After several months of heavy construction, a newly designed front parking lot is open at the Cincinnati Art Museum. Access to the front entrance and Art Climb is now available, and normal traffic patterns will resume in December, with more improvements to the arrival court to be finalized before the end of the year.
The greenest addition to the lot is a group of electric vehicle charging stations for visitor use. A partnership with local startup Electrada provides four Level 2 EV charging stations that accommodate up to eight electric vehicles at one time. An hour of charge at one of these stations can power a vehicle for up to 30 miles of driving. Touchless payment will be managed through the app FLO, accessible on all smartphones.
The new design and reconstruction of the parking lot has introduced several improvements to the museum’s grounds. One of these is massive but invisible to visitors: underneath the blacktop lies a new water retention tank, the size of 36 of the 145 parking spaces on the lot. The new retention tank will collect all rainwater from the grounds, effectively controlling soil erosion on the hill, and recycle it into the Hamilton County Municipal water system.
Of the 145 spots on the updated parking lot, which has been newly laid out for more intuitive traffic flow, 10 are now ADA accessible. Combined with the existing ADA accessible spots in the rear lot, this creates a current total of 19 accessible spots on site.
Paths from the top of the Art Climb steps to the front entrance are also getting an upgrade. Two new paths to be completed in December will provide a seamless transition between these zones of the museum grounds. One, which is fully ADA accessible, will lead from the top landing of the Climb to the accessible museum front entrance. This path to the landing will allow visitors with strollers, in wheelchairs or with other mobility needs, to take in the views from the top of the Art Climb and observe the outdoor sculpture. The landing is currently the location of sculptor Tony Rosenthal’s nine-foot matte black steel “Cube,” on loan from Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park. Another winding landscaped path will also connect the top of the grounds along Gilbert Avenue with the front entrance.
In February, a beloved and iconic museum monument will return to the museum’s front entrance, joining a brand new one. Jim Dine’s “Pinocchio (Emotional)” will be reinstalled between the parking lot and the arrival court. The newest addition will be a striking wind sculpture from British-Nigerian contemporary artist Yinka Shonibare, commissioned by the Cincinnati Art Museum. More details will be provided closer to the installation.