Rob Williams: An overlooked crown jewel in Cincinnati

I love buildings and their history.  I don't want to sound like George Costanza from "Seinfeld," but I would love to have been an architect.  Probably, pretend to be an architect if I'm really channeling the George character.

There's a building downtown on 7th street across from the Cincinnatian. You've probably walked by and not admired it.  You probably would if you knew its significant history.  Crews finished the building in 1948.  The modernist building one of first major projects downtown after WWII.  What does modernist architecture?  It means it's plain and functional.  Very few design details.  The building similar to Carew Tower: mixed use.

The windowless floors occupied by two department stores.  It's one of the first buildings in the world to have central air conditioning.  The Terrace Plaza hotel is located on the ninth through 17th floors. The lobby is on the eighth floor, which had an outdoor plaza.  That plaza turned into a skating rink during the winter.

At the top there was a circular French restaurant called the Gourmet Room which drew all kinds of celebrities. Mobile gave it a five star rating.  You can still see it from the northeast corner of 7th and Vine.

Today the building sits largely empty.  Downtown employees walking by, without a second thought.  Sad really.  I hope that this building will be swept up and not forgotten as Cincinnati enjoys its renaissance.

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