May/June: 2021

ABOVE PHOTOS—State, regional, and local officials gathered to cut the ribbon on The Banks Phase IIIB.  

The Marian A. Spencer Statue dedication ceremony featured Camille Haamid, Mrs. Spencer’s niece and the model for the statue. (Photo provided by Sallie Westheimer.)

The Banks Project
May/Jun Monthly Report

Hamilton County, City of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Parks, Cincinnati Parks Foundation, and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra celebrated The Banks Public Partnership’s Phase IIIB construction completion with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on June 14.

  • The Central Riverfront Garage adds 267 spaces.
  • The Race Street turnaround and stairs lead to the plaza level of The ICON Music Center.
  • The Smale Riverfront Park Event Lawn serves as audience space for ICON Music Center outdoor performances.
  • Music and Event Management, Inc. and Cincinnati Parks will program the Smale Park Event Lawn.

Digital Message Signage enhancements provided more information on parking and payment methods, as well as available spaces in Central Riverfront Garage and surface lots.

Woman’s City Club and Cincinnati Parks dedicated a statue of Marian A. Spencer, influential civil rights champion, in Smale Park’s Women’s Garden.

Cincinnati Parks received bids to build a boat marina near the Public Landing.

Project Pillars


Percentage of workforce living within the 26-county Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area*


* There are no local residency participation goals for the project.

Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE)

Goal/participation varied by
project, between 4% and 9%.

Combined Minority and Women Workforce Participation

Female: 0.27%
Minority: 16.33%


Public Parties construction safety hours for all phases.


The Public Parties project work remained within budget.


All Public Parties work  remained on schedule.












TWEETS @IBackTheBanks

Additional Media Information

Further details are available here.
* Impressions equals the number of times users saw the tweet on Twitter.
‡ Engagements is the total number of times users have interacted with a tweet, including retweets, replies, follows, and likes.

Public Partnership

This aerial photo (taken in early June) captures the completed Phase IIIB.
Local media, funders, sponsors, and The Banks supporters attended the ribbon-cutting for Phase IIIB on June 14.
Watch the CitiCable video coverage of the entire ribbon-cutting ceremony.
A new Central Riverfront Garage entrance on Mehring Way is convenient for ICON Music Center patrons.
Work crews complete granite installation on the plaza east of Schmidlapp Event Lawn.
Stairs connect Mehring Way to Race Street for pedestrian access to the ICON Music Center’s main entrance.


Messer Construction hosted a Safety Lunch in May, recognizing the efforts of the crews working on Phase IIIB.
For The Flying Pig’s virtual race in 2021, The Banks was the site of a “Finish Swine” for runners choosing to finish their race along Freedom Way.
Schmidlapp Lawn was the site of a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in conjunction with the “Rockin’ the Roebling” concert series produced by the Moerlein Lager House.
Cranes lift painters to the upper floors to continue exterior painting on Current at The Banks.
Reds fans gather for a pre-game round along East Freedom Way’s designated outdoor refreshment area (DORA).


A crowd gathers to celebrate the dedication of the Marian A. Spencer statue in the Women’s Garden of Smale Riverfront Park.
Hamilton County Commission President Stephanie Summerow- Dumas welcomes Marian Spencer’s family, the sculptors, Woman’s City Club, and members of the public to the dedication of the first named statue of a woman in Cincinnati history.
Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley recounts the contributions of civil rights icon, City Council member, and community activist Marian A. Spencer.
Kara Kish, Cincinnati Parks Director, applauds the work of Woman’s City Club’s Spencer Statue Committee and the generosity of individual donors, prior to the unveiling.
Donald and Marian Spencer’s son Edward awaits his turn to honor his mother and her work to “keep on fighting” for equal rights and to remove barriers for African Americans.
Designed by Tom Tsuchiya and Gina Erardi, the sculpture features Spencer with two children, holding hands. Here, two children form a circle with the outstretched hands.
The Spencer installation is inscribed “Be smart, be polite, vote and keep on fighting.”
To celebrate the role of water in enslavement and freedom, Juneteenth Cincinnati hosted a weekend “Wade in The Water” event along the banks of the Ohio River in Smale Park.
A budding musician strikes the steel drum in Smale Park.
The ICON Music Center’s outdoor stage is under construction adjacent to the Smale Park Event Lawn.
Summer splash grounds at Smale Park are great for cooling off.

What‘s Next

Floor pattern in the elevator adjacent to ICON Music Center: can you name that tune?

For more information: Phil Beck, AIA, LEED AP Project Executive The Banks Project (513) 946-4434