The cool urban feeling of the Central Business District is the result of new businesses, many of them technology-related, blending with the old in the historic mixed-use buildings of the neighborhood.
Catalyzed in large part by the successful Mutual Building and Hotel Covington renovations, new apartments are being built and many new restaurants, shops and bars have opened. The arts and technology district has much to offer residents who prefer to live, work and play all in the same area.
Public Art There are many world-class murals in this neighborhood, as well as galleries and unique sculptures.
1. Pike Street Art Wall (2016 W. Pike St.) is a creative solution to an empty lot in downtown Covington. It was designed and built by local artist Chris Meyer and funded with a Creative Community grant from the Center for Great Neighborhoods. It is an architectural facade that is compatible with those in the neighborhood that also serves as a curated gallery space, showcasing the work of local artists.
2. Astro Lad (8 W. Pike St.) The art collective known as The London Police (TLP) were invited to Covington in 2010, when they debuted their cartoon-like dog characters, called Lads. This is one of them.
3. BLDG (30 W. Pike St.) in their own words, BLDG is “Creative Kentuckians who contemplate what’s possible in the world of branding, design and curation. BLDG is an experience: our Kentucky locale, connection with the urban contemporary art world, and branding prowess work together to create inspirational, visionary and uncommon design solutions for clients. Transformation is inevitable, ordinary is unacceptable. Let’s create.” BLDG’s first floor gallery space is currently showing artwork inspired by the Cincinnati Reds.
Read more about The London Police in this article from the River City News.
4. C Lad (200 W. Pike St.) Another fun example of the Lad character, painted by The London Police.
5. Dale Rogers Sculpture (8th St. & Pike St.) This bold sculpture is a nice touch of modern art in this historic neighborhood.
6. Duveneck Statue (W. 7th & Pike St.) Frank Duveneck was a painter and sculptor from Covington. Several of his works are in the Cincinnati Art Museum. This bronze statue depicts him holding a picture of his wife. The construction work going on in Duveneck Square is for a planned apartment complex that will add more than 100 units to the neighborhood, as well as commercial space and more parking.
7. Love the Cov Mural (27 W. 7th St.) This mural and several other similar ones were created in honor of Covington’s 200th birthday in 2015. The hash tag #Love the Cov remains a popular way to show how you feel about this interesting and quirky city.
8. Mosaic Benches (W 7th & Madison Ave.) Pictured at top of this page, these benches were created by over 200 community residents, under the guidance of artist. Listen to Cov200tour’s brief audio tour of these benches.
9. Northern Kentucky Panorama Mural (717 Madison Ave.) This ArtWorks mural pays tribute to Northern Kentucky’s diverse people and places. The project manager for the mural was Kelley Hensing.
10. Zen Rock Garden (7th St. & Russell St.) This rock garden, called Interpose, was a project of Renaissance Covington. The large rocks and lighting make what was once a dingy space overpass into a calm setting.
11. Salute to Mighty Mike Amann (27 W. 7th St.) This piece of public art from The London Police (TLP) honors Mike Amann, the artist and community organizer who first brought TLP to the area.
12. Sandra Small Gallery
13. Sun Dial (8th & Pike St.) Artist David Rice created this interactive sun dial with a grant from the Center for Great Neighborhoods. IOn a sunny day, follow the instructions and let your body cast the time-telling shadow.
Architecture & History Many of the commercial and mixed-use buildings in this neighborhood date back to the last 1800’s and have storied pasts.
1. Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption (1140 Madison Ave.) Built in the early 1900’s, this cathedral is a beautiful example of Gothic ecclesiastical architecture. It has 26 gargoyles and beautiful stained glass windows that were installed in 1915, after the main spaces were completed. For more information about its history, click here.
2. Covington Station (200 W. Pike St.) A former train station, this building was renovated by its tenants, the architecture firm of Hub+Weber. There are some great before and after photos in this article.
3. Mutter Gottes Church (119 W. 6th St.) Located in the Mutter Gottes Historic District, this Italian Renaissance Revival church was dedicated in 1871. Its twin spires help to make it a landmark in the neighborhood.
4. Mutual Building (629 Madison Ave.) This beautiful building was built over 100 years ago. Until the recent renovation, it had sat vacant for close to 20 years. Now it houses an upscale bar, the Hannaford, which is named after the architect of the Mutual Building. It also has other street-level commercial tenants, as well as 15 market-rate apartments.
5. Motch Clock (613 Madison Ave.) The cast iron clock that stands outside Motch Jewelers was built by Boston E. Howard & Co. It has stood in front of the store for over 135 years and is still wound once a week with the original key.
6. Kenton County Public Library-Covington Branch (502 Scott St.) The library was built in 1974 and extensively renovated in 2013. It is well known for its extensive Local History and Genealogy collection. Here is a brief audio tour of the library from cov200tour.com
Physical Activities There are several workout facilities in this neighborhood, including Body by Bree, Fit Next and Rooted Yoga. The Licking River Greenway and Trails begins at Randolph Park on 9th St.
Restaurants: There is a great selection of eating and drinking establishments in the Central Business District. Click on each for more information.
4. Crepe Cafe
10. Molly Malone’s
11. Octave Lounge
12. Old Town Cafe’
13. Old Towne Tavern
14. Rima’s Diner
15. Riverside Korean
16. The Globe
17. The Hannaford
18. Wabi Sabi