Cincinnati Council To Vote On King Records Historic Designation

Oct 5, 2015

The full Cincinnati Council is likely to vote Wednesday on an ordinance designating the former King Records complex in Evanston as a historic landmark.  

The Neighborhoods Committee approved the measure Monday unanimously.  

The designation could prevent the complex's owner from tearing it down.  

Resident Robert Beckman supports preserving the building.

“Keeping the actual building will help people connect with a unique and hands-on way,” Beckman said.

An attorney for Dynamic Industries, which owns a portion of the complex, said there are problems with the historic designation application.  Tim Burke said it was deliberately backdated so it shows it came before the owner's request for a demolition permit.   The company is fighting the issue in court.  

Burke said there have been discussions about a settlement.

“If the intention is to try and preserve the entire building, it will be very difficult to find a mutually agreeable solution,” Burke said.  “If the intention is to find some way to preserve the history of that site, that’s imminently doable.”

The city’s ordinance states “Syd Nathan founded King Records in Cincinnati in the early 1940s and operated what was once the sixth largest music label in the United States from the King Records Complex in the Evanston neighborhood, where a racially diverse and integrated workforce of over four hundred individuals recorded, pressed, and packaged vinyl records for global distribution.”

King Records musicians include artists such as Tiny Bradshaw, James Brown, The Stanley Brothers, Otis Williams, Little Willie John, and Freddy King.