Author Topic: Cincinnati: West End: The Gateway Park District (Union Terminal)  (Read 36204 times)

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Offline UncleRando

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A vision for Union Terminal
Plan revitalizes, expands facility
http://news.cincypost.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070726/NEWS01/707260384

Operators of Union Terminal, home of the Cincinnati Museum Center, are working on a multimillion-dollar plan to renovate and revitalize the historic building, expand the museums inside and create a multi-use retail, housing and greenspace development in what is now the center's parking lots. Museum Center leaders - who lease the 74-year-old building from the city of Cincinnati - have commissioned a highly detailed report, compiled by Philadelphia-based Hillier Architecture and Cincinnati-based Glaserworks, that outlines the plan. In it, the proposed "district master site plan" calls several new and improved features for the approximately 130-acre campus.

Specifics include:

"The Gateway Park District," a mixed-used development of buildings - none more than three stories high - that would line the existing parking lots on the north and south sides.

Greenspace and a park in front of the terminal on what is now a circular drive, plus enhancements on the existing median landscaping.

New parking garages on either side of the terminal, with connecting bridges to the main building.

Safety improvements to the Dalton Street tunnel that runs underneath the front of Union Terminal.

A high-speed rail station on the rear of the building to service future high speed trains, if they are built.

More outdoor event and exhibit spaces, and better sight lines for the center from Interstate 75.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2010, 09:28:49 AM by ColDayMan »

Offline UncleRando

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Re: Cincinnati: West End: The Gateway Park District (Union Terminal)
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2007, 11:20:51 AM »
This plan is fantastic in every sense imaginable...This is (imo) as important as The Banks, and could help to completely transform the West End into the neighborhood it once was.  I especially love that they have a HSR station marked on the plan...the return of Licoln Park also excites me!

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Re: Cincinnati: West End: The Gateway Park District (Union Terminal)
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2007, 11:23:53 AM »
This could be a really neat project.

I've always thought Union Terminal is the reason I've developed such a love for art deco, so, in a way, I can now say that Jerry Springer is responsible for my art deco attraction. :lol:

Offline BallHatGuy

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Re: Cincinnati: West End: The Gateway Park District (Union Terminal)
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2007, 11:47:01 AM »
Cool.

And don't forget this could be the hub of a later (crosstown) streetcar phase - Museum To Museum - connecting the Museum Center and the Cincinnati Art Museum!

Offline oakiehigh

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Re: Cincinnati: West End: The Gateway Park District (Union Terminal)
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2007, 12:21:47 PM »
Outstanding Idea!!!
I have a new found respect for Jerry!      Speechless right now!   Agree with Rando,  could be as big if not bigger than the Banks if somebody gets the ball rolling.  Would look great from I-75 too!

Art deco forever,    Stucco never!!!
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Offline PhattyNati

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Re: Cincinnati: West End: The Gateway Park District (Union Terminal)
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2007, 12:43:39 PM »
yeah, this is really a great vision.  such a building feels so out of place surrounded by modern and run down industral sites.  this project would really make union terminal "pop"
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Offline Jskinner

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Re: Cincinnati: West End: The Gateway Park District (Union Terminal)
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2007, 12:44:32 PM »
How does Joe Wessels keep breaking these great stories?

Offline cramer

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Re: Cincinnati: West End: The Gateway Park District (Union Terminal)
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2007, 12:51:36 PM »
This is a great dream, but for your own sakes, remember that's all it is. Incredible though.

Right now, the most viable parts of the plan are remaking the park in front of the building, with geothermal wells to provide heating and cooling for the building.

They're trying to position themselves to benefit from the reconstruction of 75 and any sort of rail development. w

Offline dmerkow

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Re: Cincinnati: West End: The Gateway Park District (Union Terminal)
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2007, 01:06:39 PM »
This strikes as about the most exciting thing that could transform the basin over the next couple decades. Put HSR and a trolley line and this development with a renewed Union Terminal in time for the 100 anniversary in 2030 and you have the core of a fantastic city. Of course it will interesting to see how the 75 rebuild will transform the neighborhoods around the terminal and potentially open up land or seal the center off more than it is now.

