Three One-of-a-Kind Spaces in Greater Cincinnati

We’d love to have basketball court hardwood floors. Wouldn’t you?
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PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY THE WILLIAMS

Cincinnati is home to hundreds of unique and historic buildings yearning for attention and creativity. Here are three of our favorite new “adaptive reuse” rehabs across the region.

YMCA-turned-apartment complex in Walnut Hills

The once popular W.J. Williams YMCA was transformed into an apartment complex with a rooftop deck for all residents and an outdoor courtyard in the middle attached to one of the units. “I love the feeling of walking up to the building,” says developer Chris Frutkin. “It really has a powerful street presence.” One unit has the shell of the Y’s original pool, which is now a living room, while another apartment features part of the original basketball hardwood.

A former thoroughbred barn is now an Indian Hill home

Carol Sanger read that the thoroughbred barn was for sale, and she decided it had to be hers. “I really wanted to do something that would be different, a creative outlet,” she says. The kitchen and dining and living rooms were built on the first floor, which formerly held horse stalls. The hayloft is the star of the show: Original rafters contrast against the second floor, and an overlook in the center peers down to the main floor.

Converting a West End church into a home

Abdiel Acevedo had been eyeing the nearby 7,500-square-foot church ever since he moved into a Dayton Street rehab in the West End. He’s now renovating the first floor into a two-bedroom, two-bath apartment, while the upstairs—with a preserved organ keyboard, 20-foot ceilings, and massive windows—will be his new home. “Cincinnati allows people to be creative,” says Acevedo. “Expect unexpected things when you walk into these buildings.”

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