Ascent at Roebling's Bridge put
CKY on the architectural map

It is the region's best visual landmark. Lauded by many and scorned by some, the Ascent at Roebling's Bridge is the kind of structure most never imagined being constructed in Covington.

In the words of Daniel Libeskind, famed architect of the Ascent at Roebling's Bridge:

"This building, while modern in design, is based on shapes that reflect the history, traditions and landscape of Greater Cincinnati, yet calls to mind the possibilities that lay ahead.

"The Ascent is less a structure than a living, breathing piece of art that stirs the soul and lifts the spirit. The Ascent will provide a lifestyle unlike any other in Ohio, Kentucky, or Indiana. It is a building that will inspire a region. It is a call to greatness."

And read what others have written:

"Although the building may appear to be out of context when compared to the existing architecture in the area, its design is tied directly to the nearby John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge and the Ohio River. The new high-rise development 'echoes the colors of the Suspension Bridge. Built in earth tones, its windows reflect the sky and river images. The Ascent sits perfectly along the riverfront, curving to maximize the views of both the river and the surrounding hillsides. The ascending height of the building mimics the Bridge's cables and links the low horizon of residential structures to the east with the more modern commercial buildings to the west.' -- Buildpedia.

"Kentucky is a state jam-packed with unusual architecture, and we'll be examining many of those structural wonders in installments of this column to come. But for my money, there's no more astonishing building in the Commonwealth than The Ascent at Roebling’s Bridge – or as the locals call it, simply The Ascent." -- Jeffrey Holland.

The Ascent at Roebling's Bridge was awarded a CNBC Americas Property Award for Best High-Rise Development in 2008.-- CNBC

Photo at dusk, taken by Chuck Madden.

When the building was first proposed in 2004, it was guaranteed to make a splash.

Developer Bill Butler's proposed condominium tower near the riverfront wanted to "raise worldwide curiosity and interest in this region."

"There's no question this would be a very significant residential structure in Cincinnati, if not the most significant one, in terms of residential structures in the whole metropolitan region," said Jay Chatterjee, an architecture professor at UC, told the Enquirer back in 2005.

People were astounded by the proposed 21-story, 70-condominium, crescent-shaped Covington building that would have a notable "swooshing" roofline sweeping to the sky.

That splash was not always positive, however. An unscientific poll conducted by WCPO-TV suggested area residents 60% liked the design of the proposed structure, but 40% "hated it."

The only VIP who voiced opposition to the building was Bernie Moorman who said it was out of character with the architecture of the city. The Mayor at the time shot back that Moorman was against it because he didn't like Bill Butler and was petty enough to condemn a multi-million dollar centerpiece project because of it.

In time, everyone was on the same page and singing kumbaya as the construction on the 21-story condo building, $50 million project began in 2005 and was finished in 2008.

Today it stands out -- not like a sore thumb -- but an amazing addition to the Ohio River skyline, the coolest of Covington cools.

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