Offline ColDayMan

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Re: Cincinnati: West End: The Gateway Park District (Union Terminal)
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2007, 02:54:44 PM »
God, that would be nice...
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Offline Johio

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Re: Cincinnati: West End: The Gateway Park District (Union Terminal)
« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2007, 03:20:48 PM »
A project like this could really bring the West End back to life. If only Crosley Field was still there...

Offline buildingcincinnati

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Re: Cincinnati: West End: The Gateway Park District (Union Terminal)
« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2007, 05:58:10 PM »
This looks like an exciting plan and seems to help right some of the many wrongs in the area's recent development.  Like everyone else, I'm excited about the possibility of real rail travel returning to such a grand station.
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Offline thomasbw

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Re: Cincinnati: West End: The Gateway Park District (Union Terminal)
« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2007, 09:18:56 PM »
HDR's presentation to city council had a potential spur out to union terminal, that streetcar line could be the catalyst for this development.

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Re: Cincinnati: West End: The Gateway Park District (Union Terminal)
« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2007, 11:21:47 PM »
Here is a satellite image of the terminal.  Obviously this reveals a big problem, that several active businesses would have to be relocated.  Also, the approach to the terminal itself rises about 18 feet, forming a formidable wall for any buildings lining the park closer to the terminal building.  On this image you can see where the streetcar ramps rose from Hopkins and Kenner, although I think I read once streetcar tracks were never actually laid through the terminal as was intended.  Obviously using those exact ramps would mean using up some current exhibit space. 



Perhaps instead a streetcar track could be run through the redundant third lane of the Dalton St. tunnel and streetcar stops could be placed at the base of one of the old staircases that have been closed for many years:



This gives some idea as to what survived surrounding the park after the terminal was built (it also illustrates the tremendous amount of earth that was moved to build the station tracks and their approaches above the flood plain):


An old image of Lincoln Park.  The building at left I believe is still standing:


Another image of the park:


And lastly the demolished bridge that carried streetcars to the Art Museum & Mt. Adams (and the incline).  Not sure how wise a line heading between the museums via Central Parkway would be.  Probably wiser to operate two separate lines that both originate at fountain square. 

« Last Edit: July 27, 2007, 12:29:53 AM by jmecklenborg »

Offline UncleRando

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Re: Cincinnati: West End: The Gateway Park District (Union Terminal)
« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2007, 11:30:35 PM »
That aerial really illustrates how far a project like this would go in redeveloping the West End...put a cap over that portion of I-75 (thus reconnecting the West End) and then you REALLY have something going!  That would also lead you to having to tear down those crappy aluminum projects.  Those are ridiculously hideous, and have bothered me for sometime.  But that's neither here nor there...

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Re: Cincinnati: West End: The Gateway Park District (Union Terminal)
« Reply #15 on: July 26, 2007, 11:45:46 PM »
^If a cap with buildings on it were planned along with the I-75 reconstruction, a lot of money could be saved as opposed to doing later or with no planning in the reconstruction.  Plus it would avoid any opportunity for "signature" cable-stayed bridges!  Still, given the enormity of the cost of the other aspects of this proposal, these would be pretty major caps, wider than the FWW caps.  Perhaps one of the large local companies could be compelled to build some offices over in that area as part of the plan.  As is there isn't enough over there to warrant a streetcar line, but with more residential and some offices, there's more of an argument for it.     

Also I forgot to mention where you see the "13ft. 9in." sign, that is actually a bridge structure for the streetcar line:
« Last Edit: July 26, 2007, 11:46:09 PM by jmecklenborg »

Offline seicer

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Re: Cincinnati: West End: The Gateway Park District (Union Terminal)
« Reply #16 on: July 27, 2007, 12:15:28 AM »
What was formerly in the vast parking lots in front of the terminal?

Offline cramer

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Re: Cincinnati: West End: The Gateway Park District (Union Terminal)
« Reply #17 on: July 27, 2007, 07:17:24 AM »
The surface lots used to be a park. This plan would restore the park from the opening of the terminal.

Offline The_Cincinnati_Kid

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Re: Cincinnati: West End: The Gateway Park District (Union Terminal)
« Reply #18 on: July 27, 2007, 10:08:46 AM »
Here is another old shot...

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Offline Cyberbooner

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Re: Cincinnati: West End: The Gateway Park District (Union Terminal)
« Reply #19 on: July 27, 2007, 10:12:26 AM »
I LOVE the idea, too bad as some mentioned it sounds like too much of a pipe dream.  Those old pictures of Lincoln Park are amazing, what happend to our city?  On a side note, how many "Gateway" projects is Cincinnati going to have?

