The building formerly known as the Cincinnati North Hotel is a prime example of one of the grandest architectural products of the 1980's. Sike. It's actually an extremely ugly perversion of modernism; it's the look of modernism on the outside, with none of the thought process behind it. It's such a goofy looking place, that I had to see it. So on a single digit winter night in the frozen tundra of Springdale, Gordon Bombay, Lance Delune and myself decided to finally take a look at the place we had discussed quite a few times in the past.
Mr. Bombay and myself have different reasons for our attraction to this place. For him, childhood memories of growing up in Cincinnati's northern suburbs and visiting the hotel in its prime drove his desire. For me, it's a simple love of buildings that are the subtlest trolls of the architecture world. Horrible 1980's faux-modernism is exactly that. Especially when it's such an imposing building: a massive, 10 story, slightly off-white monolith surrounded by 8+ acres of empty asphalt.
Upon entering the building inconspicuously, we were immediately time warped to 1994. As the photos will show, the Cincinnati North Hotel is a state of the art 1990's hotel, in terms of both decor and technology. As is our standard procedure, we first made our way to the roof to enjoy the view, before working our way down.
The fancy chandeliers add a touch of class to this otherwise horrible photo. Thank security for the image quality.
As we made our way back down through the building, we began to realize the place had simply been closed up one day, and mostly left completely untouched since (minus a few places where it seems mold/water damage has been repaired). This made it pretty creepy, as it was exactly the type of place Zombies dwell.
Once some sort of fancy penthouse lounge, this room looks like it was excess chair/TV storage, including one giant wood framed 1980's classic.
The rooms hadn't even been cleaned since the place closed, in this case the Hooters take-out bag (nice choice) is still on the table.
Eight of the ten floors were the exact same floor layout, so we skipped a few because it was late and we were hungry. Aside from that, the building had no power or heat, so it was pretty cold inside. Not cold enough to freeze the indoor swimming pool, but cold enough that we weren't inclined to take a dip.
The indoor pool was in prime shape, if the building had had heat and wasn't ~20F we may have taken a swim.
We made our way back out through the lobby and into the restaurant. The "Roxzzzzz" Bar & Grille as it was called (yes, five Z's) made the nostalgia kick into high gear, despite the fact that I had never been there before. Looking at the extremely standard hotel menu and prices was a flashback to any 90's childhood vacation. Sentiment aside, the restaurant was pretty creepy. It had very few windows, and was basically pitch black except for our flashlights, which we had to be extremely careful with for a few various reasons.
The restaurant had ketchup bottles and salt shakers still full and on the tables. Also, the long exposure delivered an unconfirmed sighting of the Loveland Frog in the top left corner by the "Cincinnati Windows" poster.
So the Cincinnati North Hotel still sits abandoned. It was built in 1981 as a Sheraton, then closed and became a Ramada, before finally being briefly branded as a Best Western. The current owners recently defaulted on a $16 million loan and are tied up in a lawsuit with some bank because of it. The power and water have been shut off, fines are piling up, and it would appear that there is little hope for this building.