Where is Smale Riverfront Park?
The park site is located on 45-ares along Cincinnati’s downtown riverfront. It will extend from the east at Great American Ballpark to Paul Brown Stadium—flanking the city’s beloved Roebling Suspension Bridge.
Who is building the park?
Cincinnati Parks and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are overseeing the planning, development and building of the park. The Cincinnati Park Board will subsequently sustain the Park as an enduring riverfront destination landmark.
What is currently being constructed in this first phase of the park?
The first phase of the park includes the Walnut Street Fountain and Stairs, the Jacob G. Schmidlapp Stage & Event Lawn, the Moerlein Lager House, the Cincinnati Bike Center, the Black Brigade Monument, the Duke Energy Garden, the Main Street Fountain, a labyrinth, the Women’s Committee Garden, a tree grove, the first section of the bike trail, the elevator and public toilet rooms, and a parking garage.
When will the park open?
Phase I—including the Jacob G. Schmidlapp Stage & Event Lawn, the Black Brigade Monument, the labyrinth, the Walnut Street Fountain and Stairs and the Cincinnati Bike Center—opened in Spring, 2012 and the rest of this phase of the park opens in 2013.
How was the park planned?
The design for SRP was achieved through a series of public meetings, focus groups and stakeholder meetings. In addition, a citizen advisory committee was formed along with a design and engineering consulting team to participate in the planning process alongside the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Master Plan— created by Hargreaves Associates—was approved in 1999. In 2002, plans for the park won approval from the City, the County, the Cincinnati Park Board, the City’s Planning Commission, the Urban Design Review Board and the Chamber of Commerce.
Who is designing the park?
Sasaki Associates—which has created some of the most recognizable icons of modern landscape architecture—was selected as the design firm for Smale Riverfront Park in 2001. Sasaki Associates’ work was inspired by the input of citizen stake-holders at a series of public meetings and focus groups that began in 1998. The design plans are consistent with the area’s Master Plan.
How is Smale Riverfront Park being funded?
The park is being built with a blend of Federal, State and City dollars as well as private donations. Private gifts will enable the park to be constructed with all of the dynamic features that will transform the former wasted space into a true “destination” park.
What is the Women’s Committee of Smale Riverfront Park?
The Women’s Committee is an organization created through the Cincinnati Parks Foundation to provide meaningful financial and public support for Cincinnati Parks’ effort to build SRP. Though the park will be built with a blend of City, State and Federal funds, substantial private donations will also be needed to build many of the park’s unique features and to endow the park.
Is the Park a part of The Banks development?
Construction of this destination park, located adjacent to The Banks development, is moving forward collaboratively but independently from the Banks project.
What are the regional benefits the park is expected to bring?
As the major civic space at the front door of the city and the setting for regional festivals and events, Phase I of SRP is expected to draw 1.1 million new visitors to downtown Cincinnati annually. The park will also provide a new river edge and flood mitigation and erosion control, making the area accessible to river taxis and boats at a new wharf. Additionally, Smale Riverfront Park will serve as an economic engine, bringing in convention goers, new businesses to the area and increasing real estate values. Furthermore, the park will be a new and compelling recreational venue which will contribute to the health and wellness of the region’s citizens.
How accessible will the park be?
Cincinnati Parks is dedicated to providing universal access and technical assistance to help one and all enjoy their visits to SRP. Design concepts include paving stair landings with a special texture between the end of each railing and the start of the next so that visually impaired visitors can more easily find the railings; extra large elevators, water features which will each have distinctive sounds to help orient people within the park, and electronically interactive kiosks to provide park information and wayfinding in both tactile and audio formats.
What is the Moerlein Lager House?
The Christian Moerlein Brewing Company led the development of the new restaurant and brewery for Phase I of SRP. The Moerlein Lager House—which opened in February, 2012—borders the new park’s Jacob G. Schmidlapp Stage & Event Lawn above the parking garage. The restaurant and its outdoor terraces opens out to the park and afford sweeping views of the park, the Ohio River, the Roebling Suspension Bridge and Great American Ballpark. The restaurant accommodates 500 indoor patrons and seating for 600 in its outdoor beer gardens. The Moerlein Lager House also features on-site brewing. Tours of the restaurant’s brewery are available on Saturday.
What is the Black Brigade Monument?
The first piece of public art to be commissioned in SRP is a monument to Cincinnati’s little-known Black Brigade. The Black Brigade was formed in 1862 to construct barricades to defend Cincinnati from Confederate attack. Initially, 300 African-American men were forced into service to build the barricades. Then, after a public outcry, they were freed, but over 700 African-American men then volunteered for the service and formed The Black Brigade—which, with many others, successfully built the critical fortifications in Northern Kentucky. The monument is installed south of Mehring Way in the park’s East Tree Grove. It consists of bronze statues and plaques, interpretive signs, and carved stones which include the names of all 700 members of the brigade. All the work was created by local artists.