For many in Cincinnati, no building better represents abandonment, urban decay, and the need for preservation than the Crosley Building in Camp Washington. In its shadows lie the remnants of empty warehouses and vacant factories, the famous (now demolished) Cincinnati Workhouse was a block away, and the massive 800,000 square foot former (now abandoned awaiting demo) Kahn's plant is just around the corner. The Mill Creek Valley, and more specifically Camp Washington, is one of Cincinnati's most endangered neighborhoods because of the loss of manufacturing and industry. Not all is doom and gloom, however. More buildings are occupied than abandoned, renovations are currently taking place (at places like the former International Paper building), and a prime example of adaptive reuse is immediately next door to the Crosley Building: Machine Flats.
That said, another visit to the Crosley Building was necessary. There is a serenity to any industrial area at night.. and perched in a crow's nest 150 feet above one may very well be the best way to experience it.
Fellow photographer Gordon Bombay working atop the abandoned tower, with the lights of downtown Cincinnati illuminating the sky from behind Clifton and Fairview Heights.
Looking South from the tower at the Mill Creek Valley - the center of Cincinnati's industrial economy. Click for the hi-res version.
Looking North up the Mill Creek Valley at the I-75/I-74 interchange and Northside, with Cincinnati State College at center. Click for the hi-res version.
The lively Colerain Avenue runs through the heart of Camp Washington, past Camp Washington Chili and Hopple Street.
Looking down at the multiple roof levels of the Crosley facility. The work of many urban decay photographers arch-nemesis (taggers) stain the walls of the building.
Through this dark shot, one can vaguely make out the shape of a rusty 30 foot ladder that wraps around the massive empty water tank that occupies the abandoned tower. This was one of the most exciting climbs of Local Architecture's history. There was also a ghost that passed me while I took this shot. Further investigation into that is coming soon.
While abandonment could ultimately be called a failure of architecture, there is a beauty and mystique that comes with that failure. We at Local Architecture and sites like it all across the internet hope for redevelopment and renewed prosperity, but seek to capture the feel of spaces that are no longer utilized by people. We will continue to do so.