The Art Academy of Cincinnati's new home required the combination of two older structures in Over-the-Rhine. The result is an atrium stretching six stories up, buzzing with drive, art and ideas. It's the center of the beehive.

This is more than a school. It's a community within a community. Inside, studio space for more than 100 students clusters around the atrium and runs the length of the hallways. Students work side by side with easy access to their professors. Outside, changes crop up on Vine Street, with Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation (3CDC) and local developers renovating derelict buildings to create unique condos and storefront space.

At the start of the millennium, the Art Academy was a hermit crab that had grown too big for it shell. Without working elevators, large lecture halls or space for all the equipment needed for the school's expanding programs, a move from the old historic location was deemed necessary, despite sentimental attachments to the buildings in Eden Park and Mount Adams.

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