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Posts posted by beastfan11

  1. A great opinion piece: 




    “Watching the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Music and Event Management Inc.'s handling of Coney Island’s purchase and subsequent demolition these past four months sure does remind me of the age-old playbook that shows up in every struggle between the haves and have-nots, whether racial, gender, class, or any of the myriad other power imbalances. It goes like this: The people who have the money and power are laser-focused on what’s good for them. They ignore the calls of the community to work to find common solutions. They bulldoze their way over the many and then find a way to blame the people they’ve just railroaded. They insist that what they are doing is legal, and refuse to admit that maybe, just maybe, it’s not right. “



  2. Thought this was pretty rad. Was perusing Reddit and came across some stills and video of The Maestro walk around character in the park circa 1992.




    He makes a brief appearance here in the 20th Anniversary parade (as well as the KI Clown Band): 

    The mask for the character eventually found it’s way into a Fearfest display in front of the Action Theater in 2005 (per the photo gallery): 


    Pretty cool stuff!!

    • Like 3
  3. 31 minutes ago, Tr0y said:

    At this rate the “Save Coney Islanders” are willing to die on the hill that is Sunlite pool. Yet the pool is a lost cause and the support for the still remaining structures should be the new focus.

    However these “Save Coney Islanders” really are just the “Save Sunlite pool” group that doesn’t want to work with CSO or MEMI about saving what’s left of the park. Sadly, there won’t be anything other than the gate left, when it’s all said and done with the current direction. Just point fingers and blame. However, there will still be people protesting on top of a shiny new blacktop where Sunlite pool once was.


    The SCI group is/was focused on Sunlite Pool, while the Cincinnati Preservation Association is “leading the charge” for Moonlite Gardens:


    This has been stated multiple times in print, radio, and TV media. 

    Personally, I have a vested interest in both, though the ship has sailed for the pool. CSO/MEMI doesn’t really have the desire to work with the community to save anything, so I understand why people would assume anyone trying to save any aspect of the park would be disillusioned by working with CSO/MEMI. 

    The only way Moonlite Gardens will be saved if someone/some organization steps up to do so, unfortunately. It would be really nice to see that whole area of the park saved. You have Lake Como, the Admin building, the games building, and the old beer garden building right there in addition to bathroom and food facilities. It’s also situated near the picnic area and historic riverboat landing. That would be a nice area for a public park of sorts. It could do wonders for the relationship with the community that CSO/MEMI destroyed. 

  4. 4 hours ago, johnjniehaus said:

    Does anyone have an official source confirming that moonlight gardens is going to be preserved? On the CSO website it states that it has been deemed unsafe since 2018 and is listed in the section along with sunlight pool which as we see has met it's fate...

    I don't believe anything has been officially decided regarding the fate of Moonlite Gardens. The "unsafe since 2018" line is either a typo or a flat out lie. The park was regularly holding events throughout the 2019 season up the the last night the rides were open. I would know, as I was there. 


    4 hours ago, johnjniehaus said:

    I am a proud CSO subscriber but this has definitely made me start questioning how much I'll be supporting them in the future. Now they have a point which is that the previous ownership drove the park into the ground but as for them pinning the blame on the previous owners for closing the park and destroying Cincinnati landmarks...that's not entirely true. Sure maybe the park closed under the old management but CSO is the one behind the demolition of a historic record holding pool and possibly other historical buildings on the property. I can think of 2 other buildings besides moonlight gardens that seemed pretty old to me...For an organization who acts like they care about preservation (music hall, Taft theater, etc)

    Bingo. In my opinion, they really don't deserve the support they receive, and at this point, their non-profit status should seemingly be revoked. Previous generational ownership did the park no favors and are largely responsible for the state the park is (not) in today. The removal of the rides, various PR issues, lack of capital investment are all contributed to the park and pools closure. But is/was a viable business model when managed correctly and there's no reason to  believe the park as a whole could not be successful. But no one forced CSO to bulldoze the pool. That decision is solely their responsibly alone. And if they end of doing the same with Moonlite Gardens and the surrounding buildings, that's also on them. 

    And to be blunt, they don't give a darn about preserving history, they only care about their own infrastructure. That's why Music Hall was ultimately restored. I'd love to believe that they did it for the sake of preserving Cincinnati history, but they only did it because they absolutely had to in order for the building to be usable. And even then, the funds to restore Music Hall came from philanthropic efforts and taxpayer funds. 

    The irony is that there are two historic music venues important to the history of Cincinnati. One has been fully restored by efforts led by the CSO. The other's fate is up in the air. Yes, it would cost significant amount of money to restore, but CSO/MEMI are financially capable of doing so (and have recently done so) while also seeking more taxpayer money from the state for this project. It's hypocritical to say the least, and demonstrative of their true character. 

