Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Phyllis W. Smale Riverfront Park

The most recent addition to the great parks in Cincinnati is the Phyllis W. Smale Riverfront Park.  The park runs along the banks of the Ohio River and Mehring Way.  Upon completion, the park will stretch from Great American Ball Park to the east and Paul Brown Stadium to the west with the Roebling Suspension Bridge acting as a centerpiece.  In all, the park will cover 45 acres of the riverfront.  The park links with Bicentennial Commons and Friendship Park to the east.

The first phase of the park has been completed and features the Schmidlapp Event Lawn & Stage, a tree grove, pathways, a section of the Ohio Bike Trail as well as The Bike, Mobility and Visitor's Center where visitors can rent a bicycle or people who commute downtown on bike can park and shower.  There are many water features in the park with colorful illuminated lights like the Walnut Street Fountains & Grand Stairway and the Main Street fountain, which welcomes visitors to cool off in the streams of water shooting out.

The first restaurant to be built in the park is the Moerlein Lager House that not only serves as a restaurant and microbrewery but as a tribute to the history of brewing in Cincinnati.

The park also features The Black Brigade Monument. It is a tribute to the first unit of African Americans who served the country in the Civil War for the Union Army.

Future phases of the park will see additional restaurants and cafes, playgrounds and a boat dock as well as more trails, tree groves, and gardens.

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