of you know this is not the case. The only thing in front of this building is an overpass or two, so IMHO this wouldn't be the prime spot for retail anyway. I could see a Sports Bar or Tavern on the Sycamore Street side to go along with the In-Between Tavern across the Street. And maybe a couple restaurants on the 4th Street side, but no retail.

3rd street is dead now, but if they ever get around to putting the coverings on Fort Washington Way and get The Banks going ( I know, I'm dreaming ) that would really put a charge into 3rd street. There is also more property on 3rd street that should be replaced with mid-rise condos instead of even thinking of more office space.

Thats all I got, gotta go.

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>t doesn't appear to me that they have settled for the 'next best thing' or something second rate like we are so used to seeing here in Cincinnati.

 

How many buildings on this planet aren't second rate or worse? Less than 1%. Really, maybe only 100 square miles of the earth's surface is composed of groups of city blocks composed entirely of "first rate" buildings.

 

 

>Phase 1 looks fine to me, I'm not going to be picky.

I like Phase 2 also. I don't care if it doesn't match the current skyline one bit. It's the 21st century. Lets move on.

It seems like forever since they build a tower downtown, and the fact that it will be the tallest makes me happy no matter what it looks like.

 

Allright, so they're only building one tower every fifteen years, meaning at that rate it'd be 75 years before a substantial number of 21st century towers join the skyline. For that reason new buildings *should* blend with the current skyline, since it's not going to fundamentally change until we're all in diapers.

 

 

>As most of you know this is not the case. The only thing in front of this building is an overpass or two, so IMHO this wouldn't be the prime spot for retail anyway.

 

Exactly. That's my point -- 3rd St.'s fate is sealed.

 

>3rd street is dead now, but if they ever get around to putting the coverings on Fort Washington Way and get The Banks going ( I know, I'm dreaming ) that would really put a charge into 3rd street. There is also more property on 3rd street that should be replaced with mid-rise condos instead of even thinking of more office space.

 

The only hope in my view for 3rd St. is a series of midrise apartment buildings with condos. Thanks to the Scripps Center, we can never hope for something like whatever that one avenue in Chicago is opposite the park and art museum, where buildings form a 15 floor wall unbroken for more than a mile. But apartments with balconies would help improve that street. Between third street, the expressway, and the cold Underground Railroad Freedom Center, that area will never be a satisfying area. Functional, but unlikely to be a place that arouses any sentimentality or identity.

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By the way' date=' does anyone have a picture of this facade that you guys are talking about? I won't be able to get down there for another couple weeks.

 

[/quote']

 

Funny you should just happen to ask that. Here's pics of the facade from this morning...along with some construction updates...

 

DSCF17.jpg

 

DSCF14.jpg

 

DSCF19.jpg

 

DSCF0019.jpg

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is that metal screen in the bottom portion? it looks like they put it on that building to see how the mess of concrete decking from the garage will read through glass...but i hope they dont clad the garage levels with that screen

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does anybody know if there was a building adjacent to the existing garage that has been demolished? as long as i can remember and in any photographs i have seen the brick veneer has been missing from that portion, but i don’t remember a building being there.

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Thanks for the picks Ronnie.

'jmeck', throw me a bone here. Did you at least like the Sports Bar idea? Please?

God I hope they build more than one every 15 years.

You've got me depressed now. I'm going to go put my diaper on.

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From what I can tell from the renderings, and from looking at the facade from the other side, the mesh will most likely be there on the garage portion of the building. The mesh is very flimsy, but looks like it was well connected to the rest of the facade :(

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^ Damn!!

I see what your talking about. Dummy me. :stupid: On the rendering I thought that was supposed to be a reflection. I take it that it's for ventilation but looking at the facade in your picture, it's kinda ghetto. Maybe it will look better when it's all together. I was hoping that the garage would be covered in glass also, but I guess the ventilation bill would get pretty high.

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the more i think about it the more i believe the screen is appropriate as it will hide the slanting concrete decks a little better than the glass. it would be fine if it had a little integrity or if it actually added to the buildings detailing...like the mesh on paul brown or great american. but the stuff in that mock-up looks like it was ripped out from somebody's screen door and stapled in there.

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'jmeck', throw me a bone here. Did you at least like the Sports Bar idea? Please?

 

Hey, I just don't understand why all these folks are blowing wads over this project. It'll be more or less a "private" building, with no shopping arcade, observation deck, or reason to enter outside of business. It might become the tallest but will add nothing to the actual function or character of the city. Even with completion of that project, it will still be a mediocre block since the Masonic Temple inexplicably requires so much parking (together with its lots it takes up 1/3 of the block). Perhaps with construction of the tower's garages the Temple's lots can be redeveloped but again don't get too wishful.

