In August 1929 Thomas Emery and Sons announced a $30 million real estate deal to erect the largest building complex of its kind in the United States.
On November 1929 excavation began in Cincinnati. The Carew Tower was named after John Carew (1848-1914), co-founder of the Mabley & Carew department store chain. The complex included a 48-story office building, a 750 car 28 story garage, department store, arcade, an 800 room 29 story hotel, and restaurants.
Incredibly in 7 months, the Carew Tower was dedicated on July 10, 1930. The entire project took only 17 months with the garage being one of the final items to be completed. The primary retail tenant was Mabley & Carew, (Pogue’s moved in when Mabley & Carew moved across the street in 1962). The Netherland Plaza opened on the west side of the tower.
The Carew tower is a 49-story building towering over the city at 574 feet, no longer is the tallest building in the city. Upon the building of the Great American Tower, The Carew fell to the second tallest. The Great American Tower has only 41 floors but is a towering 660 feet tall.
Due to its great history and amazing architecture the Carew Tower was added as a National Historic landmark in 1982.
The Empire State building was modeled after the Carew Tower. The Carew building is described as an amazing example of French Art Deco architecture. For this reason, the Carew Tower was used to model the building of the Empire State building in New York City.
The Carew tower was featured in the opening and closing credits of a popular soap opera. The long running soap opera, The Edge of Night, used the Carew Tower and PNC Tower in their opening and closing credits. The buildings appeared in these credits for thirteen years from 1967 – 1980.
The famous French Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles was the inspiration behind the Hall of Mirrors banquet room at the Carew. The beautiful mirror décor in France has been used as inspiration for many copies and renditions around the world.
It is certainly a building that many should stop and see when they are in town.
During the spring and summer the observation deck is open providing remarkable views of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. #TBT