After the war, Crosley sold his company to the Aviation Corporation (AVCO) in 1946, but still remained on the Board of Directors. The innovations continued. WLWT, a Crosley television station, became the first NBC affiliate, Crosley corp. introduced the first disc brakes, designed television sets, had the first color t.v. broadcast and continued their line of home appliances.
By 1956 AVCO phased out the Crosley name, but kept the buidling, even using it to design their ablative plating for the Apollo moon lander. By the late 70's though, AVCO sold the facility and left Cincinnati. Coincidentally, around the same time that the World Hockey Association (and its Cincinnati Stingers team) were folding. The league's championship trophy was sponsored by AVCO and dubbed as "The Avco World Trophy."
The building changed owners multiple times after that. Smaller radio stations took up temporary residence, a key chain manufacturer moved in and office furniture was sold there. Today the building awaits a future. The current owners have slowly been cleaning it out.The city applied for stimulus funds to help renovate the building in 2009, but as of this writing no definite funding has been secured. Kids spray paint the walls, the neighborhood residents complain and the building just sits next to the highway.
While the history of Crosley's innovations that came from within the buildings walls are often forgotten, the people who worked there are not. People like Bill Smith.
A site reader named Beth Battle contacted me over on the facebook page after she had seen the building featured here on QC/D before. Beth's grandfather, Bill Smith, worked in the building for 40 years. Bill contributed not only to appliance and radio manufacturing, wartime projects and components of the moon landing, but to the return of Apollo 13 as well - he was even flown out for the landing. Contrasted with recent photos of The Crosley Building, Beth was kind enough to contribute the historical photographs seen in this article. Many of the photographs feature her grandfather.
Bill passed away in August of 2007, a few months after the first time I explored the Crosley Building. While the building's fate is yet to be determined and slowly becomes forgotten - the innovations of the Crosley Corporation and employees like Bill Smith are not.
This article is dedicated to his memory.
Special thanks to Beth Battle for contributing these photographs.
For further reading and more photos check out the previous Crosley posts and check out Dr. Venkman's excellent writing and photos on the building's history and future over at Local.Architecture: Cincinnati.