Tuesday, February 4, 2003

New crown for Devou Park's hill

Drees donates $2M glass building

By Cindy Schroeder
The Cincinnati Enquirer

COVINGTON - The million-dollar view from atop Devou Park may soon be seen from a new $2 million glass pavilion.

By year's end, the Drees Pavilion, a reception hall and conference center donated by the Northern Kentucky home builder, is scheduled to open at Devou Park's highest point to mark the company's 75th anniversary.The one-story, 10,000-square-foot brick and stone building will hold more than twice as many guests as the park's Memorial building, and it will feature "lots of glass,'' including glass arches on each side of the entrance so that visitors can see "right through the building,'' said Drees Co. spokeswoman Anne Mitchell.

The back of the building will feature a patio and terrace where a bride and groom can have their photos taken with the Cincinnati skyline as a backdrop.

Officials of the Drees Co. see the new facility as a lasting testament to the Drees legacy.

Chairman Ralph Drees announced the gift at a celebration Saturday kicking off the company's year-long anniversary observance.

"This will be a first-class facility,'' said Covington City Manager Greg Jarvis. "We certainly applaud Mr. Drees and his family and company for making this contribution not only to the city and the park but also the region.''

The project requires court approval because Kenton Circuit Court has jurisdiction over the William P. Devou Trust. Devou left the hilly 700-acre park to the city of Covington as a gift to its residents, and it is administered by the city and the Devou Trust.

Representatives of the Drees Co., the city of Covington and the Devou Trust will take part in the March 4 hearing before Judge Steven Jaeger. Construction would start as soon as the court gives its approval, weather permitting.

E-mail cschroeder@enquirer.com

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