Hopefully you are ready to learn all about support structures and geothermal, because the latest video update for the $120 million Smale Riverfront Park goes into great detail about both topics. It also reveals some new information about upcoming features at the park.
The first half of the 13:30 video focuses on the intricate details involved with some of the most mundane work taking place at the site. Project manager Dave Prather does a good job, however, at illustrating just how important that work is.
The more intriguing pieces of information are saved for the second half of the video. During that portion, Prather reveals details about the fog feature at the Heekin/PNC Grow Up Great Adventure Playground, which is scheduled to open to the public in spring 2014.
Prather also discusses that the Cincinnati Park Board has control of the anchorage under the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge. Dating back to the Civil War, the inner structure, he says, will be opened to the public in some way. Details have not yet been finalized for how they will utilize the area, which is in the flood plane, but Prather expects to be able to make an announcement in time for the next video update.
City and park officials aim to complete the 45-acre central riverfront park by mid-2017, assuming all remaining financing falls into place.
It is important to note, however, that the existing cobblestones are being shipped off for storage and cleaning, and will be put back on Elm Street in a way to compliment the new streetcar track.
UrbanCincy technologist and contributing photographer, Travis Estell, has been out and about lately and has captured some of the recent work through his lens. The following 12 photos were taken over the past two weeks in Over-the-Rhine.
Mass transit in Cincinnati has been around for 124 years, but the service provided by Metro is still 40 years young. The first buses in the Queen City arrived in 1926 and had grown in popularity by the 1960s.
During this time, it was managed by a private company named Cincinnati Street Railway. In 1973, the City of Cincinnati and Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) partnered to establish Metro in order to improve ridership and the quality of the buses. It was then Metro became the city’s first publicly owned and operated transportation system.
After meeting on Metro’s first day of service 40 years ago, Captain Rex and Anita Settlemoir renewed their wedding vows on Thursday. Photograph by Paige Malott for UrbanCincy.
To celebrate their 40th anniversary, Metro hosted an afternoon of festivities on Fountain Square. Four buses were displayed along Fifth Street, including a vintage Cincinnati Street Railway bus which had been preserved by the Cincinnati Transit Historical Society.
“We’re celebrating 40 years of connecting people and places, supporting economic development and improving the quality of life in Greater Cincinnati,” announced Terry Garcia Crews, CEO of Metro.
In addition to celebrating the organization’s anniversary, a local couple celebrated their 40th anniversary as well. Captain Rex and Anita Settlemoir met while riding Metro in during its first year of service. The Settlemoirs took part in a wedding vow renewal and were escorted to Fountain Square by a Metro*Plus bus; the newest vehicle introduced to the fleet.
“You could just hear the love and see it in their eyes,” smiled Jill Dunne, Public Affairs Manager for Metro.
With 40 being the new 20, the city wonders what’s next for Metro.
“Metro has so many exciting things ahead,” explained Dunne. “Next week, we launch our Metro*Plus rapid bus service in the Montgomery corridor, and we are adding new connections on the west side, as well as more east-west routes.”
“And that is just the start!” Dunne laughed. “I can’t even imagine what our service will look like in 2053. I’m hoping for flying buses.”
Recognized primarily for its involvement with the Underground Railroad, Cincinnati is commonly noted as a minor player in American Civil War history. However, one of the most important confrontations of the war happened right here in the Queen City.
In September 1862, 8,000 Confederate troops marched toward Cincinnati from Lexington. Being a major supplier of Union goods, Cincinnati became a desirable stronghold for The South to conquer. The city was unarmed, defenseless, and would face an attack within 48 hours.
Under the guidance of General Lew Wallace, 72,000 citizens rallied to protect their homes and businesses. Two days later, the Union surrounded their opposition upon arrival, causing the Confederates to retreat.
Had the southerners been able to capture the city, they would have gained control all the way up to Pittsburgh, thus changing the outcome of the Civil War. Without a shot being fired, Cincinnati’s preparedness played a significant role in the fate of our nation.
This little-known story, The Siege of Cincinnati, is one of many local legends shared in the Cincinnati Museum Center’s Cincinnati & The Civil War exhibit, which runs through October. The program celebrates the 150th anniversary of the Queen City’s involvement at the height of the war, and is showcased in the museum’s Ruthven Gallery.
