Cincinnati Preservation Association (CPA) honored 10 local preservation projects for outstanding accomplishments at it’s annual meeting on December 5th, 2021. The projects were recognized in the areas of education, restoration, sustainability and more. The awards were presented at the Glendale Lyceum in historic Glendale to recognize and honor the members of the Eckstein Cultural Arts Center. Below are brief descriptions of the projects that received preservation awards. We want to thank everyone who attended online and in person.
Urban Roots and Invest in Neighborhoods
Season 1: “Lost Voices of Cincinnati”.
Urban Roots podcast tells little known stories of urban history, highlighting the stories of women, people of color, and other marginalized groups in an effort to preserve, remember, and hear their important perspectives, contributions, and lessons. Urban Roots is a collaboration between Deqah Hussein-Wetzel, a Somali-American historic preservationist based in Cincinnati, and Vanessa Quirk, a cities journalist and podcaster based in New York City. The series, titled, “Lost Voices of Cincinnati” combines oral histories from long-time Black residents and seeks to uncover patterns of wrongdoing, preserve memory, and give voice to those whose stories have been forgotten or ignored.
Urban Roots partnered with Invest in Neighborhoods to help connect with community leaders, neighborhood organizations, and long-term residents whose voices, stories, and memories have been captured by this series.
Preservation Leadership Award
John Paul McEwan McEwan worked at Cincinnati Habitat for Humanity for 13 years overseeing the organization’s new home renovation program and managing the completion of more than 200 homes, many of them historic properties. He brought a craftsmanship to those homes that they otherwise would not have had. Working closely with a staff architect, his construction staff, and other local contractors, McEwan worked hard to preserve or rebuild as much of the historic character of these homes as possible on a very limited timeline and budget. Many times, this meant fabricating doors, windows, trim, and cornice work himself. He now owns his own construction company, specializing in fine carpentry and historic restoration.
IMusic Hall Finials. The Friends of Music Hall and their partners worked to restore the sandstone ornamentation on the exterior of the iconic Samuel Hannaford designed Music Hall building, including ten finials atop gables, and a sandstone lyre. Low-pressure wash removed years of organic and carbon pollution from the finials and sandstone caps on the 11 gables, as well as nearby sills and ledges on the main façade. The clean sandstone was individually color-matched for the new Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete (GFRC) restoration pieces.
E. Cort Williams House. E. Cort Williams, a naval Civil War officer, and his wife Matilda, built the classic shingle-style house in 1885. Last renovated in the 1950s, complete with two kitchens plus dining rooms, the team had the extraordinary challenge of restoring the home back to its original, natural beauty. The work included stripping original woodwork, doors and hardware back to their natural state, bringing aspects of the exterior design by Desjardins & Hayward, most notably arches, to the interior back to life and creating a welcoming, worthy kitchen, as well as baths, that are modern in design yet still feel period appropriate.
Sol design + consulting OfficesFounded in 2006, Sol was committed to staying downtown as their office grew so they purchased an historic building in Pendleton within the Over-the-Rhine Historic District with the intention of making it a case study in historically-sensitive and sustainable rehabilitation. The project is mixed-use, returning the Italianate corner building to its origins with the firm’s office space at street level and four apartments above. To bring light to the basement and make it part of the office, the design placed a stair at the front of the ground floor and used an existing sidewalk vault to add a window with more filtered light from above.
Adaptive Reuse Awards
The Standard In 1931 a gas station opened on the corner of Main and Fifth Streets in Covington’s Main Strasse. It closed in 2015. Now thanks to a restoration/reinvention The Standard is now a restaurant. As part of the transformation metal cladding on the sides of the building was removed revealing underlying brickwork. Metal canopies were replaced with metal-covered wood structures built to the same dimensions. Also created were several historic nods to the Standard’s former life. Those include a mural in the front entry honoring the original owner which include found material from the station’s past.
Century Design Workshop The building was built in 1910 as the Century Theater, a three hundred seat theater for vaudeville and moving pictures. Michael Miritello and Susannah Tisue renovated it to become their ceramic studio (SKT Ceramics), woodshop, and retail storefront. As part of the process, they restored the arch window depicted in a photo from 1927, restored the main center staircase, and created a manufacturing and retail storefront for them to operate their business from. They have a few artifacts from the building’s earlier days they found during the renovation, some of which are currently on display at Century Design Workshop.
Peters Cartridge Factory ApartmentsWhat had been a derelict brownfield site for many years along the Little Miami River and Little Miami Bike Trail in Warren County— the Peters Cartridge Company, manufacturer of gun powder and munitions for U.S. armed forces in World War I and II — has been repurposed into a community of apartments, a multi-purpose facility, and the Cartridge Brewing pub. This complex of six industrial buildings, constructed between 1916 and 1919, are what remain of what once was a much larger facility. Almost two acres of damaged glass were replaced with historically appropriate new windows. The shot tower was converted into two multi-story dwellings, plus a small commercial space. The original concrete floors remain, and the concrete ceilings are visible, showing the form marks from the construction process.
Ingalls Building/Courtyard by Marriott HotelHGC renovated the historic Ingalls building, located at 4th & Vine into downtown Cincinnati’s first Courtyard by Marriott Hotel. The $25 million project created a new 126-room hotel across 16 stories and has been LEED Gold Certified. Floors one and two were connected through a new monumental, curved staircase. The first floor has a market, seating areas, and is the main lobby. The ornate ceilings on the first and second floor were completely restored. The original marble ceilings were restored as much as possible. The bank vault was transformed into a large fitness center, and the original intricate door was kept.
The Manse Apartments The Manse Apartments in Walnut Hills, provides 60 affordable housing units for seniors ages 55 and up. The historic hotel and its annex have been renovated to offer 13 efficiencies and 29 one-bedroom apartments. A newly constructed building was also added featuring 18 one-bedroom apartments welcoming seniors age 60 and older. The project cost was $13.5 million. Funding sources for the project include Low Income Housing Tax Credits, Federal Historic Tax Credits, State Historic Tax Credits, City of Cincinnati HOME funds, Federal Home Loan Bank Affordable Housing Program funding, charitable donations, and deferred developer fees.