Best Of MTM Cincinnati: Fountain Square

Most towns have their central plazas. San Francisco has the Embarcadero. New York as Times Square. DC has The Mall. Cincinnati’s is Fountain Square. If you remember the opening credits to WKRP in Cincinnati, it was the first thing you saw of the city, the fountain, officially called The Genius of Waters or informally called the Tyler-Davidson Memorial, framed against a building that looked suspiciously like one of the Twin Towers. It’s actually the Fifth Third Building.

Fountain Square has since undergone several radical transformations. Gone is the Skywalk, which let one walk from the old Cincinnati Bell Atrium (now Convergys Center) over at Fourth and Main to the Duke Energy Convention Center all the way on the western edge of downtown. An ugly shell of a department store, so obscure it’s barely remembered as Fountain Square West, stood next to the Square when I first moved here in 1991. A week later, they blew it up for a parking lot. Now it’s a Macy’s (formerly Lazarus, whose parent owns Macy’s.)

The Fountain has moved. It once stood near the Fifth Third Tower overlooking a stage and a wide, empty section of the Square. Now it stands dead center. Plus, Fifth Third no longer dominates the Square. Its tower and adjacent office building fronting Sixth Street still stands, but only a branch and a mortgage office face the Square itself. The rest has been given over to restaurants. Yes, kids, there is a reason now to come downtown after work now. Or even on weekends.

In fact, you might hardly recognize the place if you haven’t been here in the last ten years. Photos after the jump.

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MTM Cincinnati: Fountain Square

Most towns have their central plazas.  San Francisco has the Embarcadero.  New York as Times Square.  DC has The Mall.  Cincinnati’s is Fountain Square.  If you remember the opening credits to WKRP in Cincinnati, it was the first thing you saw of the city, the fountain, officially called The Genius of Waters or informally called the Tyler-Davidson Memorial, framed against a building that looked suspiciously like one of the Twin Towers.  It’s actually the Fifth Third Building.

Fountain Square has since undergone several radical transformations.  Gone is the Skywalk, which let one walk from the old Cincinnati Bell Atrium (now Convergys Center) over at Fourth and Main to the Duke Energy Convention Center all the way on the western edge of downtown.  An ugly shell of a department store, so obscure it’s barely remembered as Fountain Square West, stood next to the Square when I first moved here in 1991.  A week later, they blew it up for a parking lot.  Now it’s a Macy’s (formerly Lazarus, whose parent owns Macy’s.)

The Fountain has moved.  It once stood near the Fifth Third Tower overlooking a stage and a wide, empty section of the Square.  Now it stands dead center.  Plus, Fifth Third no longer dominates the Square.  Its tower and adjacent office building fronting Sixth Street still stands, but only a branch and a mortgage office face the Square itself.  The rest has been given over to restaurants.  Yes, kids, there is a reason now to come downtown after work now.  Or even on weekends.

In fact, you might hardly recognize the place if you haven’t been here in the last ten years.  Photos after the jump.

Continue reading