Included in the exhibit is an entire uniform of Cincinnati General William H. Lytle, as well as his liquor cabinet, weapons, and other personal items recovered from the battlefield. Other displays feature items from Abraham Lincoln, Confederate General John Hunt Morgan, and artifacts from the Great Western Sanitary Fair, a lavish fundraising campaign to support sick and wounded Federal soldiers.
Cincinnati & The Civil War is free and open to the public from 10am to 5pm Monday through Saturday, and 11am to 6pm on Sundays. The exhibit can be accessed on the lower level of the Cincinnati Museum Center near the special exhibits entrance.
In the wake of the George Zimmerman ruling the nation has begun a serious discussion about race in America, and the standing of young black men in our communities. While racial progress has been made throughout our nation of immigrants, young black men are often viewed today as a threat in our cities or, perhaps worse yet, not seen at all. More from NextCity:
One of the main tragic factors in the George Zimmerman trial verdict, one that existed well before Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin last year, is this failure to see young black men in our cities — and when they do register, we see them as threats. It’s a cognitive failure to which Zimmerman was especially vulnerable when he chose to follow and kill Martin, but he is not alone in experiencing it.
…it was people of color in central Florida communities like Goldsboro and cities like Sanford and Osceola who turned out big last November to vote, helping President Obama win Florida and, ultimately, reelection. Afterward, Mitt Romney’s campaign aides said they lost because “voters they never even knew existed” turned out in these communities. Those invisible voters were mostly African Americans and Puerto Ricans from the depressed areas Williams referenced.
Last month the American Planning Association (APA) held its annual conference for planning professionals. The 2013 conference was held in Chicago and organizers made efforts to showcase planning efforts of The Second City.
The educational sessions at the conference are made up of presentations by planning officials across the country. A few of the sessions were hosted by Cincinnati Planning officials who highlighted some of Cincinnati’s recent planning successes.
Cincinnati and Hamilton County received a national award from the APA for the implementation of the Central Riverfront Master Plan and The Banks. Photograph by Randy Simes for UrbanCincy.
The plan was approved by the city in October 2012 and is the first long-term comprehensive planning vision of the city since 1980. The seminar also highlighted Cincinnati’s rich planning heritage as the city carries the noteworthy distinction of drafting the first ever city-wide comprehensive plan in the 1925 Master Plan. That plan, along with the 1907 Kessler Parks Plan, envisioned a walkable cityscape with an extensive parks system.
However, after World War II, the city drafted the 1948 Comprehensive Plan which proposed several highways and urban renewal projects. The 1948 plan was successfully implemented but instead of the promised revitalization of the city, the highway system and slum clearance policies supported by the plan drove the city’s population to the suburbs.
“The highway was unfortunately a successful implementation,” explained Gregory Dale from McBride Dale Clarion Associates, “Sixty years later we’re still trying to repair the damage.”
Presenters also highlighted how the Cincinnati’s Planning Department overcame the problems of being dissolved in 2002 and reconstituted in 2007.
“In some ways I think maybe if we had not been eliminated as a departments, maybe there would not be that strength today, maybe it wouldn’t have woken people up to see the importance of planning,” recalled Cincinnati Senior Planner Katherine Keough-Jurs.
She went on to say that she noticed the involvement and passion of participants in the new comprehensive plan was a positive sign that citizens were concerned about the future direction of the city. The citizen participation in the new plan highlighted residents desire for creating and reinvigorating walkable neighborhoods and commercial centers.
“The plan is unapologetically urban,” Keough-Jurs told session attendees,”In many ways our new comprehensive plan returns to the vision of the 1925 plan.”
At the conference the City of Cincinnati and Hamilton County received an Excellence in Planning award from the APA for the implementation of the Central Riverfront Master Plan. That plan, which was first developed in the late 1990′s when the stadiums and Fort Washington Way were proposed for reconstruction envisioned a new mixed-use riverfront neighborhood called The Banks.
In 2011 the first phase of the mixed-use neighborhood opened to the public and the second phase is slated to begin construction this year.
The planning department’s most recent project, the adoption of the final draft of the form-based code is on City Council’s Livable Communities Committee Agenda today for their 1pm meeting.
The code was approved by the city’s Planning Commission on March 7. Once the code wins approval from the committee it will go on to the full council for a vote. The city’s planning department is looking to meet with the four demonstration neighborhoods – Walnut Hills, Westwood, Madisonville, College Hill – in the coming months to move forward with changes in the zoning map to implement the form-based code.