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Celebrating the leadership, vision, tenacity, and love of community shared by the recipients of the Great Living Cincinnatian Award, presented annually by the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber since 1967.
1898 – 1976
John J. Emery moved from his native New York to Cincinnati in 1924 and soon became a leader in civic, business, industrial, and cultural affairs. Aco-founder of the reformist Charter party, he also determined to reinvigorate the Downtown center, even while suburban development was first providing competition before and after World War II. He inherited the extensive Emery family real-estate and manufacturing enterprises, founded in 1836, at the death of his aunt, Mary M. (Mrs. Thomas J.) Emery, the philanthropist and sponsor of the exemplary planned community of Mariemont.
The Netherland complex, consisting of the Netherland Plaza Hotel, the Carew Office Tower, and the Emery Arcade, expresses the vision of John J. Emery, Jr. Cincinnati’s two Art Deco masterpieces were erected just at the end of the booming 1920s and the beginning of the Depression. Designed, constructed, and decorated in only 15 months, the complex was developed by The Starrett Co. of N.Y. The architect was Walter W. Ahlschlager (1887-1965) of Chicago, already noted for large-scale urban projects, with contributions by William Delano (1874-1960), of the elite N.Y. firm of Delano & Aldrich, who also designed Emery’s residence, “Peterloon,” in Indian Hill.
Recipients are selected from candidates by the Cincinnati Chamber’s senior council based on the following criteria: – Community service – Business and civic attainment on a local, state and national or international level – Leadership – Awareness of the needs of others – Distinctive accomplishments that have brought favorable attention to their community, institution or organization