The Hi-Mark: Riverside Bar
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Planning for Hi-Mark began in late 2014 when the building owner approached us with an interesting challenge: convert a small, historic house in a flood-prone part of the East End into a new bar and restaurant. The name and inspiration for Hi-Mark commemorates the highest flood on record, which rose 80’ above the banks of the Ohio River in 1937. This “high mark” is painted on the side of the building, 11’ higher than the original first floor. Federal flood regulations limit the development of property within this floodplain and require extensive flood-proofing and modifications. Our innovative solution was not to fight the flood but embrace it, opting to raise the floors 3.5' above the original level and out of the 100-year base flood elevation. We utilized this opportunity to create new openings, relationships, and sightlines. We left the historic building shell raw and exposed, with the old joists, window sills, and fireplaces left in juxtaposition with the new floors and structural reinforcing. The end result is a unique, gritty space that exudes a neighborhood vibe and hometown charm, and tells a narrative about the flood waters that shaped its design.