The Cincinnati Park Board and nonprofit Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation finished renovation of Washington Park in July after its being closed for almost 18 months, during which time cemetery & archeological remains were excavated & cataloged, and the property was expanded from 6 acres to 8 acres, which included the construction of a parking garage beneath it for up to 450 cars, complementing the City's historic Music Hall across the street. Renovations cost about $46 million.
A Cincinnati.com article back in June predicted that "Importantly, the park plan should contribute to the neighborhood's efforts to reduce crime. In 2000, police responded to 3,135.5 crimes per 1,000 people in Over-the-Rhine and nearby Pendleton. Although the number of crimes dropped 39 percent by 2010, the rate remains twice as high as the average city neighborhood. And serious crime incidents increased again last year.
The park officially re-opened Friday, July 6, 2012 with a ribbon cutting ceremony and a concert by a choir in town for the World Choir Games which had just begun in Cincinnati.
But now, a lawsuit has been filed against the Park Board by three Over-the-Rhine residents alleging it of improperly adopting the rules and surrendering too much of its authority to the Cincinnati Center City Development Corp. (3CDC), which now manages the park. The suit challenges several rules that homeless advocates say are not posted in other city parks and discriminate against the less fortunate, such as prohibitions against rummaging in trash and dropping off food or clothing. ( Article and Complaint )