Cincy Stories Returns to MOTR, Launches New ‘Story Gallery’ In Walnut Hills

Cincy Stories began as a bimonthly event series with members of the community coming together to share stories from their lives. Now, the organizers are expanding into new territory with more neighborhood-specific storytelling events and a “story gallery” in Walnut Hills.

The new Cincy Stories Story Gallery is located in the Trevarren Flats development in Walnut Hills, in a retail space provided by the Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation. In the space, visitors will be able to watch videos of previous storytellers and even step into the “story booth” and record one of their own. Although the space opened last week, an official opening party is being held this Friday from 6-10 p.m. Food and refreshments from Fireside Pizza and Woodburn Brewery will be provided.

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Cincy Stories’ main event also will return to MOTR Pub this evening. Starting at 7 p.m., visitors will hear stories from Nina Wells, Brandon Black, Megan Trischler, Joi M. Sears, Kathy Holwadel, and Reginald Harris, as well as music from Asylum.

You can also hear several of the speakers from past Cincy Stories events on The UrbanCincy Podcast and on Cincy Stories’ own podcast.

Popular Walking Tours Showcasing Cincinnati’s Evolution Since 1940s To Return This June

Max Grinnell is an author, historian, and professor who enjoys sharing unique perspectives of American cities. Last summer, he visited Cincinnati to host a series of walking tours that offered a historical look at the city’s urban core. This June, Grinnell is bringing back the tour, which compares the Cincinnati of 1943 to the city today.

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 10.57.51 AMThe walking tour is inspired by Cincinnati: A Guide to the Queen City and Its Neighbors, a book published in 1943 for the Federal Writers’ Project. This book was a part of the American Guide Series, also known as the WPA guides, which was a program funded by the New Deal to employ writers during the Great Depression. Today, the book serves as a snapshot of 1943 Cincinnati, when the city’s population was 455,610 and now-iconic structures like Carew Tower and Union Terminal were just a decade old.

“I consider it one of the better city guides produced by the Federal Writers’ Project, and that’s significant, considering other volumes considered New Orleans, Philadelphia, and others,” Grinnell told UrbanCincy.

The 60-minute tour will be similar to the ones Grinnell hosted last year, but also include some new elements, such a focus on the Netherland Plaza Hotel and its intricate details.

The tours will take place on June 2, 3, and 6, and will cost $15 per person. Tickets can be purchased at Grinnell’s website.

Cincy Stories Heads to Price Hill for Tonight’s Storytelling Event

Regular UrbanCincy readers have seen us write about Cincy Stories, a storytelling event series, and may have even listened to some of the stories on The UrbanCincy Podcast.

For some of the recent Cincy Stories events, the organizers have been trying something new: heading into different parts of the city for neighborhood-focused events.

Downtown Cincinnati from Price Hill

“We decided to start moving it around a bit because we wanted a way to dig deeper into each neighborhood, capturing the stories of the neighbors you’d actually see at the grocery store, on the street or at the coffee shop. We’re still doing our city-wide events at MOTR and will continue to do those,” explained Shawn Braley, the Executive Director of Cincy Stories.

The bimonthly Cincy Stories events at MOTR typically feature well-known figures telling personal stories from their lives. The neighborhood-specific events may not feature names you already know, but the organizers have a number of community members lined up to talk about their lives. For example, tonight’s event will feature a Price Hill resident who is an Hispanic immigrant, speaking through a translator, telling her story of traveling to the US with her 1 year old child. Attendees of tonight’s event will also be invited to share their own stories.

“We chose Price Hill (all 3 neighborhoods included) because we found a burgeoning community there that was truly proud of their neighborhoods and excited to be involved,” added Braley.

Tonight’s event, which is co-hosted by Price Hill Will, will be held at the Warsaw Avenue Firehouse at 7:00 p.m.

UC Explains Concept Behind $16 Million Renovation of Historic Sears Building

The $16 million transformation of a 1929 department store into a research and innovation center for the University of Cincinnati is well underway in Avondale.

“The building is designed for space for work between outside companies and the university. There will likely be offices, labs, and open work areas. The interior has opportunities for collaborative areas, and open areas with flexible work space layout,” said University Architect Mary Beth McGrew.

UrbanCincy reported in January 2014 that UC intended to demolish the building, which is located at 2900 Reading Road and was originally built as a Sears, Roebuck and Co. department store. However, the university later decided to preserve the structure, seeing the potential for this renovation to spur new development in the surrounding area.

“It is to be hoped the renovation of the building owned by the university will entice others to develop in the nearby lots. This building might indeed be a catalyst,” added McGrew.

Technically a renovation project, it hardly meets the definition of being one that focuses on historic preservation. In fact, many UrbanCincy readers who have seen the renovation in progress have been curious about the extent to which the original building would be preserved.

While the core of the original 1929 structure is being saved, the 1945 addition has already been demolished. Additionally, much of the brick exterior of the original 1929 building has also been removed. The prominent brick tower on the structure, while being saved, is also being obscured by the addition of a fourth floor.

McGrew explained to UrbanCincy that brick on the tower will be preserved and replaced, where the brick had been damaged, by recovered brick from elsewhere on the structure. Aside from the tower and some accent areas, the rest of the structure will be clad in modern glass treatment.

“The brick was supported in large part by steel angles that were in very bad shape,” McGrew said. “The new façade material will be a brick of similar color and size.”

Cincy Stories Returning to MOTR Pub on April 5

The bimonthly storytelling event Cincy Stories will be returning tomorrow evening to MOTR Pub in Over-the-Rhine. The series focuses on well-known public and community figures telling personal stories from their lives.

“Stories allow for walls to come down and empathy and understanding to be built in their place,” write the event organizers.

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The April 5th edition of Cincy Stories will feature:

  • Caitlin Behle, a community connector and UrbanCincy contributor
  • Tamaya Dennard, Political Director for P.G. Sittenfeld
  • John Mabery, a local writer and teacher
  • Justin Carabello, Founder of Carabello Coffee
  • Anton Canady, Founder of P.U.S.H.
  • T. Renae Banks, Director of Future Leaders of O.T.R.
  • Live music from Jon Delvaux

The event begins at 7 p.m. tomorrow.

You can hear several of the speakers from past Cincy Stories events on The UrbanCincy Podcast.