Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Cincinnati March(itecture) Madness

Music Hall Wins In Overtime!

The readers of Queen City Survey produced a tie between Union Terminal and Music Hall forcing Queen City Survey to cast the deciding vote for the best building in Cincinnati for 2008 in the inaugural Cincinnati March(itecture) Madness.

I went back and forth, weighing the positives and negatives of both buildings. But in the end, two reasons pushed Music Hall to victory:

1. Comments from cogitation, Kevin, and Nate (I think) stressing the building’s uniqueness and location.
2. And today, April 8, 2008, is actually the 130th anniversary of Music Hall’s dedication. (The first performances however would not take place for another month (May 14, 1878) as part of May Festival.)

How could I not select it?

Overall, it was an interesting battle with two very different design styles on display. Any selection was probably just a matter of personal taste and opinion more than which one was really "better". They are both fantastic and deserving of the title.

Both are large buildings, but their design and detailing are direct reflections of the popular aesthetics of the time when each was built. The Art Deco/Art Moderne Union Terminal spoke more to the future than the past. Its detail is stripped down and away and the beauty lies much in the form itself. (Interiors though are fantastic.) Its scale is that of the 20th Century and a nation now on the go. Music Hall on the other hand personifies the High Victorian Gothic aesthetic. A richly embellished fa├žade with various materials and arched window openings create a picturesque building with a more intimate and personal scale than its size would suggest. It was designed for the walking city of the 19th Century and for a use that is nearly unique. Other cities have grand train stations (some are even Art Deco) but no one else has a Music Hall!

To see how we got here, check out the entire 2008 Cincinnati March(itecture) Madness Tournament Bracket.

Thank you all so much for playing along. Maybe we'll do it again next year. Maybe.


Kevin LeMaster said...

Definitely do it again! It was a fun, unique way to learn something.

Queer in the Cincy said...

You are a huge nerd. But I have to admit, I was kind of rooting for Union Terminal.

Did I vote though? No. I think Music Hall is pretty, though.

Are you going to start collecting places for next year? Maybe you should do each "region" by theme -- you know "residential buildings" "commercial buildings" "industrial buildings" etc.

I really liked SimCity growing up. LOL