Friday, February 1, 2008

Procrastinators Synonymous

Well, another day, another dolor for our city's development:

Cincinnati Enquirer articles (February 30, 2008).
From the Local & Business sections.
Click on images to read.

If you're from Cincinnati, this is normal fare, and if you're an out-of-towner, well, we're small potatoes compared to the metropolises that we strive to emulate, and this reporting might seem reflective of most other mid-sized cities in this age (of urban sprawl). A symptom of the modern-day Depression of today's urban cores, though, one that Cincinnati has been fighting for decades.

While the hype is built around the announcement and public review process,  the plans (e.g. Millworks & 5th & Race Tower, below) - even if they are placating the public while 'extensions are needed to secure financing (etc.)' - always seem to result instead.

Still, no matter how idealistic they may be, they give us hope - they are, at the very least, a vision of what we could be.

This reminds me of the great pseudo-construction boom here around the turn of the century - an exciting time when news articles concerning the impending construction to take place in the city 'in the near future' saturated the local papers. Granted, some ideas were a bit heady, such as Bill Butler's Freedom Millennium Tower planned for Newport in 1999, or of course, on the Cincinnati side of the river, The Banks:

Note: This is still in the works. (And to give credence to Butler's vision, I did attend the ringing of the Peace Bell on New Year's Eve 1999 - minus said Tower). Nevertheless, the sketches of these proposals alone really take you on a fantastic voyage.

Luckily, an exhibit on the multitude of forgotten concepts for our future would be reawakened in an exhibit at the CAC, Unbuilt Cincinnati - a much more thorough representation of renderings than my old newsprint collection; a tactile, enjoyable reflection of the city's redundant efforts (3D models, animated illustration, original blueprints, lustrous original artwork and all).

Even with the numerous passings of ill-fated developments showcased in the media, I suppose this is a sign
that we Cincinnatians are uniquely invested in our turf; in our storied history. After all, the accelerating redundancy of growth (socially and structurally) used to be our motto, when we eventually became know as the Queen City of the West.

Update (2/2/8): The Fifth & Race tower is a no-go (another sketch for CAC's Unbuilt Cincinnati exhibit #2).

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