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University of Cincinnati's Crosley Tower to be demolished

Crosley Tower UC University of Cincinnati tower
Posted at 12:42 PM, Sep 06, 2023

CINCINNATI — A massive University of Cincinnati eyesore will soon come tumbling down.

UC Planning + Design + Construction (PDC) said Crosley Tower should be removed from campus due to its poor adaptability to modern-day learning. The organization also cited repair and modernization challenges as being "too limiting."

M.B. Reilly, UC's executive director of public relations, said planning for the demolition will be "in or around 2025."

It is unclear if that means the building will come down in 2025 or the following year.

Crosley Tower was built in 1969. The building is 16-stories tall and, at the time, was built to be the Renton K. Brodic Science and Engineering Center.

The building was constructed with a single concrete pour — taking 18 days of non-stop pouring to complete the tower. According to PDC, this was the first time a building like this was built for academic purposes. Its design was intended to portray a "sophisticated, worldly and urban" image for UC, according to the UC Historical Walking Tour website.

Fast forward 54 years and the once eye-catching building is now more of a meme among UC students. In 2017, Crosley Tower even ranked among Architectural Digest's list of the "7 Ugliest University Buildings in America."

"Crafted from a single pour of concrete, this 16-story building looks more like a Disney villain's lair than a part of the University of Cincinnati’s campus," wrote Hannah Huber.

The tower's foreboding appearance has prompted a host of campus legends, which the university insists are all false:

  • No worker is entombed within the walls. A variant of this urban myth claims a Volkswagen was dropped into the mix, but UC also says that is not true.
  • Students have claimed that Crosley Tower has been crumbling down since the mid-80s, but UC denies any Leaning Tower of Pisa tendencies.
  • With restrooms located in stairwells, some students think designers must have forgotten them in the original design. False, UC says, denying they were retrofitted in afterward. "Stairwells were the perfect place to situate ventilation, conduits and plumbing rather than creating shafts in the concrete. Consequently, the stairwells were also designed to accommodate the bathrooms," the university's rumors website says.

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