Saturday, October 18, 2003

City's new riverfront becomes visible



By Robert Anglen
The Cincinnati Enquirer

DOWNTOWN - Standing on the deck of a riverboat and looking toward downtown, a new Cincinnati skyline seems to be emerging from the dirt.

The view greeting hundreds of thousands of visitors at this week's Tall Stacks festival is far different from the one four years ago when the legendary paddle wheelers assembled here.

Two new stadiums along Third Street bracket a wave of new construction, with a park, a national museum, a garage and a regional transit center.

"It is truly an exciting time and an exciting opportunity for the city of Cincinnati," said Arnie Rosenberg of Parsons Brinckerhoff, project director of Great American Ball Park.

To reconnect downtown with the riverfront, skywalks have been demolished, Fort Washington Way has been lowered and carefully designed streetscapes carry foot traffic toward the river.

The centerpiece of the revitalization is the $110 million National Underground Railroad Freedom Center Museum. A 5-acre-park will link the museum to the river.

Construction is clustered between the Freedom Center and Great American Ball Park, which replaced Cinergy Field as home of the Cincinnati Reds.

The second phase of the ballpark includes completion of a 400-space underground garage and the new Crosley Terrace. The terrace is to wrap around the west side of the stadium and feature a rose garden, children's area, a new Reds store and the Reds Hall of Fame.

Main Street is being extended from Mehring Way to Second Street.

"There is substantial community investment that has been taking place," said Eric Stuckey, Hamilton County assistant administrator. "We are seeing facilities that are reshaping the city's riverfront."

E-mail ranglen@enquirer.com




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