Cincinnati Preservation Association Celebrates 50 Years and Makes 2014 Awards

December 1st, 2014  |  Published in November 2014

CPA celebrates its 50th anniversary with a panel exhibition at Cincinnati Union Terminal. The organization is accepting donations to move the Union Terminal murals from the CVG airport to Duke Energy Center.

Cincinnati Preservation Association was founded in 1964 as the Miami Purchase Association.  An attractive exhibition about CPA and its work, “Celebrating 50 Years of Working Together to Save Historic Places,” which was curated by CPA and the Cincinnati History Museum, is on display in the Culture Gallery of the Cincinnati Museum Center.  It s free to the public during museum hours.

At its annual meeting on September 28, 2014, CPA presented awards for local projects.  Rehabilitation Awards went primarily to projects in Over-the- RhineThese included:   

Color Building, 1400 Vine Street, a project of 3CDC.

Originally a union hall, this ornate commercial building was home to Cincinnati Color Company for four decades.  Steve Kenat and Chad Burke led the design team at GBBN Architects, with Adrienne Cowden, 720 Consulting, as preservation consultant.

The Construction Manager was Core Resources. The building is now occupied by a restaurant, Kaze, and offices.  The decorative paint company sign remains on the facade.


Elm Street Senior Housing, I500-1506 Elm Street. Built as an ice house for beer baron Christian Moerlein, the three buildings were adapted for 15 units of affordable senior housing by Over-the-Rhine Community Housing and the Model Group. CR Architecture + Design was the architect.  Vacant for over a decade, the buildings needed top-to-bottom rehabilitation; more than 60% of the joists were replaced.  Many of the original features were preserved including the arcaded stone storefront, and the stained glass storefront transom windows. The project included an elevator addition and energy upgrades for LEED silver certification. The project was financed through one of the last HUD 202 grants for affordable senior housing, so no resident will ever pay more than  30% of income for rent and utilities.


Hummel Building, 1401 Elm Street, Washington Park.  Developers Grandin Properties and 3CDC worked with  architect Denis L. Back and Associates and  Hudepohl Construction to renovate this severely damaged 1870s structure into condominiums and commercial space.


Nicolay Lofts, 14 W. Fourteenth Street, is an apartment building from 1910, which was developed by Rick Kimbler’s NorthPointe Group as condominiums and commercial space.  City Studios Architects and HGC Construction did the conversion.


Rothenberg Preparatory Academy, 241 East Clifton Avenue.

Richard Mellott, WA Architects, with Steve Kenat, GBBN Architects, as design consultant, guided restoration and enhancement of this 1908 neighborhood school for

Cincinnati Public Schools.  A new elevator provides access to the rooftop teaching garden, which was a gift of the Over-the-Rhine Foundation

The elaborate terra cotta ornamentation was restored and a new gymnasium, also built of brick, stone and terra cotta, added at the rear.


Westfalen Lofts, 1426-1438 Race Street.

Developers NorthPointe Group and John Hueber Homes engaged Mark Gunther, of       Wichman Gunther Architects, to design a plan that renovated and united seven dilapidated individual buildings on Race Street facing Washington Park.  Westfalen includes 42 units with studio, one-and two-bedroom Condos and 4,000 square feet of commercial space.


In the Central Business District, CPA recognized a sensitive renovation of the Bartlett Building, which we reviewed in the Aeqai September 2014 issue.

Renaissance Cincinnati Downtown Hotel, 36 East Fourth Street, Downtown. FRCH Design Worldwide’s Jim Stapleton and Dave Zelman led the design team in renovation of this classic Daniel Burham bank building redeveloped as a luxury hotel by the Columbia Sussex Corporation of Northern Kentucky.

On the eastern periphery of the city, CPA noted restoration of a detached, single-family house.

Weaver / Finger House, 545 Delta Avenue, Columbia Tusculum

The David Finger Company, Michael R. Mauch and Douglas E. Burkey, RWA Architects, Inc. and Steven Schaefer Associates Inc., engineers collaborated on the careful renovation of this 1894 Colonial Revival house. The team preserved and restored most original features, including the columned portico overlooking the hillside, while adding a new kitchen, attached garage, and master suite with plans by RWA Architects.  The new owner is a builder, who served as general contractor.  RWA principal Michael Mauch said the challenge was “installing modern systems while preserving the historic character of the house.” RWA had previously worked with the Finger Company, and Mauch credits the owner’s dedication to, and skill with, restoring historic details” as a key factor in making the project work efficiently.

Stewardship Awards went to the City of Covington for its Preservation Design Guidelines Update by Beth Johnson, and to Spring in Our Steps, a Cincinnati-based volunteer initiative to take back neighborhood infrastructure—forgotten spaces such as city steps, alleys, and sidewalks—and reclaim them for the pedestrian.

–Sue Ann Painter

Comments are closed.