Historic preservation

Weekend Getaway | 21c Cincinnati

March 17, 2016

weekend getaway | 21c Cincinnati

Everyone needs a weekend getaway every now and then… If you follow me on Instagram (emsontheroad) or snapchat (emsontheroad), it’s likely you saw me running around Cincinnati recently with Ryan and our good friends Celia and Toby. We spent most of the weekend exploring the Over the Rhine neighborhood checking out breweries, the market and other historic buildings, but the highlight of the weekend was our hotel, 21c Cincinnati.

If you remember from my visit to the 21c in Louisville, the concept of this hotel group is quite unique: integrating contemporary art into everyday life while reusing historic buildings. Their properties create such unique juxtaposition seen in the careful preservation of the distinguished exterior and the modern mix of minimal furniture and colorful art on the interior.  The art galleries are the main attraction and are open 24-7 and free. Genius.

The 21c Hotel in Cincy was originally home to the swanky Metropole Hotel that was completed in 1912 with an addition in 1924. The hotel fell into decline in the 1970s and in 2011 the 21c brand stepped in to breathe life back into this historic hotel. The Neoclassical building is still a gorgeous red terracotta, standing tall in the heart of downtown Cincinnati and now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Weekend getaway | 21c Cincinnati

Via Cincinnati Views

 

weekend getaway | 21c Cincinnati

Photo: Ryan Hines

weekend getaway | 21c Cincinnati

Photo: Ryan Hines

weekend getaway | 21c Cincinnati

The Lobby

weekend getaway | 21c Cincinnati

weekend getaway | 21c Cincinnati

Each property is different, featuring a permanent art collection as well as rotating exhibits. In Cincy, the lobby is bright white, with plush purple sofas in the waiting area surrounded by the Pop Stars! Popular Culture exhibit featuring a video instillation of Britney Spears, flashy “hustle” coat by Nick Cave, white baby grand piano, and etched mirror of Paris Hilton. The design team did a brilliant job of restoring the historic details of the Metropole Hotel while creating a crisp canvas for its unique exhibits.

weekend getaway | 21c Cincinnati

Photo: Ryan Hines

weekend getaway | 21c Cincinnati

Photo: Ryan Hines

Make sure you to visit the second floor gallery.

weekend getaway | 21c Cincinnati

These are the original mosaic floors from the Metropole Hotel.

 

The Room

 

weekend getaway: 21c Cincinnati

Photo: Ryan Hines

weekend getaway: 21c Cincinnati

Photo: Ryan Hines

Our suite in Cincy was sleek and quite cozy. I loved the L-shaped sofa nook; it was the perfect place for morning coffee while taking in the cityscape. The bathroom was classic, terry cloth robes and all.

weekend getaway: 21c Cincinnati

Photo: Ryan Hines

weekend getaway | 21c Cincinnati

The rubber ducky is a 21c signature.

Naturally, the light fixtures were showstoppers.

weekend getaway | 21 c Cincinnai

Photo: Ryan Hines

weekend getaway | 21c Cincinnati

Weekend Getaway | 21c Cincinnati

Wishing I could fall into the cloud of pillows right now.

weekend getaway | 21c Cincinnati

Other amenities of the room include a nice stack of local mags, a phone receiver for your cell (LOVE these! I have one in blue), and complimentary Nespresso and hot teas. Be careful of the minibar – everything is on a 60 second sensor.

The Galleries

weekend getaway | 21c Cincinnati

21c’s mission is to incorporate contemporary art into everyday life so each property serves as a cultural and social hub in the city. The galleries were packed all weekend and I can understand why. Admission is free and the art is beautiful, really interesting, and open 24 hours a day. Not to mention all of it’s Instagram potential.  The coolest instillation is on the ground floor in a hallway… these psychedelic waves move with your footsteps mesmerizing anyone walking by.

weekend getaway | 21c Cincinnati

The gallery wall instillation by Brian Paumier on the main floor was another one of my favorites too – beautiful colors and textures.

From the artist: “Act Of Faith” is a balancing act of polarities, exposures and rituals. At once, it exposes and celebrates the essence of the culture of my childhood in an effort to collapse stereotypes and preconceived ideas. By driving to their essence and beauty, “Act of Faith” provokes curiosity and interest into a culture that might have been unfamiliar.

weekend getaway | 21c Cincinnati

 

weekend getaway | 21c Cincinnati

Photo: Ryan Hines

Don’t miss the stairs to the second story gallery. There is a full wall of bedazzled Condoleeza Rice and Oprah paintings as well as a slick Mad Men-esque lounge and Elvis/Marilyn Monroe Warhol inspired portrait.

weekend getaway | 21c Cincinnati

weekend getaway | 21c Cincinnati

weekend getaway | 21c Cincinnati

No art history pre-requisites required.

The Restaurant

You may be thinking hotel restaurants are bullshit but that is not the case with 21c. We’re not talking well done burgers or a boring breakfast buffet. The Metropole, named for the original hotel, was ideal backdrop for late night drinks on Saturday night. First off, they stay open til 1am (score!) which was welcome news to us when we returned to the hotel after a night out. I wanted one more nibble before heading to bed. I scanned their snack menu and ordered hand-cut fries with a dill dipping sauce and a couple of Rhinegeist brews to finish us off. The bar was still pretty full around midnight, great tunes and happy bartenders.

weekend getaway | 21c Cincinnati

For my next visit I’m definitely gonna try out some of the seared octopus and charcuterie tasting.

