Terrace Plaza needs a developer with a creative vision


Michele Racioppi


Docomomo US staff


Threatened, SOM, Cincinnati
Image details

When the Terrace Plaza Hotel was originally built, designed by Natalie de Blois of Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill, it was a visionary project - not only was the project lead by a woman, but it was also one of the first International Style hotels in the United States, the first hotel project constructed after World War II, and the first to have self-operated elevators and individual thermostats in rooms. Compared to other hotels, it was radical for its time. 

Although it was initially successful, it has faced challenges over the years and has struggled to find an owner with the creative vision (and funds!) to bring it back to its full potential. Now, the long-vacant hotel is up for auction. Is there a preservation-minded developer out there who can recapture the vision of its original designers?

The hotel has much to offer: a central location with a convention center right near by, and Ohio has one of the most generous state-level historic tax credit incentives. The Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program provides a state tax credit up to 25% of qualified rehabilitation expenditures incurred during a rehabilitation project, up to $5 million. This can also be paired with the Federal Historic Tax Credit. The hotel was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2017, making it eligible for such credits. 

The positive reception of projects such as the Hotel Marcel, a transformation of Marcel Breuer's former Pirelli building, show that there is a huge appetite among the public for unique hotel experiences.

Are you the right developer to bring the Terrace Plaza Hotel back to its former glory? Initial auction bids must be received before 4:00 pm on May 20, 2022. Information on the bidding process is available from the United States Bankruptcy Court of Eastern New York for Case No. 21-41548 (ESS). 

Interested parties are encouraged to reach out to Cincinnati Preservation Association at info@cincinnatipreservation.org for background on this historic modernist building.