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Cincinnati: Downtown: Terrace Plaza Hotel

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^Leave the exterior alone. It's historic, so just get over how it looks to your modern eyes. Install "virtual windows" around the interior of the pedestal (basically vertical HDTVs, each hooked up to a fiberoptic video camera poking through the brick directly behind it). That would make it more realistic as office space. 

 

WTF?  That is one of the dumbest ideas I've ever heard.

 

Please watch your tone/word choice. Constructive criticism is fine/encouraged, but let's save the harsher descriptors for ideas that don't come from forum members. :)

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Former downtown Cincinnati hotel nominated for historic list

Jun 20, 2017, 2:34pm EDT

Tom Demeropolis

Senior Staff Reporter

Cincinnati Business Courier

 

 

The former Terrace Plaza Hotel in downtown Cincinnati has been nominated to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

 

http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2017/06/20/former-downtown-cincinnati-hotel-nominated-for.html

 

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Well if they can cut all those holes in the 580 Building's brick then they could do the same for the useless Terrace Plaza base. 

 

Actually, they could grow a forest of medical marijuana in there. 

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^ Get that tidbit over to the Rhinegeist guys before they close on that Kahn's lot in Camp Washington. They could put a brewpub on the ground floor and offer tours of the grow op above.

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Birkla has a plan to redo the Terrace Plaza Hotel:

 

https://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2017/08/04/developer-unveils-bold-plan-for-deteriorating.html

 

Looks like they want to completely remove the blank brick walls from the bottom portion of it.

 

I'm fine with that.

 

Yea!!! I love the solid walls because it gives the place the look of a ship sailing down the street but if removing them this makes it a viable project I'm all for it. I just hope they give the owners of Batsakes either a prime spot in the new place or his own building somewhere. That poor fellair has been bumped all over downtown. From the render it looks as if the main entrance has been moved to his current spot facing Vine. What do you all think the options of this plan going through are? Does Birkla have a good track record?

 

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Birkla, of Anderson Birkla was the re-developer of the AT580 building on 6th between Main and Walnut.  I've been pleased with how that project turned out, but I'm not an architect.  At the very least they have recent experience with doing something with a large blank wall of brick.

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First and foremost I would like to see this get past the historic review board and all the historic building preservation groups. Seems like the design would get held up for awhile with meetings, petitions, holding up the building getting the help it desperately needs.

 

Second, this building at the moment is falling in on itself as we speak. The last owner that removed the brick around the old water tower enclosure punctured the roof of the hotel. They did not repair it and water/weather has been coming in and down through the hotel tower. The building was gutted of all the existing furniture and finishes so it has that going for it.

 

The stack course brick work around the old department store/A&TT center is in really bad condition. When we were proposing ideas for the base building, it was common knowledge that you would have to remove large sections of the brick top to bottom, preserve, place back and re-mortar in any areas that work was to be completed.

 

I do hope something happens with this building sooner than later, but i dont suspect it will happen right away.

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So what's the proposed usage? It's hard to tell from the rendering but it  looks like either entirely residential or entirely hotel. I'd guess based on the developer that it's fully residential.

 

So Anderson of Anderson+Birkla was a client of mine when I lived in Cincy. He was a stickler for doing things the right way which I really appreciated. It showed through in @580 which I think is of a higher quality of construction than similar apartments.

 

Hopefully being just Birkla won't change that mindset.

 

What I find more interesting than opening the base (which is sort of a no brainer to me) is that it appears that the brick will no longer be red. I actually have a feeling that will be the sticking point for preservationists more than the massive blank walls being opened up.

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I don't like giving too much away because I pay for the Biz Courier but it seems like Birkla is going to side step at least a lot of the historic preservation by not getting historic credits for it because they wouldn't be able to open up the base of the building.  Also the base bricks are supposedly easily removed so I don't think that will be too much of a hurdle.  I honestly don't think the historic preservations will put up too much of a fight because the design and shape of the building will remain the same and how Birkla and the architects want to make it accentuate the modern design, not change it.

 

It looks like the main hurdles:

 

Financing

And Financing from the city

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Is the Terrace in a historic district? I do not think it is. If it is not then HCB has no jurisdiction. It's also not a designated landmark. And as far as I know being on the National Register of Historic Places doesn't give the HCB any jurisdiction on the building.

 

If Birkla does pursue historic tax credits then they will likely ask for the building to be declared a landmark by the city. Then HCB would get involved. Aside from that if they get the financing they can do what they please.


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

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Even if a property is listed on the National Register, if you aren't going for tax credits you still have a lot of freedom to do what you want. 

