Development in Over-the-Rhine: SCPA
While we're on the subject of garages, concert hall renovations and other developments planned for OTR, Covington reader JT Spence reminds me that the new School for Creative and Performing Arts is in the works and he's concerned about its architecture. Spence, a Xavier University prof who trained as a community planner sends these thoughts about design and preserving old buildings instead of tearing them down:
"Supporters of the new school appear to make reference to a 'lack of space' and problems with 'leaking ceilings' as the primary motivations behind supporting the new school. While a lack of space seems legitimate, there would appear to be a large amount of open space on the existing site to create opportunities for expanding the facility - and the leaking ceilings and sheets being used for window dressing would seem to say more about a lack of investment. When the SCPA is sold for new condo development, there will most likely be an article talking about the wonderful architecture and upgraded facilites.
"As to the new school; what an injustice the drawings do for trying to capture a building that is billed as the new home for Cincinnati's Arts School; blank walls along the streetfront, immense vacant space in the interior, protruding support beams limiting access to wall space all add to the picture of a structure more oriented to use as a transportation justice center than an arts center. The whole feel of the building seems to say 'don't care, don't get close... there is no warmth here.' It is another modern industrialized building with no character related to the region or history. One can only imagine what the building will do for the sight lines of the existing neighborhood. It looks cheap and built for the moment.
"It is a shame our society seems constantly steered toward the momentary lust for the new and sparkling at the cost of the old and established. Although I understand that the arts push the envelope for what is good design, the new SCPA building doesn't appear to meet any of the standards that are typical of good design."
JT Spence, PhD, AICP