    4 hours ago, johnjniehaus said:

     Like isn't there a way to repurpose coney and also save some of its iconic architecture? I'll give the CSO that they probably don't want to operate a pool but I'd be curious if anyone else would have been interested in purchasing just that section and possibly some of the parking area to continue operating sunlight pool? 

    Yes, there certainly is. As recently as least week there was talk of Anderson looking into purchasing the pool so it could continue to operate. This was to be discussed in a meeting last Thursday night, but the demo of the pool began suddenly that morning/afternoon. Take that as you will. They see more value in the space becoming a parking lot. This was never an issue of CSO not being able to operate a pool. They have shown that they have the ability to create different organizations (i.e. MEMI) to handle different aspects of the business they did not have experience in. IN this situation, they chose not to do so. There is plenty of space on that property for everything to co-exist, but they chose not to. More likely than not, for financial reasons. And  as others have repeatedly mentioned, it's in their right to do what they'd like since they own the property. But given their status as a community-driven, non-profit organization, it certainly comes across as tone deaf and driven by nothing but greed. 

    4 hours ago, johnjniehaus said:

    I don't know. I think Coney's demise was a long time coming but it doesn't make it hurt any less to see... I do think they should have kept the rides though I wasn't looking at their financial books to know profit margins... It just seemed like a bad move to me and I know my family wasn't the only ones who stopped going after the rides were removed. 

    I guess this depends of the definition of "long time." The park was doing well until around 2017, and then things started to decline. With the rides removal in 2019, it became apparent what the then ownership's plan was for the park. I'm sure COVID didn't help. But there wasn't any desire to keep the park open. They saw dollar signs and jumped at the chance, I'm sure. Which is a shame, because under different ownership I truly believe the park could still be thriving today. And that does make it hard to see. And you certainly weren't the only ones who's visits either declined or stopped after the removal of the rides. It was an incredibly stupid decision if they intended on keeping the pool open. 

    The thing that bothers me the most is two fold: 

    1. Someone will be making money off of this project. Big time. And that doesn't sit right with me considering the fact that the project is helmed by a non-profit. And on top of that, taxpayer dollars will more than likely be used to build this new venue. All to see someone's else's pockets lined. That's wrong. 

    2. The CSO has more or less vilified themselves and the arts as a whole. I hate to live in a city where so many, myself included, are anti-CSO. It's a big loss and the city deserves better community leadership in the arts. They should be embarrassed. Their mission, per their own words, is to serve the community. But when they actively go against the desires of the community they're claiming to care for, they shouldn't pull the victim card and feel sorry for themselves when people are vocally against them.  

    Hoping to make it back down to the park in the next few days for some more pictures and updates. This is a terrible ting they're doing and it should be shared. 

  5. On 3/24/2024 at 12:24 PM, disco2000 said:

    Exactly.  Just think if the protestors were successful in the late 60s/early 70s and the Coney Island of yesteryear was not closed then and the rides moved to the new park called Kings Island - there would be no Kings Island and possible by extension no Kings Dominion or Canada's Wonderland either....

    No, not “exactly” in the slightest. This is in no way similar to 1971 when the park was closed. Sunlite Pool remained opened and the promise of Kings Island brought an entire section of the park dedicated to recreating the Coney Island mall experience, down to the relocation of several rides. There were no protests because there was no need for them. I think this dead horse has been beaten enough, no? 

    Anyway. The work on the pool demo was put into high gear last week, just as Anderson and  preservationists were in talks about options to save the space. Take that as you will. 

    Not my photos: 



    Some of my photos from last week: 


    A new piece from Cincinnati.com: 

    Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra gives the arts a bad name by erasing historic Coney Island


    The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra's acquisition and demolition of Coney Island and Sunlite Pool is giving the Cincinnati arts community a bad name. 

    Arts organizations should be leaders in engaging the community, but CSO purchased Coney Island and planned a $118 million dollar development in secret. They certainly didn't engage the public on the plans. Even key stakeholders weren't consulted. Anderson Township has made multi-million-dollar investments along Kellogg Avenue near Coney Island, in close consultation with stakeholders. CSO did even have the courtesy to notify them

    CSO remained silent for weeks following public backlash and then emerged with misleading statements. They claimed the previous owners closed Coney Island. When CSO announced that it had purchased Coney in mid-December, Coney was still open. It was selling 2024 season passes, and it remained open until Dec. 31 for holiday light shows. 

    CSO claimed that they can't save Sunlite Pool because, "they don't know how to operate a pool. Nor does the symphony know anyone to ask who could operate a pool." It is easy not to know when you don't ask. Both Anderson Township and a community preservation group have expressed interest in acquiring the pool. There could be other buyers or operators, but CSO hasn't looked for them. 

