As 2020 comes to a close, we are taking a moment to look back on all that Cincinnati Preservation Association has accomplished this year. All things considered, we have done quite a bit! Please celebrate with us as we look back on the year that was.
Preservation at Home
As people around the region began staying at home, we found a new way to connect with members and friends by launching an online speaker series. Featuring talks like David Stradling’s History at the Forward Looking University and Margo Warminski’s virtual tour of The Oldest Houses of Cincinnati, these virtual events brought us together to learn new things about old places. If you missed these, you can catch up on all the talks and find out about upcoming events on our website.
Terrace Plaza Made National Headlines
In September, the National Trust for Historic Preservation unveiled its 2020 list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places and among the sites included on the list is Cincinnati’s own Terrace Plaza Hotel. Vacant since 2008, the Terrace Plaza was added to the “most endangered” list this year because of damage from natural processes as well a risk from redevelopment plans proposed to strip the building of its important historic elements. Last year’s Fall Forum featured Dr. Gabrielle Esperdy highlighting the work of pioneering modern architect Natalie de Blois, designer of the Terrace Plaza and many of Skidmore, Owens & Merrill’s most iconic mid-20th century buildings (watch the video). The exposure resulting from the 11 Most recognition puts this building one step closer to finding an appropriate vision for its reuse that will honor the original design intention.
Honoring Exceptional Preservation Work
This year’s Preservation Awards gave us a chance to connect with preservationists around the region and celebrate all that they have accomplished. From a 1911 brewery finding a surprising new life as the home of the Kenton County Government Center to the accidental discovery and subsequent restoration of long-forgotten pastoral murals inside an Over-the-Rhine building, this year showed us that preservation perseveres.
Launched a Virtual Exhibit
We’re proud to be a part of the 2020 Fotofocus Biennial this year! Like many participating institutions, we had to modify our plans, and the exhibition of Art Deco photography by J. Miles Wolf is online at CincyDeco.com, along with historic images from the Cincinnati History Library and Archives of the Cincinnati Museum Center. The exhibition is online through January 3, 2021; desktop viewing is recommended.
Provided Technical Expertise
This year, we worked with Save the Mark and Evanston community stakeholders on a local landmark designation for St. Mark Church, which opened its doors in 1916. The group plans to purchase this significant building for use as a community center to benefit the neighborhood and the region. This winter, we’re working with the congregation and community stakeholders to save Over-the-Rhine’s First Lutheran Church bell tower from demolition. This Crapsey and Brown-designed church has been a community icon since 1895 and provides meeting and event spaces for arts and community groups, in addition to weekly mass. CPA is commissioning an engineering stabilization study, and fundraising efforts have begun to help finance the work. And if you find yourself on 4th street, make sure to check out the new marker celebrating Dixie Terminal’s role in the Stock Market!
Expanded our Revolving Fund
Our Revolving Fund program has been very active this year! The first Revolving Fund project (1725 Elm St) has been completed and that that funding will become available soon for another project. This fall, CPA took direct action by purchasing the historic Dennison house, an 1833 Greek Revival homestead in Batavia that had been scheduled for demolition. Stay tuned for more details about our revolving fund projects!
More Stories For You
We’ve ramped up our online presence this year, by sharing more content on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, as well as on our website. We’ve shared places you can safely explore outdoors in person, or virtually from the comfort of your home, including Evergreen Cemetery in Northern Kentucky, Uplands Historic District in East Walnut Hills, Chamber of Commerce memorial in Burnet Woods, the historic homes and Underground Railroad sites of Ripley, Sears kit homes in Madisonville, Pioneer Memorial Cemetery in Columbia-Tusculum, and some of the many public stairs that can still be found in Cincinnati.
Online, we shared sneak peeks into work in progress in private homes including the E. Cort Williams mansion in East Walnut Hills, an American foursquare in Walnut Hills and a Cape Cod home in Camp Washington.
We’ve highlighted the important preservation work that’s being done by like-minded organizations including Friends of Music Hall who leant us their treasured archivist, Thea Tjepkema for this year’s virtual Fall Forum. Thea enthralled us with stories of the Women of Music Hall that we won’t soon forget.
As this year has shown us, it is important to find connection. Historic buildings connect us to our shared past and give us a framework to connect with each other. We hope that you will join us for more of our programming over the next few months and consider contributing to our Annual Fund supporting the Cincinnati Preservation Association’s work in the region.