P.S. Long time, first time.

Offline PhattyNati

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Re: Cincinnati: West End: The Gateway Park District (Union Terminal)
« Reply #20 on: July 27, 2007, 10:31:57 AM »
that old non-flood aerial of UT and vicinity makes me sick every time i see it.  Everything start with a vision and as far fetched as some of these ideas may be...its great that at least someone is thinking about it.
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Offline UncleRando

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Re: Cincinnati: West End: The Gateway Park District (Union Terminal)
« Reply #21 on: July 27, 2007, 10:58:50 AM »
I LOVE the idea, too bad as some mentioned it sounds like too much of a pipe dream.  Those old pictures of Lincoln Park are amazing, what happend to our city?  On a side note, how many "Gateway" projects is Cincinnati going to have?

P.S. Long time, first time.

Good to see you've broken out of your lurker status!  This project does seem like a dream more so than reality, but there is one key thing behind this dream.  This effort is being funded by private entities and is not just some plan drawn up in charettes by community members.  Those are good to, don't get me wrong, but those plans often have little financial backing.  This, on the other hand, could potentially have some serious financial/political backing.

It seems like a stretch now, but out of nowhere this thing could just happen and be underway...much like the release of this plan.

Offline oakiehigh

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Re: Cincinnati: West End: The Gateway Park District (Union Terminal)
« Reply #22 on: July 27, 2007, 11:02:11 AM »
It amazes me how dense the West End was in that pic above!     Residentially speaking, it is a hollowed out shell of what it was in the early 20 century.
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Offline LesterLyles

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Re: Cincinnati: West End: The Gateway Park District (Union Terminal)
« Reply #23 on: July 27, 2007, 11:04:24 AM »
What hapened to your city is what happened to many American cities.  Progress in the form of destruction. It really is a shame b/c had such destruction not occured in our cities, I think many American cities would compare very favorbaly to Europe's in terms of charm, archetecture etc etc.  Oh well.  What's done is done and at this point, we can try our best to learn from our mistakes. 

Offline UncleRando

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Re: Cincinnati: West End: The Gateway Park District (Union Terminal)
« Reply #24 on: July 27, 2007, 11:11:57 AM »
I just thought I'd make it clear that the Enquirer still hasn't even addressed this story yet...day 2

Union Terminal proposal receives positive reviews
BY JOE WESSELS | CINCINNATI POST
July 27, 2007


WEST END - An $800,000 study that outlines a multi-million dollar plan to restore and revitalize Union Terminal and create a new neighborhood near it received positive reviews from local officials Thursday, although that was tempered by concerns about whether the project will ever actually happen.

"When you think about real estate and you think about development, it's all about location. And the Union Terminal has that in spades" said Cincinnati City Council Member Chris Bortz, chairman of Council's economic development committee. "It's one of the most recognizable buildings in the city. It's beautiful in it's own right. It's nationally recognized."
« Last Edit: January 12, 2010, 09:29:23 AM by ColDayMan »

Offline oakiehigh

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Re: Cincinnati: West End: The Gateway Park District (Union Terminal)
« Reply #25 on: July 27, 2007, 11:19:47 AM »
I think it could be closer to reality than a dream.    This city has a love affair with some buildings that they seem to always find the funds to save it or in this case invest as a catalyst for urban renewal.     Think of the efforts of this city to salvage UT from the wrecking ball, even Music Hall brought people and money out of nowhere to help save it.   With the internet today and private firms now talking of embarking on projects on there own.       
With the planets lining up like they are!  This has the chance to get started soon and really blow the lid off on everything that will and is happening in the valley .      Banks, OTR, Eastern Ave, Uptown, streetcars, soon to be P-Hill entertainment district, West End projects,  a SUPER BOWL Championship trophy.         
My friggin head is spinning and I have 3 more hours of work to go!!

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Offline BallHatGuy

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Re: Cincinnati: West End: The Gateway Park District (Union Terminal)
« Reply #26 on: July 27, 2007, 12:14:46 PM »
In the words of Daniel Burnham: "Make no small plans"

Offline UncleRando

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Re: Cincinnati: West End: The Gateway Park District (Union Terminal)
« Reply #27 on: July 27, 2007, 12:20:07 PM »
In the words of Daniel Burnham: "Make no small plans"

Isn't it Niccolo Machiavelli who actually said that famous phrase first?