    The arts should preserve and enhance the richness of our community. Coney Island and Sunlite Pool are irreplaceable parts of our city's history. Sunlite Pool is the only one of its kind in the world and served as an inspiration to Walt Disney. CSO is erasing a historic place and replacing it with a generic one − a venue that can be found in any city. They are turning a space where generations gathered to one for acts just passing through.

    CSO replacing an affordable public space with an unaffordable one

    The arts should bring people together. CSO is replacing an affordable public space with an unaffordable one; a family-friendly venue with one that has a much narrower demographic. Places like Coney Island are vital for fostering connections across generations. Their loss alters the social fabric of our community. 

    There have been arguments that Coney Island was unprofitable. We don't know if that's true. The records haven't been released. We don't know if it could be saved by better management or a public private partnership. And profitability isn't the only factor. CSO is seeking tens of millions in donor funding and $20 million in taxpayer funding to convert Coney into a music venue. Couldn't that funding be better spent preserving it?

    Even worse, the destruction is senseless. CSO plans to let Riverbend sit empty next door to the new venue they're building. Why not modernize Riverbend? Or replace it? Or find a plot of land not already taken by one of the city's favorite attractions? Or one that's not in a floodplain?

    I for one won’t support the destruction of our heritage and our family-friendly places. I’ve written my state representatives and asked them to oppose spending our taxpayer money to destroy our public spaces. I won’t attend symphony performances. I’m writing to my favorite acts and asking them not to play venues owned by CSO, including Riverbend, PNC Pavilion, Taft Theatre and Ballroom, and the Andrew J. Brady Music Center. Finally, I’m sending my donations to arts organizations that stand with the community, not above it. I encourage you to do the same.



    "When the end of the world comes, I want to be in Cincinnati because it's always 20 years behind the times." - Mark Twain

    • Like 1
  6. 5 hours ago, DispatchMaster said:

    OK, maybe it's just uniquely a southern Ohio thing where people are commonly both very stupid and simultaneously wealthy enough to afford large quantities of alcohol at captive audience prices?

    Hey, I take offense to this! I’m in no way wealthy! 

    • Haha 1
  7. 7 minutes ago, Benjamin22 said:

    Cool they’re serving more cocktails but I wasn’t really all that impressed with the alcohol stand they added to Rivertown. Hopefully this one is better. 

    Agreed. I was excited about that as well, but after seeing the actual product I was a bit let down. Looking forward to checking it out regardless!

  8. It appears as though our dear friends at CSO/MEMI have brought the hammer down on Coney Island and Sunlite Pool. As of this post, the destruction of the pool has started: 



    I actually stopped by the park last night before dinner to snag a few pics. Didn’t think today was going to be demo day. Glad I went when I did: 



    Looks like a lot of working going on in the corner of the park by Lake Como, the interstate, and Kellogg. Maybe this is the site of the new venue? I’ve heard the pool area will be a parking lot expansion…

    Anyway. I adore this place and hate seeing this happen. But I’m sick, and I plan on doing periodic updates with pictures. So I’ll post them here as things progress. 

    • Sad 2
  9. 19 hours ago, BB1 said:

    Not too long ago the Music Hall was seeking tax benefits from the state and city. I’m somewhat tempted to ask how does the city and state feel that this organization who got a tax break is now destroying a local icon? What does the City of Cincinnati or better yet the state of Ohio have to say on these matters?

    I place blame 50% on the original owners, 50% on MEMI. They should have known this kind of backlash would come, I’m interested to see if any action may come from the legislative side of things. 

    Pretty much dead on.

    The somewhat recent restoration of Music Hall is now ironic as it is hypocritical. On top of their desire to seek tax payer dollars to fund this project for a so called “non-profit.” Ha. CSO/MEMI didn’t have to be the villain, but they’re certainly acting like one. 

    Regardless of what some have said, the pool was apparently still doing well and even turning a profit. I just don’t think the then ownership wanted anything to do with either the wet or dry side of the park. It’s deteriorated over the last ten-ish years to its current, non existent state. It’s my opinion, based on their actions, that they have just wanted to get away from it all. The ride closures solidified that. And that’s a shame because, if ran well, the park had so much life in it still. They deserve a lot of the blame. 

    That said, CSO/MEMI have done nothing to help themselves. They can’t complain about being vilified if they’re going to vocally speak out against the wishes of the overwhelming majority. They don’t have to close/demolish the pool. But they’re choosing to. So, in that sense, they deserve a lot of the blame too. 

    It’s just a garbage situation that could’ve been easily prevented had the park been run properly. There’s room for the venues, pool, and park to coexist. But that’s just not their plan, unfortunately. Hopefully Moonlite Gardens and the surrounding area can be saved. It could be a wonderful addition to their new “campus,” and it would be a nice nod to history. Maybe. I’d be willing to throw my support behind any historical preservation efforts should it come to that. 

    A sad ending, regardless. Hard to believe that for the first time since 1925, Sunlite Pool will not be operating for the people of Cincinnati. 

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