Saturday, January 12, 2002

Clifton celebrates: fountain's on way

Ground breaking is noon on Ludlow

By Kristina Goetz
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Local artist Matt Kotlarczyk works wth a model of the 8-foot figure that will form the centerpiece of Clifton's fountain.
(Tony Jones photo)
| ZOOM |
        After nearly four years of planning and a fund drive that raised more than $600,000, Clifton residents will gather today for the groundbreaking for a fountain, plaza and perennial garden.

        Residents will stand at the corner of Clifton and Ludlow avenues to mark what will soon be a 3,000-square-foot community meeting spot.

        The center of the project will be a fountain, an 8-foot-tall bronze figure of a woman with her arms raised. Local artist Matt Kotlarczyk incorporated Clifton icons to create the work.

        “We hope if all goes well the water will be on May 15,” said Sandy Cohan, a committee member and Clifton resident.

        The plaza, composed of natural rock walls and a granite walking surface with steps, will be named in memory of Matthew O'Brien Diggs III, whose family was a major donor.

        Marge Schott, the former Cincinnati Reds owner who was born and raised in Clifton, donated money for a perennial garden that will run along the Ludlow Avenue side of the project. The garden will be given her family name, Unnewehr.

        A small group of Clifton residents started talking a few years ago about a plaza and fountain, to mark either the millennium or the 150th anniversary of Clifton (in 2000). But those two landmark dates passed as raising the money and planning with the park board took longer than anticipated.

        Construction won't start until spring, said committee member John Berten of Clifton. He added that a significant portion of the money raised will go to an endowment that will be held by the parks foundation for upkeep.

        Residents and business owners say they will eventually plan events at the site.

        Today's event will begin at noon.


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