By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor
After nearly five years of planning, the Kennedy Heights Arts Center, together with its partners, Kennedy Heights Montessori Center and Kennedy Heights Development Corp., broke ground Nov. 14, on the Carl, Robert, Richard and Dorothy Lindner Annex.
A Kroger store once occupied the site at the corner of Kennedy Avenue and Montgomery Road. Now, the Kennedy Heights Arts Center plans to transform the location into a vibrant cultural campus that will attract thousands of visitors each year. In a news release, the organization said that the Kennedy Heights neighborhood “is about to undergo one of the region’s most dramatic revitalizations.”
Plans call for the construction of a 10,500-square-foot annex, with 3,000 square feet of multi-purpose event space for workshops, theatre, dance and music classes, a state-of-the-art Scripps Howard Media Center, ten individual artist studios, and a gallery in the lobby. It will be completed in 2015.
The Lindner Annex will be located two doors down from the center’s historic mansion facility. It will quadruple the center’s size and will allow it to serve nearly 10,000 people, twice as many as it does now. The new building will also house the Kennedy Heights Montessori Center and will have space for a third organization.
The project’s $700,000 cost is being funded with the help of a $250,000 donation from Robert and Betty Lindner. Other major contributors include: Greater Cincinnati Foundation, Scripps Howard Foundation, George and Margaret McLane Foundation, The Kroger Co., John A. Schroth Charitable Trust/PNC Bank Trustee, Louise Taft Semple Foundation, Thomas Emery Memorial and the Ruth and Robert Conway Foundation. The city of Cincinnati also contributed a $675,000 grant to help the nonprofit Kennedy Heights Development Corp. buy the building in 2012.
The project carries a special meaning for the Lindner family, as Carl, Robert, Richard and Dorothy Lindner all attended the Kennedy-Silverton School. Over the past ten years, the Lindner family has contributed more than $900,000 to support the Kennedy Heights Arts Center.
Photo credit: Kennedy Heights Arts Center