Washington Park expansion

Washington Park offers a great opportunity for Over-the-Rhine. It is a historic park that has been owned, by the City, since 1855. The park boasts Civil War monuments, a historic bandstand, and some beautifully mature trees.

On the other hand the park has been plagued with perceived safety issues and an overall lack of investment in the surrounding area. This is rapidly changing with the massive investment from 3CDC and others. New residents, businesses, and a new School of Creative and Performing Arts are all offering the park and the neighborhood a fresh chance at new life.

Washington Park Conceptual Plan – Image provided by 3CDC

Washington Park Elementary once sat on the northern most portion of Washington Park and essentially cut Washington Park off from its northern neighbors. The demolition, of Washington Park Elementary, now offers an opportunity to expand the park where the school once sat. At the same time it will allow for a potential solution to another problem for new residents, businesses, and established destinations in the area (i.e. Music Hall, Memorial Hall, etc) – parking.

The expansion plan right now is to build a garage, underneath the expanded park, that would create 600-700 parking spaces. The total project cost is pegged around $25-million and a time line for completion will be created following more community input on the final plan.

This is all made possible by a recent agreement between Cincinnati Public Schools and the Cincinnati Park Board with 3CDC. CPS has agreed to permanently transfer the title for the former school site to the Park Board.

By Randy A. Simes

Randy is an award-winning urban planner who founded UrbanCincy in May 2007. He grew up on Cincinnati’s west side in Covedale, and graduated from the University of Cincinnati’s nationally acclaimed School of Planning in June 2009. In addition to maintaining ownership and serving as the managing editor for UrbanCincy, Randy has worked professionally as a planning consultant throughout the United States, Korea and the Middle East. After brief stints in Atlanta and Chicago, he currently lives in the Daechi neighborhood of Seoul’s Gangnam district.