Modern Across America: Cincinnati, Ohio

In our Modern Across America issue, we spotlighted five American cities with design scenes worth watching. Once commonly referred to as the “Paris of America” due to its significant architectural projects, this 19th-century boomtown is experiencing a 21st-century design boom. Here are some of our favorite Cincinnati projects from the Dwell archives.

Population 296,500

After living in Belgium and Austria for four years, the Bolings decided to resettle in Cincinnati, Ohio, where both had gone to school. Terry, a seasoned architect and professor of architecture at the University of Cincinnati, spent four years transforming a 1940s brick box into a modern, aluminum-trimmed home.

Retail Therapy Losantiville, a design collective, coworking space, and storefront that fosters emerging designers like Ampersand, a maker of furniture and lighting.

The Boling children gather in the home’s open-plan living and dining area.

Architectural Claim to Fame Findlay Market, built in the 1850s, is Ohio’s oldest surviving municipal market. Union Terminal, an Art Deco grande dame once at risk of demolition, has been transformed into a museum center.

Thanks to a folding glass wall and a custom-built bed, dreams of sleeping under the stars came true for a Cincinnati, Ohio couple.

Modern Structures Worth a Visit The University of Cincinnati campus features buildings by such luminaries as Thom Mayne, Frank Gehry, Michael Graves, Charles Gwathmey, and Peter Eisenman, thanks to a master plan set into motion in the 1980s. 

When retired couple Peter and Joan Bracher decided to relocate, they broke with the usual city-to-suburb relocation pattern of most retirees. Instead, they moved to the center of Dayton, Ohio, 50 miles north of Cincinnati, where they built what is "by far the most avant-garde-looking house in the downtown area."

Professional skateboarder Rob Dyrdek collaborated with Arizona-based Site Design Group to design a skate park for his hometown of Kettering, Ohio, a suburb of Dayton just north of Cincinnati.

This Cincinnati Union Terminal Architectural Sculpture, one of Dwell Editor-in-Chief Amanda Dameron's top picks from the Dwell Store, is a miniature ode to the city's architecture. "Just a token to remind me of my hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio—my brother even got married here! The Union Terminal is one of Cincinnati’s most important architectural statements—its Art Deco façade is stunning, and inside, there are incredible mosaic murals by German American artist Winold Reiss. This building stands as a tribute to Cincinnati’s transportation history."


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