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I've heard complaints about the building's low ceilings (8') in the sense that the residential market today generally wants at least 9' or 10'.  But with the perennial popularity of mid-century modern interior design, I'd think this wouldn't be a big problem, but I'm just guessing -- maybe it really is.  I doubt if it would be a problem at all if it became a hotel again, with no residential component whatsoever.

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On August 21, the Terrace Plaza was added to the NPS List of Historic Places: https://www.nps.gov/nr/listings/20170825.htm

 

Not sure who applied to have it added. If it was the owner, then they probably want to apply for historic tax credits (which will then bring a number of requirements about what can be modified). Would it be possible for somebody other than the owner to apply to have the building listed? I'm curious if a preservation group might have applied to tie the owners hands.

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^I don't know if this is correct, or not, but I had thought that the previous owners or possibly the city applied.  Then the new owners came in and bought it and said they wouldn't apply for Historic Tax Credits so they can get working as soon as possible and open up the wall.  That said, maybe they will explore to see if they can use credits and still open up the wall?  It would definitely be worth it to take a look at that, but maybe I am all wrong on this and someone did apply to throw a wrench in it.

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From the Business Courier article, it seemed like the new developer was aware that historic tax credits would ruin his plans.  It was the first time I've heard a developer say "I don't want them."  Since the credits are usually worth millions of dollars and only require minimal work or preservation, I guarantee he knows what they would make him preserve and restore and it would drastically alter his proposed renovation to the point where he would bail.

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^I don't know if this is correct, or not, but I had thought that the previous owners or possibly the city applied.  Then the new owners came in and bought it and said they wouldn't apply for Historic Tax Credits so they can get working as soon as possible and open up the wall.  That said, maybe they will explore to see if they can use credits and still open up the wall?  It would definitely be worth it to take a look at that, but maybe I am all wrong on this and someone did apply to throw a wrench in it.

 

It was applied for prior to the new owners. The new historic distinction will not hinder the new owners to do what they want as long as they don't apply for the historic tax credits, because then they would not be able to do what they are proposing.

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Tax credits are actually quite restricting as far as what they allow.  In a case like this, opening up the 2nd floor windows would probably be permissible, but nothing more.  Even converting the base of the building to parking would likely be denied.  That doesn't mean there aren't means for compromise, but it's more steps and time.

 

1. A property shall be used for its historic purpose or be placed in a new use that requires minimal change to the defining characteristics of the building and its site and environment.

 

2. The historic character of a property shall be retained and preserved. The removal of historic materials or alteration of features and spaces that characterize a property shall be avoided.

 

3. Each property shall be recognized as a physical record of its time, place, and use. Changes that create a false sense of historical development, such as adding conjectural features or architectural elements from other buildings, shall not be undertaken.

 

4. Most properties change over time; those changes that have acquired historic significance in their own right shall be retained and preserved.

 

5. Distinctive features, finishes, and construction techniques or examples of craftsmanship that characterize a property shall be preserved.

 

6. Deteriorated historic features shall be repaired rather than replaced. Where the severity of deterioration requires replacement of a distinctive feature, the new feature shall match the old in design, color, texture, and other visual qualities and, where possible, materials. Replacement of missing features shall be substantiated by documentary, physical, or pictorial evidence.

 

7. Chemical or physical treatments, such as sandblasting, that cause damage to historic materials shall not be used. The surface cleaning of structures, if appropriate, shall be undertaken using the gentlest means possible.

 

8. Significant archeological resources affected by a project shall be protected and preserved. If such resources must be disturbed, mitigation measures shall be undertaken.

 

9. New additions, exterior alterations, or related new construction shall not destroy historic materials that characterize the property. The new work shall be differentiated from the old and shall be compatible with the massing, size, scale, and architectural features to protect the historic integrity of the property and its environment.

 

10. New additions and adjacent or related new construction shall be undertaken in such a manner that if removed in the future, the essential form and integrity of the historic property and its environment would be unimpaired.

 

Note: To be eligible for Federal tax incentives, a rehabilitation project must meet all ten Standards. The application of these Standards to rehabilitation projects is to be the same as under the previous version so that a project previously acceptable would continue to be acceptable under these Standards.

 

Of course as savadams13[/member] said, if they don't use tax credits they're free to do pretty much whatever they want. 

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Does Ohio's SHPO place restrictions on modifications to properties on the National Register? The Federal Law does not place any restrictions, unless the site has received federal assistance (tax credits or otherwise).

