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Book details
  • Genre:ARCHITECTURE
  • SubGenre:Buildings / Public, Commercial & Industrial
  • Language:English
  • Pages:118
  • eBook ISBN:9780989427142

Cincinnati's Terrace Plaza Hotel

An Icon of American Modernism

by Shawn Patrick Tubb

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Overview
The Terrace Plaza Hotel heralded the post-World War II revitalization of Cincinnati's urban core. The complex stands at 15 West Sixth Street, between Vine and Race streets, in the heart of the central business district. Designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) between 1945 and 1946, the avant-garde Terrace Plaza opened in 1948 to national acclaim, being the first Modernist hotel built in the United States. Modernism defined mid-twentieth century global architectural history, and it is the foundation of most contemporary design. This book is a history of the Terrace Plaza Hotel and the people and companies who made it. The author, Shawn Patrick Tubb, believes that the story of the building demonstrates how the city was once a leader in Modernist design, and could help to restore the currently empty hotel’s reputation as a cultural icon. Books sales from CINCINNATI'S TERRACE PLAZA HOTEL: AN ICON OF AMERICAN MODERNISM will benefit the Cincinnati Preservation Association and the Cincinnati Art Museum.
Description
The Terrace Plaza Hotel heralded the post-World War II revitalization of Cincinnati's urban core. The complex stands at 15 West Sixth Street, between Vine and Race streets, in the heart of the central business district. Designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) between 1945 and 1946, the avant-garde Terrace Plaza opened in 1948 to national acclaim, being the first Modernist hotel built in the United States. But since 2008, it has stood empty, awaiting reuse. The original owner and developer was Thomas Emery's Sons Inc. whose president, John J. Emery Jr., created this visionary structure. Natalie de Blois, a pioneering woman architect for SOM, was lead designer for the 20-story high-rise, which included a J.C. Penney and a Bond's department store on the first seven floors. Guests entered the hotel after an elevator ride to the eighth floor lobby, where they were welcomed by an Alexander Calder mobile and a Formica Realwood reception desk. The lobby bar and Terrace Garden opened onto a dramatic outdoor terrace, which featured an ice-skating rink in winter and outdoor seating in the warm months. For the Skyline Restaurant, the developers commissioned a whimsical mural of Cincinnati by Saul Steinberg. The iconic Gourmet Room restaurant was dominated by a dramatic Joan Miró mural painting. In 1965, the Calder, Miró, and Steinberg were donated to the Cincinnati Art Museum, where the first two are on permanent display. Emery was a highly successful businessman whose many avocations included city planning, progressive government, and stewardship of the Cincinnati Art Museum. He wanted a Modernist hotel and mixed-use complex that would be of its time just as his Carew Tower-Netherland Plaza Hotel complex reflected its time in the late 1920s. Modernism dominated mid-twentieth century global architectural history, and it is the foundation of most contemporary design. This book is a history of the Terrace Plaza Hotel design and building project and the people and companies who made it. The author, Shawn Patrick Tubb, believes that the story of the building and its significance demonstrates how the city was once a leader in Modernist design. Books sales will benefit the Cincinnati Preservation Association and the Cincinnati Art Museum.
About the author
Shawn Patrick Tubb is an architectural designer and historic preservationist based in Los Angeles. He recently returned from a second relocation to China where he worked on the design and construction of Shanghai Disneyland. Shawn has a Master of Architecture and Master of Community Planning, from the University of Cincinnati, and a B.A. in Film Production from Bowling Green State University. A traveler at heart, Shawn has lived in many cities including New York, Toronto, Shanghai, Brussels, Mexico City, and Los Angeles but considers Cincinnati (where his family is) as his hometown. This is his first book.
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