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Planning Commission Approves Historic Designation For King Records Buildings

Update 08/21/15: The Cincinnati Planning Commission has unanimously approved a request to designate the King Records buildings as historic.

The vote is another victory for those trying to preserve the buildings. The issue goes next to a Cincinnati Council committee. The final decision will come from the full council. Dates for those meetings haven't been set.

The company which owns several of the buildings that make up the King Records property, Dynamic Industries, has filed a request to take down the crumbling buildings and rehab the area.

Dynamic Industries argues the buildings were in poor condition when they were acquired and the intention has always been to demolish them. The company filed a demolition application in June.

In a letter to the planning commission, Dynamic Industries' attorney Tim Burke says the historic designation application from King Records supporters was intentionally back-dated to make it look like it was filed before the demolition request. He also argues the historic designation application is only for 1540 Brewster Ave. Dynamic Industries' owns 1532, 1534, and 1536 Brewster Ave.

"Whatever the history of King Records, it cannot justify depriving Dynamic Industries of its property rights," said Burke.

Original Post: Those who want to preserve the recording studio where James Brown and many others cut albums will make their case before Cincinnati's planning commission Friday. Supporters want a historic designation for the King Records buildings.

The site's current owner wants to tear the buildings down and redevelop the site. The buildings are in poor condition.

Last month, the city's Historic Conservation Board ruled the site meets at least one of four criteria for the designation.

The city planning commission will now consider three questions:

  • What is the site's economic impact for the city?
  • Does it follow the city's comprehensive plan?
  • Does it follow Evanston's neighborhood plan?

If the commission agrees, the historic designation request would head to Cincinnati City Council for a final ruling.
The meeting is at 9 o'clock Friday morning.

Senior Editor and reporter at WVXU with more than 20 years experience in public radio; formerly news and public affairs producer with WMUB. Would really like to meet your dog.