Trendy Mt. Lookout Square may soon get facelift

The Mt. Lookout Community Development Corporation (MLCDC) is looking to transform the trendy Mt. Lookout Square on Cincinnati’s east side with more than $800,000 worth of renovation efforts.  The efforts are being driven by community activists who feel the neighborhood’s business district has become somewhat worn over the years and is in need of attention.

The group has developed a multi-phased approach to cleaning and rejuvenating Mt. Lookout Square that highlight three primary priorities: Square Appearance, Vehicle Flow and Parking.

The neighborhood priorities are detailed into the following high-level objectives:
  • Enhance the appeal of the square to residents, visitors and businesses by addressing many of the dilapidated walkways, parking structures/enclosures, signage and lighting.
  • Incorporate more green-space into the currently very “car centric” appearance of the square.
  • Address many of the pedestrian and traffic safety concerns expressed by businesses and the community at large.
  • Improve the aesthetics of business frontage and provide more business-friendly pedestrian access to window shopping and open air dining.
  • Grow and sustain a diverse business environment.
  • Improve the aesthetics and reliability of public utilities.
  • Address constraints to hosting public Square festivities.
  • Implement a comprehensive parking solution that will allow us to more effectively utilize the center island as green-space.

Parking remains one of the most difficult issues to address. Plans call for off-street parking that would replace the parking currently located in the middle of the square.  That space would then become an inviting public space with a fountain, seating areas and trees very similar to what is seen in Hyde Park Square.

Vivian Llambi & Associates, the same company that developed the plans for the Hyde Park Square renovation, is also the same firm that has developed the plans for the Mt. Lookout Square renovation project.  Vivian Llambi & Associates is also responsible for the work at Fountain Square, Government Square and the Aronoff Center for the Arts.

In addition to off-street parking and a restored public center piece, the renovation efforts also hope to include wider sidewalks to enable more sidewalk dining and street cafes, minimization of overhead power lines, new streetscaping and traffic calming measures like curb bump-outs.

Mt. Lookout Square has long been criticized for being difficult to navigate for motorists, somewhat dangerous for pedestrians and lacking necessary parking for the various merchants on and around the square.

Writer: Randy A. Simes
Photography by Amber Kersley
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