 

I did notice this weekend that phase I by itself will loom over Fort Washington Way, when approaching from the 3rd St. Viaduct, in a way I didn't anticipate. That should be pretty cool, but again, it's not a big deal either.

 

 

 

>God I hope they build more than one every 15 years.

 

Don't count on it.

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^

Actually, the northern block of QCS is supposed to house a host of shops and retail space. I'm not sure what they have planned exactly...but there used to be a rendering that showed what they wanted to do with it. I will try and dig it up tomorrow and post it here.

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From this past Saturday, November 6:

"<ahttp://www.cincinnati-transit.net/downtown13.jpg">

 

This photo from 2000 shows the Masonic Temple or Business Club (or whatever it is)'s parking empire:

"<ahttp://www.cincinnati-transit.net/downtown3.jpg">

Look close and you'll see the solitary row building on the north side of the block that remained until sometime in 2001, if I remember correctly.

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Jmeck, are you going to be moving back to Cincy when you are done at OU?

 

BTW, I just hope that Convergys doesn't try to pull a fast one and tear down the 19 century buildings next to the Atriums. I thought I read somewhere that they were protected.

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Those old buildings are both in a National and Local Historic District. The Local protection is pretty tough to get something done with, especially demolition. As for the ownership, some group with an office in that weird shaped glass building behind the historic ones owns all the buildings on that quarter block. I can't believe they haven't done some condo's and bar/pub retail yet. Other than the In-Between, they would be the only game in town until the Banks gets going.

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>Jmeck, are you going to be moving back to Cincy when you are done at OU?

 

Probably.

 

 

>Those old buildings are both in a National and Local Historic District. The Local protection is pretty tough to get something done with, especially demolition. I can't believe they haven't done some condo's and bar/pub retail yet. Other than the In-Between,

 

I am similarly suspicious. On this block we are faced with one of the greatest challenges in architectual history. There have been no published renderings; our imaginations run wilder than Gazelle Boy. The presence of those row buildings only ensures a feral hirsutism.

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I repeat, there is NO market for any additional office space downtown and certainly not 40 stories worth. Thankfully, however, it might speed along some old Class B renovation in town because of the competition. My prediction again: Phase I will be mostly empty for years and Phase II will never be built. Also, if you are looking for quality architecture, don't look to W&S. Have you seen 6th & Race??? Also, have you seen the empty lot between 5th and 6th and Race? Don't expect W&S to move quickly on anything or do anything of quality.

 

The Convergys deal was the dumbest damned thing I have ever seen. Why? Here is what should have happened: Convergys needs a ton of contiguous office space. Keep Bell where it is in the Atriums and subsidize the lease of space in the new 40 story tower that W&S wants to build but has no incentive to build. This would have kept Convergys in town, given some incentive to W&S to build a beautiful new tower, and kept Bell in town. Here is what we got: Convergys kicking out an A tenant. Bell on the verge of leaving. No incentive for new tower by W&S. DUMBEST DAMN THING I HAVE EVER SEEN THE CITY DO!!!

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Ugh!! Finally I get to post for a change! Anyway, Looks like they are starting to put up the facade on phase 1. And they are up to the 7th level. I wish I had some pics to post. Next time I swing thru Cinci, I'll take a few update pics.

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unusual, you certainly have a valid point but temperatures have only been that cold for a few months now and from what i have been able to tell it seems those last few months have been the most productive.  i find it hard to believe the 10 or so levels they have completed in one year is typical speed of concrete construction.  in any event, it will be a nice change of pace to see a new floor added every couple days.

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I would say the progess at Queen City Square has been fairly comparable to the progress at the Vine Street Garage. Given the fact that the two were similarly situated (both sites had to be excavated, primarily involve concrete, and began construction at roughly the same time), I feel they provide good analogies for each other. Whether that means they're both moving too slow is still up for debate.

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You can not pour concrete unless the temperature is 18 degrees and rising.  Also, parking decks really do not have to be that thick to support the structure above it.  They use post tension cables in the decks that will add stregnth to the deck without thickening the concrete.  10 levels in a year is actually pretty quick.  Remember, they basically have to build the garage out of wood first (forms in the shape of beam pockets and tables) before they can pour.  The 515 garage in Cleveland is only about 6 levels up and they started that last March.  That does have thicker concrete to support the 20 story structure atop it however.  Can someone help me out with that picture above.  They should have steel up near the ground, but I can't see it.  Maybe I am looking at the wrong structure.

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