OTR Foundation Works to Save Historic Walnut Street Buildings

The Over-the-Rhine Foundation is working to prevent the proposed demolition of 1606 and 1608 Walnut Street.  Those two historic structures are an essential part of the still intact 19th century streetscape on Walnut just north of Liberty Street.  The current owner, the FreestoreFoodbank, wants to create a parking Walnut Street buildingslot.  It unsuccessfully proposed demolishing the two buildings in 2008.  Since then, the FreestoreFoodbank has allowed the buildings to deteriorate by not repairing roofs and gutters.  Neglect of that nature is a violation of municipal building codes and of the historic district ordinance designed to protect the investments of other property owners in the historic district.

The Over-the-Rhine historic district is one of the largest and most important historic districts in the nation, comparable in size and architectural significance to Charleston, Savannah, and the French Quarter in New Orleans.  More than half of the historic buildings in the Over-the-Rhine historic district have been demolished during the past fifty years; the OTR Foundation is dedicated to preserving the surviving half.  With each new demolition, the integrity of the historic district is further compromised and the economic benefits it generates for all of Cincinnati are imperiled.   

Please join the OTR Foundation’s efforts to prevent the demolition of 1606 and 1608 Walnut Street:

  • Make a tax deductible donation to the Over-the-Rhine Foundation  to help support historic preservation and community revitalization in Over-the-Rhine
  • Contact Cincinnati City Council members and ask them to oppose the demolition
  • Testify in opposition to the demolition when the Historic Conservation Board hears the demolition request on February 24th
  • Call and write FreestoreFoodbank President and CEO, Kurt Reiber at kreiber@freestorefoodbank.org and 513-482-3737.  Tell him to not demolish the Walnut Street buildings and to either repair them or sell them to a responsible owner.

 Learn more about the importance of the OTR historic district by clicking here.

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Support the OTR Foundation and its Critical Work

The Over-the-Rhine Foundation works to strengthen community in one of our nation’s most important historic districts.  For two decades, we have been the primary advocate for smart solutions to neighborhood revitalization in Over-the-Rhine, home to America’s largest collection of late 19th century Italianate buildings.  Our early work focused on public safety, beautifying and enlivening blighted streets, and defending one of our country’s most significant historic districts from decay and abandonment.  Through the years, our persistent advocacy saved many irreplaceable buildings, changed municipal code to protect historic structures from demolition by neglect, documented the cultural and economic value of Cincinnati’s unique downtown historic district, demonstrated the synergy between “green” building practices and historic preservation, and saved 100 year old Rothenberg School from destruction.

Today, Over-the-Rhine is changing and so are the challenges it faces.  Much is at stake.  The pace of real estate development has accelerated.  Inappropriate infill and rising demand for parking endanger the historic integrity of OTR’s pre-automobile streets and buildings.  Development pressure threatens scarce public green space.  OTR remains socially, racially, and economically complex, but it is uncertain whether our repopulating neighborhood will emerge as the economically diverse community envisioned by the 2002 Over-the-Rhine Comprehensive Plan. 

The Over-the-Rhine Foundation is at the forefront of these issues and we need your help.  The Foundation preserves historic assets, protects the integrity of the historic district, promotes sustainable development, emphasizes authenticity, and strengthens a wonderfully diverse community. 

  • We funded the transformation of Rothenberg School’s abandoned roof-top playground into a sophisticated teaching garden that will expose inner-city students to the science and wonder of nature.
  • We are working to assure appropriate redevelopment of the former Woodward/SCPA school and preservation of its large adjacent green space.
  • We are developing “best practice” guidelines for infill architecture in the historic district.
  • We are advocating for new parking resources and practices that protect the historic district and serve all neighborhood stakeholders. 
  • We are connecting homeowners and small developers with needed resources to improve owner occupancy. 
  • And, we continue to defend historic buildings from demolition and neglect.         

Please make a generous tax-deductible donation to the Over-the-Rhine Foundation.  Your gift helps protect and strengthen community in Cincinnati’s nationally renowned urban historic district, comparable in size and architectural significance to Charleston, Savannah, or New Orleans’ French Quarter.  Help us preserve the remarkable historic assets of our very special place!

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Vanishing Cincinnati records city’s history

Artists David and Barbara Day have created a stunning collection of original prints illustrating Vanishing Cincinnati; images of the Queen City spanning more than a century. Each print contains historic notes and nuggets of information about life in the city’s urban core. The collection is scheduled to be published in book format in the fall of 2012 and the artists are seeking contributions to help complete the project. The Foundation endorses the Days’ efforts and encourages the support of patrons and ardent preservationists.

Vanishing Cincinnati

For immediate release: Over forty years in the making, the Vanishing Cincinnati collection is scheduled for publication in a large landscape format book in the autumn of 2012.  Colorful ink on paper freehand drawings preserve views of the Queen City’s heyday from the 1850s to the 1950s. Brief history notations and images highlight little known facts about the  city’s downtown when it had a bustling inner-city with a diverse population, and a  wonderful  mixture of  buildings, neighborhoods shops, parks, entertainment and an infrastructure that stimulated its people on street level. Downtown’s vibrant “sense of place” has always been on a human scale because it is uniquely nestled  within an amphitheater of verdant hills. You and your associates can become a part of this “once in a lifetime” effort by supporting the publication’s production. Your name or the organization of your choice will be printed in the prominent “First Edition Sponsor’s Page.”

  • For support of $500 you will receive a first edition hard cover 11”x 14” landscape format book, signed by the artists.
  •  For support of $250 you will receive an 11”x 17” Vanishing Cincinnati limited edition print on fine paper, signed by the artists, and suitable for framing.
  • For support of $100 you will receive a set of five limited edition 5½”x 8½” studio cards, all with colorful prints from the planned book, complete with envelopes (never-the -less, many people frame them).
  • For support of $50 you will receive an 8½” x 11″ colorful limited edition print, “Little Bethlehem,” from the forthcoming book, signed by the artists and suitable for framing.

Discover the shades of Vanishing Cincinnati that still resonate in the rhythms and notes of an urban landscape that will transform this publication into a clarion call for people of all ages and cultures to return to the original Cincinnati in the valley by the beautiful river. Call Barbara or David Day for details at (513) 621-4060 or email ddaydesign@fuse.net.                              

 

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