Walnut Hills / E. Walnut Hills

Soapbox events: Celebrating the rebirth of the Baldwin Building in Walnut Hills

If you missed "Blues at The Baldwin" last week, the above photo gallery offers a first look at the ongoing $100 million renovation of one of Walnut Hills' most historic key spaces.

The focus of the project is redeveloping The Baldwin, a nearly 100-year-old building that sits at the entrance to Walnut Hills and Eden Park. Renovations are being managed by Neyer Properties and CASTO, who co-hosted the March 23 event.

The eight-story Baldwin Building, known in the neighborhood as Grand Baldwin, was built in 1921 and served as the headquarters for Baldwin Piano until the company exited in 1984. It was then converted into office space by Corporex Cos. in 1987. Corporex built the adjacent 12-story office building in 1990, also known as Baldwin 200.

As part of the current renovations, teams will expose the original brick and ceilings and restore the original outward-opening windows. Once completed, The Baldwin will feature 190 urban reuse apartments. The building will also feature a resort-style pool overlooking downtown, community room with gaming tables, 24-hour fitness center and storage units.

The adjacent Baldwin 200 has undergone its own renovation and will remain an office building.

The “Blues at The Baldwin” event attracted nearly 150 guests who were invited to tour the soon-to-be finished apartments. The event featured barbecue from neighborhood favorite Just Q’in and craft beer and kombucha from Listermann Brewing. Walnut Hills native and accomplished pianist Fathead Davis provided music for the event.

Soapbox’s goal in hosting the engagement was to honor the people, places and projects featured in our recently wrapped, 12-story On The Ground: Walnut Hills series. On The Ground is an embedded journalism series that takes a look at the historic challenges of some of Cincinnati’s most important communities, along with profiles of the individuals and groups working together to improve their community narrative for brighter outcomes.

 “Blues at The Baldwin” kicked off with an introduction of the On The Ground team, followed by comments from The Baldwin development partners and Christopher Nicak of the Economics Center, who previewed benchmark data for Walnut Hills in a special report that will be available soon.

Principal Jeff Hall also spoke about Frederick Douglass School’s recent recognition as a STEP School 2017 award recipient. Frederick Douglass staff, students and their families were featured prominently in the On The Ground series’ education coverage, which can be found here.

On The Ground in Walnut Hills is underwritten by Place Matters partners LISC and United Way and the neighborhood nonprofit the Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation, who are collectively working together for community transformation. Additional support is provided by development partners Neyer Properties and CASTO. Data and analysis is provided by The Economics Center. Prestige AV and Creative Services is Soapbox’s official technology partner.
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Read more articles by Hannah Purnell.

Hannah Purnell is a lifelong Northern Kentuckian who writes extensively about regional issues related to arts and culture, politics and economic development.