I can’t say no to breakfast food so we decided to end the weekend with a bang and do brunch with our friends at Metropole before departing.

weekend getaway | 21c Cincinnati

Photo: Ryan Hines

We started off with coffees, a sticky bun and whipped ricotta. Sweet and savory is a must in my book. For mains we had a little bit of everything… the broccoli omelet, breakfast sandwich topped with pimento cheese (YUM), quinoa hash and a carrot salad.  I would never think to order a carrot salad for brunch but it was the most beautiful salad I’ve ever seen and equally tasty.

 

weekend getaway | 21c Cincinnati

weekend getaway | 21c Cincinnati

Metropole is truly stunning. I fell in love with their big leather banquettes; so comfortable I could’ve posted up here for hours chatting and sampling. We probably would have stayed all afternoon if it weren’t for our road trip back to Indiana.  The design team did a beautiful job keeping and enhancing many of the original details of the restaurant and bar in the 1920s hotel like the original arched windows that pour the warm sunlight in. The original mosaic tile floors from the lobby make an appearance here as well.

weekend getaway | 21c Cincinatti

Even if you aren’t staying at the 21c Cincinnati overnight, you must check out Metropole. It’s the perfect place for a nightcap or breakfast before hitting the road.

If you want to be in the heart of the city near all of the action of Over the Rhine, 21c is the place to be. Thank you to the 21c Cincy staff for a wonderful weekend! I didn’t have a chance to visit the spa this time so a massage is in order for the next trip.

Don’t forget to hit the gift shop before you head home!

weekend getaway | 21c cincinnati

 

21c Museum Hotel – Louisville

June 23, 2015

Art and preservation often cross paths; last weekend I found them happily intertwined at the 21c Hotel in downtown Louisville.

 

21c Louisvile

Photo: Ryan Hines

READ MORE

A stroll through downtown Charleston

May 13, 2014

Charleston After a busy few days at The Southern C Summit, I gave myself an extra day to explore Charleston. So before some last minute shopping and more eating, I set out on an early morning stroll to photograph a few of my favorite buildings. READ MORE

Olive & Sinclair

February 12, 2014

Once home to HG Hills Food Store in the early 1900s, an Archway Cookies factory, and a woodworking factory, 1628 Fatherland Street, Nashville, Tennessee is now home to one of my favorite chocolatiers, Olive & Sinclair. 

Olive & Sinclair

via Olive & Sinclair

Nashville-based DAAD Architects under Nick Dryden were brought on this project to ensure the circa-1890 building’s historic bones would be preserved, while creating a functional factory. The updated space features elements such as glass deco-lighting from a 1930’s schoolhouse, a gothic communion table from the early 1900‘s serving as the factory’s retail counter, factory pendant lighting was repurposed from an army barracks outside Atlanta , even repurposed wood floors sourced from a neighboring house in Lockeland Springs.  READ MORE

Student Building

January 5, 2014

Student Building IU Student Building

 

Student Building, Indiana University

Located in the Old Crescent, the Student Building was built in 1906 and originally housed a gymnasium, parlor, pool, and auditorium for student recreation. It was designed by Vonnegut & Bohn, an architectural firm active in early- to mid-twentieth-century Indianapolis, Indiana. Today the Anthropology and Geography departments are located here.

Franklin Hall

December 8, 2013

IU Franklin Hall | Em's on the Road IU Franklin Hall | Em's on the Road

Indiana University Franklin Hall circa 1908- Bloomington, Indiana

“A good book is the precious life-blood of a master spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond lift.” John Milton

Located in the historic center of IU’s Bloomington campus known as the “Old Crescent,” Franklin Hall housed one of the first libraries on campus and is currently an administration building.

#Presconf Indy

November 20, 2013

It’s been a couple of weeks since my trip down the road Indy for the National Preservation Conference. Aptly entitled Preservation at the Crossroads, this year’s conference took a hard look at the future of preservation, our roles as preservationists, how to stay relevant, and how to attract new audiences to our cause.

I don’t currently work in preservation proper; however, I still consider myself a preservationist. Newly transplanted in the Midwest from the deep South, I joined the social media team for Indiana Landmarks to meet some new folks, check out Indy, and reintroduce myself to the world of preservation. Here are some of my takeaways from this year’s preservation conference.

5. Indy is beautiful.

I’m so glad I squeezed in some time to walk around downtown Indy. Like Mayor Ballard said at the opening plenary, “I bet most of you will leave Indy saying, I never knew.” So true; I had no idea. Look forward to coming back! READ MORE

Folk Victorian: Hancock County, GA

November 10, 2013

victorian

Folk victorian farm houses abound in rural Georgia. I found this one years ago surveying Hancock County, Georgia.

 

Sunday funday photo

November 3, 2013

Indianapolis

Snapshots of a morning stroll around Memorial Circle and the Indiana State House.

Preservation at the Crossroads- Indianapolis

October 24, 2013

presconf

The National Preservation Conference is one week away! I’m thrilled to be attending another #presconf (Austin was my last one) and working with Indiana Landmarks on their social media team! Hashtags at the ready- #presconf, #Indy #Indiana.

While refreshing my preservation-isms and session planning, I ran across a favorite preservation blog from my grad school days at UGA.

ryan gosling

via Preservationist Ryan Gosling

Preservationist Ryan Gosling is a tumblr created by some students at UPenn’s preservation program with photos of good lookin’ Ryan Gosling and historic preservation facts and opinions. Pretty hilarious. Here are some of my favs…

ryan gosling

via Preservationist Ryan Gosling

ryan gosling

via preservationist ryan gosling

ryan gosling

via Preservationist Ryan Gosling

It doesn’t look like they’re updating the site anymore but it’s worth a gander. Check it out here.

If you can’t make it to Indy this year follow along with me @emsontheroad on Twitter and Instagram. Stay tuned!

Related:

Oh the places you’ll go… (emsontheroad.com)

 

 

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