Location Option D – Playhouse Square
A continuing, slightly humorous series to raise awareness of Rutherford B. Hayes and erect a statue of him in Cincinnati.
Some time ago, we looked at three potential sites for the Rutherford B. Hayes Memorial Statue in Cincinnati: Plum Street Park, Presidential Plaza, and Hayes Circle at Broadway Commons. In honor of Rutherford B. Hayes Month, I am offering another site for your consideration.
Hayes Plaza at Playhouse Square
With all the talk about Playhouse in the Park looking to possibly relocate downtown at Fifth & Race, I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone and re-imaging Court Street a bit and offer a suggestion for both Playhouse and the Rutherford B. Hayes Memorial Statue.
I really like Court Street and to me it has a lot going for it. It has some nice historic buildings and more importantly, will be bisected by the new Streetcar route. And while the head-in parking is nice and convenient, I thought we could use the street’s historic market configuration to our advantage, make a new park and create an even better civic place.
From Walnut to Main Street, I envision a new park with green space separating a fountain at one end and a small plaza with the Hayes statue facing the Courthouse at the other. This location for the statue was chosen given Hayes’s connection to the law and his early position as city solicitor. Playhouse in the Park could then be located on the block north of park, with a new mixed use development with parking located to the south. The parking would support the theatre and the neighborhood. The Emery Theatre, a half a block way to the north, could also compliment development here. Walnut Street then becomes Cincinnati’s "Broadway" with the Aronoff, Playhouse, and the Emery within five blocks of each other.
This scheme leaves intact the head-in parking along Court Street from Vine to Walnut but this too could be re-thought, possibly using the current Court Street Market memorial structures. Canal Market (1829 – 1862) and Court Street Market (1864 – 1912) stood in this block but no building was ever erected in the ‘Playhouse Square’ block from Walnut to Court Streets.