 

From the NPS website: https://www.nps.gov/nr/faq.htm#restrictions

 

What are the restrictions, rules, regulations for historic property owners?

Under Federal Law, the listing of a property in the National Register places no restrictions on what a non-federal owner may do with their property up to and including destruction, unless the property is involved in a project that receives Federal assistance, usually funding or licensing/permitting.

http://www.nps.gov/nr/regulations.htm

There may be state or local preservation laws that a property owner should be aware of before they undertake a project with a historic property. We recommend you, or the property owner contact the State historic preservation office (SHPO) before an action with a listed property is taken. The SHPO is the state agency that oversees historic preservation efforts in their state.

You can find contact information for the SHPOs at:

http://www.nps.gov/nr/shpolist.htm

 

If Federal monies are attached to the property then any changes to the property have to allow the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (www.achp.gov) to comment on the project.

 

You can also read a copy of the National Register of Historic Places code of Federal regulations at: http://www.nps.gov/nr/regulations.htm

You can also find general information for owners at:

http://www.nps.gov/nr/national_register_fundamentals.htm

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Does Ohio's SHPO place restrictions on modifications to properties on the National Register? The Federal Law does not place any restrictions, unless the site has received federal assistance (tax credits or otherwise).

 

 

No, as long as you are not using historic tax credits or federal dollars (or something specific like a covenant), SHPO does not have authority to regulate changes to buildings on the National Register. A building could be listed on the National Register one day and torn down the next.

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Did anyone else make it to the tour of the Terrace Plaza Saturday? Looks like the new owners are serious about finding a way to make it work again and are open to most ideas (not limited to hotel/condos combos). They are also really hoping to make it like the original intended International Style/Modernist design with the hopes that the history would be a draw to it's rebirth. Not as bad as i thought the inside would be but the last NY owner took anything that wasnt nailed down as well as ignoring repairs. They also did quite a bit of damage to the hotel roof when they took the brick off the cooling tower too. Financially they are now free of any back takes and other issues so they are turning towards catching up on maintenance. Took LOTS of photos, but here are a few.

[ url = http://www.flickr.com ][ img ] 20171202_145346[ / img ][ /url ]

 

[ url = http://www.flickr.com ][ img ] 20171202_171735[ / img ][ /url ]

 

[ url = http://www.flickr.com ][ img ] 20171202_172044[ / img ][ /url ]

 

[ url = http://www.flickr.com ][ img ] 20171202_135144[ / img ][ /url ]

 

[ url = http://www.flickr.com ][ img ] 20171202_142009[ / img ][ /url ]

 

[ url = http://www.flickr.com ][ img ] 20171202_171114[ / img ][ /url ]

 

[ url = http://www.flickr.com ][ img ] 20171202_170824[ / img ][ /url ]

 

 

 

 

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FYI - first time uploading this way. Any of you know what i did wrong above? At least the links are there though. It was a good tour and it seems there will be more in the future. I found out about this once from the Cincinnati Preservation Collective.

 

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I was on the tour, it was cool to finally see the interior of this hotel. Boy oh boy does it need a lot of work, but I still have high hopes for this property.


“To an Ohio resident - wherever he lives - some other part of his state seems unreal.”

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FYI - first time uploading this way. Any of you know what i did wrong above? At least the links are there though. It was a good tour and it seems there will be more in the future. I found out about this once from the Cincinnati Preservation Collective.

 

 

On Flickr, click the Share icon at the bottom of the photo, then select BBCode, copy that code and paste it into your post. Then repeat for each photo.

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In the hotel portion the rooms are quite small, but the 8' ceilings did not bother me at all with such an expansive view. If the footprints were opened up a bit even the upper floors I could see being apartments/condos. Not everyone wants a cavernous loft space, they would just have to market it to those who appreciate the style.

 

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I'd describe them as "small for a hotel room". Much smaller than your typical new-build 1-bedroom apartment. If you wanted to install kitchens, you'd probably need to combine two units.


“To an Ohio resident - wherever he lives - some other part of his state seems unreal.”

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Small for an apartment/condo for sure. Pretty small for a hotel room, but nothing outrageously small. It's a single room with a small bathroom attached. Could never be made into apartments/condos without knocking down walls.

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Boutique hotels tend to have some very small rooms - I don't think the Terrace Plaza rooms are any smaller than rooms at 21C, for example. In bigger cities I've stayed in hotels with much smaller rooms. A mid-century modern themed boutique hotel could probably work well here since the bones are all already actual mid-century modern. A low ceiling works well with that aesthetic.

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