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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Cincinnati North Hotel

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.

Cincinnati North Hotel
The king of suburbia.

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.

Cincinnati North Hotel, Lobby
The fancy chandeliers add a touch of class to this otherwise horrible photo. Thank security for the image quality.

Cincinnati North Hotel
The beautiful view from the roof was short lived, as the sub-zero windchill eventually set in.

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.

Cincinnati North Hotel, Creepy Hallway
Zombies could have popped out from any door in this hallway at any time.

Cincinnati North Hotel, Lounge
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.

Cincinnati North Hotel, Room

Cincinnati North Hotel, Room
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.

Cincinnati North Hotel, Pool
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.

Cincinnati North Hotel, Pool

Cincinnati North Hotel, Pool
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.


5chw4r7z said...

The rooms look like the guests left just before you got there. It truely is a time capsule isn't it?

Venkman said...

It is. That actually made it creepier to explore than the older seemingly scarier buildings I've been to.

theresa klohe said...

Zach, you could market this to a film production company to use in one of those apocolyptic movies....creepy!

Anonymous said...

And the city of Cincinnati tears down historic buildings left and right to be replaced by this kind of Zombie house. The Zombie invasion is already alive and well. They are taking over this city (Cincinnati). The C. N. H. will replace your favorite Historic building. The C. N. H. will pop up as your new neighbor. Before you know it YOU will be living in a place that looks just like the Cincinnati North Hotel. Take heed people, save what little is left.
This has been a public service message.


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