CINCINNATI — The doors at The Price Hill Branch of the public library are locked as the building undergoes much needed repairs. A portion of the ceiling fell last year, creating a major safety and structural hazard.
But the temporary closure may be just what the community needs to spark changes to other buildings as well.
The $6.6 million project will make the library compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and accessible to everyone in the community, according to Sheila Rosenthal, the vice president of the East Price Hill Improvement Association.
“It’s going to be a very obvious change and improvement,” she said. “It’s a major investment in our community so it highlights a lot of the great things we’ve got going on here.”
The iconic library, nestled on the hill off Warsaw Avenue, will be twice its current size after the renovation. The library will have plenty of new elements, like an elevator and new artwork, but much of the 1909 architecture will stay put.
“The library architects have come up with a plan to rehab the existing building which was really important to the community,” Rosenthal said.
That is one important factor for residents like Joe Tallarigo.
“Price Hill has lost a lot of its image in the past 20 years,” he said. “I like to see some remain before it all gets tore down or renovated.”
The East Price Hill Improvement Association is working with other organizations to get three blocks on Warsaw Avenue designated as a historic district.
“We want to celebrate it,” Rosenthal said. “The great architecture we have in our community — and we see the historic district as a way of doing that.”
Most the Price Hill Branch will be confined to a single floor when the project is complete. It’s currently relocated to the Price Hill Recreation Center.
Rosenthal said the goal is to reopen the renovated library by the end of 2020.