Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The City to Scale: Cincinnati Modeled

Another interesting link sent to my inbox the other day sparked some thoughts about our local attempts at miniature reconstruction, segueing into part two of this series - the city, virtuallly.

"Virtual reality" tends to infer environments/experiences created digitally, but I think recreated tactile environments could fit that same bill - if not only for the unique storylines inferred while viewing (
sans cord). Thus, this article is a short visual essay of the hand-built odes to Cincinnati.

Of course, CMC History Museum's great mockup of old Cincinnati is the grandaddy.

This project is easily on par with the models referenced in the WIRED article
, for among other things, its non-linear layout, dedication to different decades, specific locations, detailed presentation, and interactivity. The following images represent those involved with the project's model development (making-of info at each of their sites):

Source: Dunham Studios.

Cincinnati in Motion
is a masterpiece, but there are smaller projects definitely deserving recognition for their painstakingly accurate three-dimensional portrayals, such as:

...and the many other balsa & styrofoam models inferring better days that have floated in and out of our collective consciousness.  For instance, the Riverfront, then and "now":

 Plans for the Riverfront [1970].
Source: See postscript.

 Plans for the Riverfront [1982].
(Via Hurley's "Cincinnati: The Queen City").

 Casual Plan for the Riverfront [1980s].
Source: The Cincinnati Kid @

 Planning for The Banks [recent].
Source: See postscript.

Planning for The Banks [recent].
See postscript. 

And finally, of course, we can't forget about the most notorious transportation proposal which was actually considered by our regional transportation initiative (OKI), the Skyloop - a monorail-like personal rapid transit system:

Built by Roger Broering. Presented by Forward Quest.

Other additions here could be the many architectural models that have preceded our city's skyline (or attempts at it), such the original plans for the Millworks development in Oakley (seen in an earlier post, Procrastinators Synonymous).

One could argue that the models at the end (those of architects/planners) don't really fit this bill of creating model city landscapes for entertainment purposes, though, they're presented here for their general dedication and mastery in recreating to scale.  Obviously, these types of models are used as presentations of what a structure or locale might look like if actually reproduced full-scale (the opposite process intended by this article section), which leads to the content of the soon-to-be-published Part 3 of this article:
The illustrated far-fetchedness and incredible conceptual artwork of Unbuilt Cincinnati.

• Images with correct source information have been appropriately cited, but I'm still lacking that info on several (though, I'm sure a few of them came from various users at UrbanOhio). I usually won't post something without remembering where it came from, but in this instance, they went up anyway because they've been shuttered for so long that I can't even begin to trace my footsteps to their origin. If anyone wants to claim them, please do so - I'll gladly reference you, or take the images down if requested.

Note: This site is never malicious in the posting of copyrighted material - nothing here is used for financial gain except for that which I have personally created.

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