In early February, various local news outlets told of an interesting new development in East Price Hill [read here & watch video here] - one that will inject much needed capital into the West Side. This project will bring restaurants, condos, a banquet facility, nightclub, an upgraded park and unparalleled view of the city, but most interestingly, will include unearthed Price Hill Incline supports, which will be lit up and used as a focal point for the complex.
Image Source: Dev.Mgt.Assoc.LLC
This kind of respect for the city's unique historical infrastructure is refreshing, yet not a perspective shared by all developers. Soon after Price Hill story came out, I ran across an interesting article (via Building Cincinnati) on the future development of the Mount Adams Incline - the longest running of the city's five funiculars [pics here]. Looks like the developers of this project place a different value on history:
In the process of destroying the supports and retaining wall.
It's not new to see construction on the Mt. Adams hillside, and as a result, the land surrounding the old Incline has reduced considerably over the years. Still, until recently, the city held onto the Incline land for a reason - most likely because of it's historical significance, and possibly plans for some kind of future reawakening.
It's interesting that now - maybe because they would rather have the money (from the land sale and future home taxes) or because they're obsessed with trying increase the city population - they are taking a different stance. And who can blame the developers, the JFP Group, for wanting to profit on their $1m land acquisition? They did a fine job restoring the original facade of the Fourth Street National Bank building downtown when turning it into condos , but building more 'up-scale' housing on Mt. Adams at the expense of our unique history is comparable to desecrating an Indian Burial Ground (in my opinion).
Upon hearing of the upcoming demolition, Elizabeth and I decided to drive around and take a few photos of the remaining structure (shot March 3, 2008):
Looking down the hill to Oregon St., Baum St., and Monastery Ave. (at the base of the structure). The old Rookwood Pottery building is on the far right, and the Highland Towers on the left (which houses the upscale Celestial Restaurant, Steakhouse & Incline Lounge). Also, from up here, you can really see what highways have done to the city's core.
Highland Towers high-rise is on the right, and the Rookwood Pottery building is peeking up over the top of the hill.
Looking up to Oregon St. and Celestial St., from the left side.
Looking up to Oregon St. and Celestial St., from the right side.