After about 10 years at our old offices in Clifton near the university of Cincinnati we have sold our buildings and moved to the up and coming downtown neighborhood of Over The Rhine (OTR for short). We are located at 1428 Race Street just a half block north of Washington Park and across the street from this historic church that will soon become the Taft Ale House (yeah, not bad eh?). Thanks to 3CDC for helping us get into the new Westfalen II building on Race Street. The building was just recently completed with condos above our 1st floor retail office space. Since we just moved days ago our new space is not ready to show yet. Boxes everywhere, white walls, etc. But we will host an open house soon when we have the place looking spiffy. Also, the new street car construction is happening just outside our front door so its a little dirty outside right now. But that should make it easy to get from our offices to Rhinegiest brewery, the banks or many other downtown attractions and lunch spots. If you are visiting, try street parking out front first. There are usually spots during the business day. But otherwise there is a great underground garage under Washington park and you can walk a half block north on Race to our offices at 1428 Race street.
For Immediate Release May 24, 2011
CINCINNATI — Electronic Art (www.ElectronicArt.com), a Cincinnati interactive agency specializing in touch-screen kiosks, digital signage, and integrated websites, announces their contribution to a new exhibit at the Cincinnati Library. Electronic Art has integrated two large-scale digital touch-screen displays into the Cincinnati Library’s much-anticipated exhibit showcasing the restored Cincinnati Riverfront Panorama of 1848 daguerreotype.
The daguerreotype consists of eight slides covering two miles of Cincinnati’s riverfront in 1848. Charles Fontayne and William Porter took the photographs on a rooftop in Newport, Kentucky, across the Ohio River from Cincinnati. The daguerreotype, invented in 1839 as the first practical method of photography, captured images with a very high resolution.
Electronic Art installed two 52-inch flat-panel interactive touch-screens that will allow library visitors to view the images in high definition, and zoom in, much like on an iPad, to see the detail and clarity of the photographs. Visitors will also be able to touch certain areas on the screen to learn more about the photo, view life in mid-nineteenth century Cincinnati, and gain more insight into the city’s then developing neighborhoods.
“The Library has had this daguerreotype for a long period of time, and we knew we had to showcase it. The question was, how do we display it in a way that both protects it and also enables people to appreciate the historic value and relevance of this remarkable piece of Cincinnati history?” said Jason Buydos, Cincinnati Library Assistant Director of Support Services & Project Manager for the daguerreotype display. “That’s where Electronic Art came in. Together we came up with a flat touch-screen display that would allow visitors to tap on the screen to zoom in for a closer look and more information. I am very happy with the result.”
Electronic Art also contracted with Harlan Graphic Arts Services, who helped build the enclosure.
“We installed the enclosure around the daguerreotype and kiosk, and created the display graphics. It was definitely and honor and pleasure to work with such a priceless piece of Cincinnati history. Electronic Art and everybody at the library were great to work with. I am proud to be a part of it,” said Dave Johnson, Managing Director, Harlan Graphic Arts Services.
“We enjoyed the challenge of using a multi-touch interface on a grand scale to enable guests to interact with the art,” said Tim Burke, President of Electronic Art. “Our staff faced many challenges, such as working with large file sizes. We had to implement high-end machines with 12GB of memory, and determine a technique to allow the best interaction with the high-resolution images. A database enables staff to add points of interest in an overlay layer within the Adobe Flash-based application, which brings a rich educational component.”
More Information About the Daguerreotype
Conservators at the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film in Rochester, New York , cleaned and stabilized the photos, digitized the images, and remounted them in their original antique frame. Along with being the first and most well-known daguerreotype to depict an American city, this photo is also one of the most famous in the history of the medium. It was displayed in the Crystal Palace at the first World’s Fair in London, and is widely considered to be the “Mona Lisa” of daguerreotypes. It contains the first photographic images of steamboats, a railroad station, and one of the country’s earliest astronomical observatories.
The Cincinnati Riverfront Panorama of 1848 is now on permanent display in the Joseph S. Stern, Jr. Cincinnati Room at the Library. For more information, visit www.cincinnatilibrary.org.
