Great American Tower at Queen City Square

The Great American Tower at Queen City Square, is a 41-story, 665-foot-tall (203 m)[1][2] skyscraper in Cincinnati, Ohio which opened in January 2011. The tower was built by Western & Southern Financial Group at a cost of $322 million including $65 million of taxpayer-funded subsidies.[5] Construction on the tower had begun in July 2008. Half the building is occupied by the headquarters of the Great American Insurance Company.[6] It is currently the third tallest building in the state of Ohio, and the tallest outside of Cleveland.

Great American Tower
at Queen City Square
Great American Tower at Queen City Square.jpg
Great American Tower in Downtown Cincinnati
Alternative namesQueen City Square Phase II
Western Southern Life Tower
General information
TypeCommercial offices
Architectural stylePostmodern
Location301 East Fourth Street
Cincinnati, Ohio
Coordinates39°05′59″N 84°30′26″W / 39.09983°N 84.507185°W / 39.09983; -84.507185Coordinates: 39°05′59″N 84°30′26″W / 39.09983°N 84.507185°W / 39.09983; -84.507185
Construction startedNovember 2008
CompletedJanuary 2011
CostUS$322 million
Antenna spire202.7 m (665 ft)[1][2]
Roof151 m (495 ft)
Top floor147 m (482 ft)
Technical details
Floor count41 (no 13th floor)
3 underground
Floor area74,322 m2 (800,000 sq ft)
Design and construction
ArchitectGyo Obata (Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum)
DeveloperWestern & Southern Financial Group
Main contractorTurner Construction


Western & Southern floated the idea of constructing a tower for twenty years following the last construction boom in Downtown Cincinnati. In 2002 the project was revived.[7] Plans called for a tower with over 800,000 sq ft (74,000 m2) of office space. When the tower opened in 2011, it was 660 ft (200 m), ending the Carew Tower's 81-year reign as the tallest building in Cincinnati. While the Great American Tower is 91 ft (28 m) taller than the Carew Tower, the latter building's roof is 79 ft (24 m) taller than the roof of the Great American Tower.[8] The building was reviewed and approved by the Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority which determined whether its parameters conformed to the outline in the Cincinnati 2000 plan for downtown including a final approval by Cincinnati City Council on June 12, 2008.[5][9]

Tenants in the building include American Financial Group, law firm Frost Brown Todd, law firm Vorys, Sater, Seymore and Pease and Western & Southern Financial Group. As of December 8, 2012, the tower itself is 90 percent leased.[10]

The majority of Western & Southern's space is located in the 303 Broadway portion of the complex.


The building's architect, Gyo Obata, designed the building to include a top inspired by Diana, Princess of Wales's tiara. Gyo was flipping through books when he came upon a picture of Diana wearing a crown. "That's perfect. Here we have the crown of the building, and the nickname for the city is Queen City," said Joe Robertson of Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum remarking to Gyo when he first saw the picture.[8] The building is constructed of glass and aluminum.[8] The ground floor lobby interiors were designed by FRCH Design Worldwide. It has met with approval from Sue Ann Painter, author of Architecture in Cincinnati (Ohio University Press, 2006), who believes the skyscraper's headdress recalls the iconic Chrysler Building. She says that the building is somewhat conservative, but pays homage to the other skyscrapers in Cincinnati.[8] Jay Chatterjee, a former dean of the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning says that the design is similar to buildings constructed in the United States during the 1980s, that it does not break any new ground at all.[8][11]


  1. ^ a b c "Great American Tower at Queen City Square". CTBUH Skyscraper Center.
  2. ^ a b "Great American Tower Fact Sheet". Queen City Square. Eagle Realty Group. 2012. Retrieved March 28, 2014.
  3. ^ Great American Tower at Queen City Square at Emporis
  4. ^ "Great American Tower at Queen City Square". SkyscraperPage.
  5. ^ a b Jane Prendergast (June 12, 2008). "City's tallest building OK'd". Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved June 17, 2008.
  6. ^ Tom McKee (December 21, 2007). "Great American Anchor Tenant At Queen City Square". WCPO. Archived from the original on January 1, 2008. Retrieved December 26, 2007.
  7. ^ Keith T. Reed (December 19, 2007). "City's tallest tower to be built". Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved December 26, 2007.
  8. ^ a b c d e Janelle Gelfand (December 26, 2007). "Diana's tiara inspires tower". Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved December 26, 2007.
  9. ^ "Eagle, Port Authority, city to partner on Great American Building". The Business Courier of Cincinnati. May 28, 2008. Retrieved June 17, 2008.
  10. ^ "Great American Tower Recognized as a Top Skyscraper in the World". Press Release. December 8, 2012. Archived from the original on August 15, 2013. Retrieved October 16, 2014.
  11. ^ Painter, Sue Ann (2006). Architecture in Cincinnati. Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press. ISBN 9780821417003.

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