It’s no secret that the center city boasts a seemingly endless number of things to see and do, for both visitors and locals alike. Moving about from one destination to the next will soon get easier when the Cincinnati Streetcar opens for service, but, for those able to do so, Red Bike serves as a perfect tool to check out as many places as possible.
By taking transit, walking or riding a bike, you can avoid the hassles of fighting traffic, looking and paying for parking, and can check your concerns about parking tickets or other hassles. Plus, it’s also a great way to get some exercise in the process.
To help promote such information, they partnered with US Digital Partners on a video to showcase just how convenient and enjoyable it can be to explore the center city by bike. And thanks to the continued expansion of Red Bike, you can now take it to go beyond Downtown and Over-the-Rhine.
The Cincinnati Preservation Association gathered earlier this month to honor the best projects and professionals when it comes to preserving the region’s historic building stock.
The 51st annual meeting was held on Sunday, November 8 at the Renaissance Cincinnati Downtown Hotel, which is located inside the landmark Daniel Burnham tower at Fourth and Walnut Streets. The event itself was held inside the hotel’s stunning grand ballroom that had previously functioned as a banking hall.
Twelve awards were handed out to owners and developers of historic buildings throughout the region that CPA believes have substantially restored or rehabilitated those structures in accordance to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. Those projects include the following:
Archdiocesan Archives Renovation – Archdiocese of Cincinnati | Chameleon Architecture | Danis Building Construction
Beasley Place (Over-the-Rhine) – Over-the-Rhine Community Housing | CR Architecture + Design | HGC Construction
St. Michael the Archangel Parish Buildings (Lower Price Hill) – Education Matters | Brashear Bolton Architects | HGC Construction
408 Overton Street (Newport) – Mansion Hill Properties
The Crown (Over-the-Rhine) – Crown Building LLC | Hampton Architects | Premier Tri-State Roofing
J.H. Rhodes House – Benjamin and Kristen Walters | Preservation Architecture Services Team | Benjamin Walters/Chris Holtman/Jeff Niemis/Joel Stafford
Taft’s Ale House (Over-the-Rhine) – Ale House Landlord | Drawing Department | HGC Construction
Chatfield College OTR Campus (Over-the-Rhine) – Chatfield College | Emersion DESIGN | Endeavor Construction
Clifton Library (Clifton) – Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County | McClorey and Savage | Motz Engineering
Frida 602 (Covington) – Lucky Twins LLC | Don Biendenharn
Stonelick Covered Bridge – Clermont County | Smolen Engineering | The Righter Company
In addition to the project-related awards, two special education awards were also given out to those who, according to CPA, have produced quality programs, publications, inventories, or have promoted the awareness of historic preservation.
The first went to CPA volunteer Jeanne Rolfes, who was described as being one of the area’s most innovative volunteers when it comes to historic preservation. This recognition was largely due to her request of funds and subsequent development of a virtual tour for those who are too old or unable to participate in typical walking sessions about historic preservation.
CPA officials say that the program, called Cincinnati Memories, has been so successful since its launch in 2008 that it has been expanded twice and now brings in much needed revenue for the non-profit organization.
CPA awarded its prestigious President’s Award for Service to Preservation to architect Dave Zelman for his years of service and critical leadership roles in such efforts as the West Side Preservation Summit in 2010, annual spring home tours, River West Working Group, restoration of a National Register-listed Matthew McWilliams House on River Road, and assistance in saving landmarks like Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Sedamsville and an ancient stone house in Sayler Park.
Last Tuesday, All Aboard Ohio held their Spring meeting at the newly-opened Taft Ale House in Over-the-Rhine.
President of the Southwest chapter, Derek Bauman, ran the meeting, which not only included discussion of advocacy for interstate passenger rail in Cincinnati, but also of the ongoing construction of the Cincinnati Streetcar.
Several community leaders and representatives were present, including Streetcar Project Manager John Deatrick, Metro’s Rail Operations Manager Paul Grether from Metro, the chief of staff for Councilman Kevin Flynn, a representative from the Cincinnati Preservation Society, the president of Queen City Bike, and even Cincinnati Union Terminal’s Amtrak station manager.
To begin the meeting, Deatrick and Grether talked about the construction of the streetcar system, which can be seen directly outside of Taft’s Ale House, and the future operation of it. Deatrick informed the crowd that almost 70% of the construction is complete, which is ahead of schedule, and the city expects the first streetcar delivery by September.
When asked to address the ongoing discussion about the next phase to Uptown, Deatrick declined to comment.
Grether then explained how his organization acts as the conduit for federal funds to the streetcar and will be the future operator of the system. He also discussed Metro’s plans to schedule the streetcar in a manner that complements and fully integrates with Metro’s bus operations, and those of TANK.
Another key point that Grether mentioned is that the technology is in place to be able to give streetcars signal priority, should leaders at City Hall decide that is desirable. Such a move would quite significantly improve travel times and performance.
As the conversation moved on, Bauman spoke about the group’s efforts to establish daily passenger rail service between Cincinnati and Chicago. Not having daily rail service to Chicago damages business competitiveness for the city, Baumann said, considering that Milwaukee, St. Louis, Detroit and Indianapolis already currently boast such service.
The effort has received renewed interest as of late due to the debate surrounding the future of the Hoosier State line, which connects Chicago to Indianapolis. Project proponents scored a big win recently when funding was picked up by the State of Indiana to continue its service. Those efforts even attracted the attention of Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN) in a letter he penned to the Federal Railroad Administration about the possibility of future extensions of the line.
Since assuming the presidency of the local chapter, Bauman has made a variety of changes to allow for greater participation and engagement. Meetings are no longer confined to members, for example, and they have begun reaching out to the business community and area universities.
Bauman said that he hopes this approach will help make daily passenger rail service a reality for the Cincinnati region at some point in the near future.
Those that are interested in supporting the efforts of All Aboard Ohio can do so by making a tax-deductible donation to the organization on Tuesday, May 12. On this day the Columbus Foundation will make matching donations to a collection of non-profits throughout the state, including All Aboard Ohio. You can make secure donations to the group on their website.