About Electronic Art
Electronic Art (www.ElectronicArt.com) is a Cincinnati-based interactive agency specializing in computer kiosks and digital signage, as well as many related online interactive services. Originally founded in 1998, Electronic Art began primarily as a Web studio, offering high-end custom programming, ecommerce, and design. Today, Electronic Art provides custom solutions for many industries via kiosks, digital signage, and website development.
We’ve been working with the Freedom Center since 2006 and got a chance to redesign their website in 2007. It was a huge undertaking, a complete rethinking of the site’s purpose, architecture, and design.
Over time the homepage was updated to meet the changing needs of the organization. Recently we were tasked with addressing an upcoming shift in the Freedom Center’s online communications goals and didn’t feel the existing layout could accommodate that without pushing other important information into the background.
The center plans on highlighting the work they do combating modern slavery and want the website’s blog to be the primary avenue for this push. That meant getting articles on the homepage without overwhelming visitors with walls of text. We accomplished this goal by bringing a list of recent blog articles to the homepage and also dedicating a large navigation element to the Slavery Today section of the website.
The other elements of the homepage each provide quick access to the site’s more popular sections, we also brought a list of upcoming events in to help balance out the blog headlines.
One of the biggest challenges we faced during our initial design was the lack of great photography. The building and the exhibits are truly stunning but we struggled to get that across. Cincinnati architecture photographer Miles Wolf has taken some amazing interior and exterior shots since our first go around and we weren’t going to miss the chance to incorporate them into the new site (the home page greets visitors with one of 6 randomly chosen images and each of the main sections also sports a large photograph).
Fortunately, due to the modular approach we took to our rebuild of the site in 2007, the process of applying the design to the site went very quickly. With the exception of the home page, which was built from scratch, we were able to apply the new design across the whole site in just a few hours work.
Visit the site and let us know what you think.
This past spring we acquired the building next to our office building which shares the same parking lot between our buildings. We mostly wanted to control the parking, but are also excited about renovating the space into some Jazzy offices. The whole Cincinnati Uptown area is revitalizing, with many big real estate projects starting up down the street from us. Soapbox media just published an article about how Uptown is all about the “new urbanism”. And they describe the recent projects around the corner from our offices and some new development coming to the short Vine entertainment district. Short Vine is a segment of the old Vine Street that was sectioned off years ago and is only about 6 blocks long but full of retail, restaurants, a library, a firehouse, a school, a post office, and a Cincinnati landmark: Bogarts concert theatre. All within 2 blocks of our offices.
So you can imagine, I feel a bit more comfortable renovating the office building next door. We haven’t fully determined the detailed project plans yet, nor gone after the financing but we are confident because we have done several rehabs in the past (including our current office building) and have good relationships with our bankers and contractors. One of the first steps is demolition, as this place had a lot of “deferred maintenance”. The previous owner bought the building in the mid 1970’s and I don’t believe the ever did much to it. The place is full of old dark paneling, drop ceilings and fluorescent lighting. Yuck! And it was chopped up into several small offices with no windows. Who works like that? Well, it was an insurance company, and next to CPA’s they don’t have much more personality frankly! (my current agent excluded, of course)
So some of our first steps were to demo the false walls and ceilings out to see what was truly behind those walls. We found victorian era wall paper on the walls and ceilings, original light fixtures, cove moldings, picture rails, transom lights above the entry door, and about 10 windows that were covered up by old aluminum siding on the outside, and paneling on the inside. They all still have the original sashes and glass intact! When this building was renovated, caves must have been in vogue, becuase this place is unnaturally dark without the windows. When we were removing paneling in the 2nd floor, we found a calendar tacked to the wall behind it from November of 1969. Charming from a local pharmacy down the street that no longer exists, of course. Once we finish with initial demolition we will know what to expect and begin detailed plans for the renovation that will include exposed brick walls, hard wood floors, high ceilings, re-opening the hidden windows, and creating a really unique space.
It’s a big project and a long process, for sure. But not intimidating. We love this type of work and not to brag, but i’m more than handy… i’ve got true contractor skilz. The difference is I show up for work and don’t need the beer money. We look forward to the day this building is ready to move into, as we will abandon our current space across the parking lot and enjoy a bit larger space. Frankly, our staff are pretty squeezed in together, which has benefits and drawbacks. I think everyone will like the larger space. Okay, if you like demo… come help out! There’s plenty of work to go around.