Offline BallHatGuy

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Re: Cincinnati: West End: The Gateway Park District (Union Terminal)
« Reply #28 on: July 27, 2007, 12:24:35 PM »
Possibly . . . but Burnham used them for the development of Chicago.  My point being was you may as well think big!
« Last Edit: July 27, 2007, 12:26:00 PM by BallHatGuy »

Offline oakiehigh

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Re: Cincinnati: West End: The Gateway Park District (Union Terminal)
« Reply #29 on: July 27, 2007, 12:49:12 PM »
GO BIG OR GO HOME!
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Offline UncleRando

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Re: Cincinnati: West End: The Gateway Park District (Union Terminal)
« Reply #30 on: July 27, 2007, 12:56:56 PM »
Another issue that allows for this plan to become reality quicker than The Banks is that it will feature much fewer residential units and retail spaces to lease.  It will more than likely have an equal impact, but limiting the buildings to 3 or so stories with small footprints will keep the overall amount of units down.

That means that funding is needed to cover the:

-UT renovation costs (I doubt that will be much of an issue)
-Parking garages (always a tricky issue, but when teamed with a transit component more funding options open up)
-Park space/converting the parking lot(s) (park funds maybe, reclamation type funds, etc)
-Mixed-use portion (not a huge amount, and the scale of buildings isn't too much)

I really think this could be a huge tourist thing for Cincinnati.  The Banks will be a tourist spot too, but this is something different...something Cincy doesn't have.  Picture the International Mall in DC, or Centennial Park in Atlanta.  You could have tourist info shops maybe, possibly another museum type thing, streetcar connection, etc.  That could really be something special IMO.

Offline dmerkow

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Re: Cincinnati: West End: The Gateway Park District (Union Terminal)
« Reply #31 on: July 27, 2007, 04:57:58 PM »
By the time UT was built, the West End was in really bad shape. Kenyon-Barr was at the bottom of the picture, which had replaced Bucktown (Eggleston and Sycamore) as Cincy's worst neighborhood. Lincoln Park was also a pale reflection of its late 19th century peak. When you think about historic Cincinnati, it really is important to realize that we once fit about 250,000 people into area not much bigger than that picture. Crazy. I actually think the drawing power of UT and the Museum Center means that you have the draw already there year round that doesn't exist in the Banks. I actually think a school of some sort, or a branch campus of one of the colleges would be a cool idea. A science and humanities school that could use the Historical Society and Natural History Museum.

Offline buildingcincinnati

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Re: Cincinnati: West End: The Gateway Park District (Union Terminal)
« Reply #32 on: July 27, 2007, 05:55:25 PM »
^ True.  What's lost in that aerial is what conditions were like at street level.  Think of the worst streets in the West End today, and a good portion of the houses in that aerial were just like that.  The overcrowding would have made Jacob Riis cringe, and the place lacked proper sanitation.  People on an entire block would share one privy, usually in an alleyway.

Still, what resulted was a horrible replacement.

Instead of calling this "Gateway" (unoriginal), why don't they go back to Lincoln Park?  It's not ever going to be the way it was, but it would be a good tribute to what was once there.

On second thought, Lincoln Park might be frowned upon because it might make people think of the projects.
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Offline dmerkow

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Re: Cincinnati: West End: The Gateway Park District (Union Terminal)
« Reply #33 on: July 27, 2007, 09:47:18 PM »
^I doubt that many people remember Lincoln Park as the name of the public housing in that area. I only remember because the CRC had a big pool in that area, Lincoln Pool. I think Lincoln Park would be more historically meaningful especially since Gateway is so overused these days. The West End has pretty much been the definition of poor quality urban management for most of the last 75 years. CityWest is about the only bright spot.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2007, 09:48:22 PM by dmerkow »

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Re: Cincinnati: West End: The Gateway Park District (Union Terminal)
« Reply #34 on: July 27, 2007, 10:04:20 PM »
Yeah, Lincoln Park equates to Chicago or the band (yes I know it is spelled differently UncleRando).

Just don't call it 'The Village at Union Termial' and I'll be happy.

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