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2009 a year of progress for Cincinnati preservationists

2009 was a year full of progress for preservation advocates in Cincinnati. Several important structures were saved from the wrecking ball, new public policy is being implemented to help prevent additional demolitions, and Cincinnati’s historic neighborhoods reaped the many benefits of restoration investment.

This year the Cincinnati Preservation Association (CPA) has recognized six different individuals, organizations, and projects that represent “outstanding accomplishment in local preservation.” The awards included a new award for Special Recognition that went to the Meiner Flats building in Over-the-Rhine.

Meiner Flats was built in 1875 by a family of German-American stonemasons and is one of the tallest buildings in historic Over-the-Rhine. After sitting vacant for roughly two decades the building was ordered to be demolished by the City. The Special Recognition award was presented to Danny Klingler, among others, who helped bring attention to the building and save it from the wrecking ball thanks to generous donations from Cincinnatians, 3CDC, and the City of Cincinnati.

[Above] 13th & Republic in OTR’s Gateway Quarter. [Below] Rader Gallery building at Liberty and Main streets in OTR. Photos provided by Mike Stehlin.

Rookwood Pottery took home the Craftsmanship Award for restoring the proud Rookwood tradition which includes the first female-led manufacturing firm in the country, the best-known art pottery in the U.S., and one of Cincinnati’s most famous companies that was started back in 1880. In 2006 new ownership acquired all of the remaining assets of the original Rookwood Pottery and has moved into a massive 100,000 square-foot structure in Over-the-Rhine near Findlay Market.

Other awards handed out by CPA include the following:

  • Education Award: Elizabeth Meyer for her instrumental work in preserving original documents, drawings, photographs, and other resources pertaining to Cincinnati Modernist buildings.
  • Rehabilitation Awards: Luedeking House in East Walnut Hills has been meticulously restored over the past five years and has restored the home’s previous grandour. 2312 Park Avenue in Walnut Hills also received this award following an adaptive renovation that now houses the offices of Vivian Llambi & Associates.
  • Sustainability Award: Veraestau Historic Site in Aurora, Indiana took home the Sustainability Award for its incorporation of progressive conservation practices in addition to its preservation efforts that included a new geothermal heating and cooling system.

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.