720 Consulting has successfully completed National Register as well as local nominations, including the preparation of local preservation guidelines. Formal recognition of an individual landmark or a district through listing is an important preservation tool – resulting in public recognition of a resource, consideration in planning and development decisions and/or access to grants and tax credits that aid in the rehabilitation.
Featured Project: The Purple People Bridge
The Purple People Bridge project began as an effort to save a historic structure from demolition that ultimately evolved into a successful social experiment – one that encouraged physical activity and movement between two adjacent cities and states.
Historically, the Purple People Bridge was known as the Louisville & Nashville (L&N) Bridge and the Cincinnati & Newport Bridge. It represents a strategic transportation rail link between the nation’s southern rail system, particularly the eastern Kentucky coalfields, and the industrial heartland, with Cincinnati as its northern gateway. The bridge embodies the distinctive and remarkably intact characteristics of a subdivided Pratt steel truss. With its 510′ channel span, the bridge stands as one of the nation’s oldest extant, long-span, simple truss bridges, and it is the oldest and last remaining 19th century railroad bridge spanning the Ohio River between Pittsburgh and Cairo, Illinois, a distance of 978 miles. The bridge’s significance is also derived from its association with Max J. Becker (1828-1896), a notable German-born railroad engineer.
After years of neglect and deterioration, the bridge was slated for closure and ultimately demolition. Local officials, however, were unwilling to accept the demolition as the only option. Using Chattanooga’s Walnut Street Bridge as a model, the city of Newport, Kentucky and Southbank Partners undertook a $4 million restoration to refurbish the bridge as a pedestrian walkway. Part of this effort involved documenting and ultimately listing the bridge in the National Register of Historic Places. The bridge reopened in 2003 sporting a new coat of bright periwinkle paint that sparked a new name – The Purple People Bridge. It has become a local icon and the serves as host and backdrop of some of the region’s signature events including the annual Labor Day fireworks and the Rubber Duck Regatta.
Featured Project: Woodburn Avenue NBD Local Historic District
The Woodburn Avenue NBD in Cincinnati’s East Walnut Hills is an excellent example of a historic neighborhood business district. The period of significance spans nearly seven decades, from 1865 to 1930. However, most of the buildings were constructed between 1880 and 1910, when East Walnut Hills was rapidly expanding as a suburban neighborhood. The Woodburn Avenue NBD demonstrates how a variety of uses were interspersed in historic business districts, with single-family residences, commercial buildings and mixed-use structures sharing the streetscape. The district includes 26 contributing buildings, many of which are oriented with the slanting path of Woodburn Avenue, resulting in sharp edges and angles at building corners. The deliberate treatment of corners, elaborate projecting cornices, distinctive corner towers, decorative parapets and the expressive use of materials are also defining characteristics of buildings in the Woodburn Avenue NBD.