Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Could This Happen in OTR? Oh Yes.

It is hard to imagine the artistic backbone of Cincinnati's Over the Rhine being pushed out to make room for corporate interests. But this is a neighborhood development pattern that is all too common, and not just in the United States.

After 10 years as an arts hub, Berlin's Tacheles is facing corporate redevelopment. The building, which houses open studions much like our own Pendleton, is now a historical marker thanks at least in part to the local artists squatters who occupied it in 1990. The neighborhood has gone through the natural progression from "underground-hip" to now full of tourists.

The NY Times story correctly notes the fight between the artists and the corporations is more than one about gentrification, but about identity. Historical preservation is about more than saving old buildings, but cultural identity. Tacheles reveals that corporations and even residents can, without batting an eye, evict their founding artists.


VisuaLingual said...

It seems to me that art has a relatively small presence in OTR these days. The Pendleton is a huge building that houses many artist studios, and there are several small galleries, particularly on Main St. But, more of that kind of activity seems to have migrated to Northside and Brighton.

The newly rehabbed spaces and newly opened entities seem focused more on cultural consumption than on its production. So, to answer your question, I think it's already happened.