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Carew Tower - Cincinnati, Ohio
Posted by: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
N 39° 06.065 W 084° 30.785
16S E 715053 N 4330938
Quick Description: Historic skyscraper and currently the tallest building in Cincinnati.
Location: Ohio, United States
Date Posted: 4/7/2008 7:56:21 PM
Waymark Code: WM3HJW
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member S5280ft
Views: 74

Long Description:

"Carew Tower is the tallest building in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States. It stands 49 stories tall in the heart of downtown, overlooking the Ohio River waterfront, and is a national historic landmark. It contains the Netherland Plaza Hotel (currently a Hilton, and formerly the Omni Netherland Plaza). Palm Court, the former lobby of the hotel, and now the restaurant, is described by the hotel as the "finest example of French Art Deco architecture in the world." The building; however, will be eclipsed by the Great American Insurance Building at Queen City Square in 2011 rising 86 feet (26 m) higher than the Carew Tower.

The building was designed by the architectural firm Shreve, Lamb and Harmon Associates, the designers of the Empire State Building. The Carew Tower, built before the Empire State Building was conceived, served as the basis for the design of the larger Empire State Building, as evidenced by Shreve, Lamb & Harmon Associates' ability to produce the building drawings for the Empire State Building in just two weeks.

Construction began in September of 1929, just one month before the stock market crash on October 24 that triggered the Great Depression. Because of this, construction was continued on a modified plan. The grand details (architectural motifs, friezes, and decorative metal) that are common on art deco buildings were stopped at the third floor and plain bricks were used on the floors above. Art deco themes can be found throughout the building, particularly in the metalwork and grillwork of the elevators and lights. Rookwood Pottery floral tiles add the "Cincy" touch to the building. Sculpture on the exterior and interior of the building were executed by New York architectural sculptor Rene Paul Chambellan. North side view from the observation deck. North side view from the observation deck.

The total cost of the building was US$33 million, which at that time was an enormous amount of money. It took crews only 13 months to complete the construction, working 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.

Today the building is home to a mixed crowd of tenants, including a shopping mall, the Netherland Plaza Hotel, and offices. Visitors can pay a small fee to access the observation deck, which is located on the 49th floor. On a clear day, visitors can see for several miles in all directions and three states (Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio)." ~ Wikipedia

The building was listed as a National Historic Landmark in 1994.  The observation deck is open 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. The cost is $2.00.

Street address:
W. 5th St. and Fountain Sq.
Cincinnati, Ohio


County / Borough / Parish: Hamilton

Year listed: 1982

Historic (Areas of) Significance: Architecture/Engineering

Periods of significance: 1925-1949

Historic function: Commerce/Trade, Domestic, Transportation

Current function: Commerce/Trade, Domestic

Privately owned?: yes

Primary Web Site: [Web Link]

Secondary Website 1: [Web Link]

Season start / Season finish: Not listed

Hours of operation: Not listed

Secondary Website 2: Not listed

National Historic Landmark Link: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
Please give the date and brief account of your visit. Include any additional observations or information that you may have, particularly about the current condition of the site. Additional photos are highly encouraged, but not mandatory.
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