14 August 2007

Does Cincinnati Need a Signature Tower?

That's the question posed at UrbanCincy. He makes the point that many great cities don't have a signature tower and that such a monument is not what makes a city great. Strictly speaking, Cincinnati does not need a signature tower.

I think one of the best things Cincinnati can do to make itself a world-class city (for those 3 or 4 of us who think about Cincinnati in such fantastic notions) is to focus on architecture and design across the whole city, not just a building or two downtown. A city characterized by great architecture is a city where people want to live, play, and visit.

Two words: Columbus, Indiana. If not for its notable architecture, this town would be nothing more than a place to stop for fast food on the way to IU. But its commitment to architecture and design makes it a regional attraction and brings in revenue consistently. You don't have to be a huge metropolis to have great architecture.

Three words: Paul Brown Stadium. Putting aside issues of boondoggling taxpayers, it's a great stadium. That's what I'm talking about. Imagine what the Banks could be if modern architecture were a priority. It could be the coolest urban development within 299 miles (since Chicago is 300 miles...).

Let's also remind ourselves that we have one of the best architecture and design schools in the country. It frustrates me that city government has repeatedly spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on east coast consultants rather than take advantage of top-tier resources right up the street.

Still like the signature tower idea? Check out MOMO's page on tall buildings. Very cool.


Anonymous said...

Did you see the cost of #25 on the MOMO page? $5.8 million in 1997!

WestEnder said...

As the late, great Phil Rizzuto would say, Hoooly Cow!