Energized by a belief that artists create value within a community, the Foundation, the City of Hamilton, the Fitton Center, Neighborhood Housing Services and other community partners have joined with Artspace USA to create Artspace Hamilton. The project will rehabilitate two historic buildings on High Street restoring them to their original appearance. The Artspace project will continue the community’s impressive drive to reinvent downtown as an arts district. Forty two artist live/work units, plus 3,000 square feet of commercial space for arts groups and arts-related businesses will be created. Affordable housing for artists will encourage a live and work lifestyle, provide an anchor for a downtown neighborhood, and attract other artists and businesses while expanding access to the arts. Qualifying artisans will commit to their craft, work with other residents and participate in local arts events. Construction is expected to begin in spring 2013.
Skills Central – A Supportive Community Learning Collaboration
The Foundation has partnered with many organizations including Butler Tech, the Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, Hamilton City Schools, Miami Valley Ballet Theater and Historic Developers to transform the former Journal News building on Court Street into Skills Central – A Supportive Community Learning Collaboration. The $2.5 million performing arts project will provide students the opportunity to obtain a GED, pursue arts-related education or vocational training, participate in the performing arts, or obtain a certificate or college degree. A number of arts and non-profit institutions will be moving into the building providing a cultural hub of activity downtown. Phase II of the project will bring college partners to the center, allowing students to pursue associates and bachelor’s degrees.
The Foundation is excited for the future of the community as we assist with funds to re-energize the city through the RiversEdge Park Project; an opportunity for residents to reconnect with the river. The former Mercy Hospital site is transforming into a public park, bike trail extension, and amphitheater. The $1.5 million 7.3 acre project along the Great Miami River is well underway and will soon host numerous concerts and fairs promoting a vibrant healthy community coming together to celebrate the best of what downtown Hamilton has to offer.
The city of Hamilton continues to move forward with goals of restoring our urban community to a prominent position. As one of the initial sponsors of the CORE Fund, (Consortium for Ongoing Reinvestment Efforts), the Foundation is helping provide financial resources for qualified residential and commercial real estate projects within Hamilton’s urban core. This partnership will maximize results for revitalization projects through offering gap financing and a strategic framework for project initiation. Property targets include the former facilities of Smart Paper, Ohio Casualty, and Elder Beerman.
In 2005, the Hamilton Community Foundation’s Board of Trustees sought to improve the quality of life in our community by focusing efforts on economic development projects in the city of Hamilton. Thus, the Community Development Fund was born. Established as a method for investing in community projects that have a profound impact on the economic vitality of our community, the Board chose the renovation of the Hamiltonian Hotel as its first Community Development Fund project.
The result is the beautiful Courtyard by Marriott in downtown Hamilton.
The hotel is owned and operated by Concord Hospitality Enterprises Company, an experienced operator of Marriott and other fine hotels. The beauty of this project is that as the $6 million is repaid to the Foundation, those funds will be available to finance other critical community initiatives.
Thanks to the incredible generosity of these donors the Hamilton Community Foundation was successful in raising more than $6 million for the Community Development Fund initiative. We would like to thank our Foundation benefactors for their leadership, vision and investment in our community.
50th Anniversary Gifts to the Community
In 2001 in honor of the Foundation’s 50th anniversary of serving the community, the Board of Trustees decided it would be most appropriate to give back to the community by making several substantial gifts to the city. Today, through the generous support of the Foundation, these community projects continue to be tremendous assets to the city of Hamilton.
A separate endowment fund has been established for each gift to ensure long-term maintenance and capital improvements.
Hamilton Gateway Project
The City Entrance Gateway Sign and Landscaping creates a beautiful vista as travelers enter our city on Route 129.
Michael J. Colligan Lodge
The old American Legion building at Veteran’s Park was restored and rededicated as the Michael J. Colligan Lodge. It features a modern kitchen, new restrooms, extensive landscaping, front patio and a spacious new terrace overlooking the city. New lighting, heating, air conditioning and furnishings were also added.
The Colligan Lodge is now an important gathering place for community events, celebrations and family gatherings.
Foundation Field at the Booker T. Washington Community Center is now a state-of-the-art baseball complex that serves as the home field for the Miami University Hamilton baseball team and for other youth baseball games and tournaments. In the spring of 2007, Foundation Field hosted the Hamilton High Badin High game for the first time, drawing a huge crowd and enhancing this cross town competition.
To honor Hamilton’s award-winning author, Robert McCloskey, the Foundation commissioned internationally known sculptor Nancy Schon to portray this memorable character from McCloskey’s first book. The playful sculpture graces a small park at the corner of High Street and Riverfront Plaza. Lentil Park is a wonderful pocket park in downtown that boasts sculptures of Lentil and his dog from Mr. McCloskey’s first book Lentil. In May of 2007, a major historical plaque honoring McCloskey was unveiled.
The skateboard park in Joyce Park is a joint project with the City of Hamilton and the City of Fairfield. This park is a great facility for skating enthusiasts to enjoy their sport and draws quite a crowd all year long.
Our largest Anniversary gift is a five-mile extension to the Bike Path, which will connect 13 parks and nearly 900 acres. It follows the historic Miami-Erie Canal, ending at the scenic Rentschler Forest Preserve. Although this project has seen its share of delays, the plans are now complete and construction is expected to begin in the near future. This significant addition to the bikeway will help make this trail an important link for walkers, runners and cyclist in our community and from throughout the region.
Butler County United Way
City of Hamilton
City of Sculpture
Fitton Center for Creative Arts
Hamilton City Schools
Hamilton Convention and Visitors Bureau
Lane Public Library
Miami University Hamilton
The Presbyterian Church of Hamilton, OH
Stephen T. Badin High School