Tuesday, March 21Welcome

Devou Park Overview updated to honor local business, government leaders

After the death of Drees Homes chairman and former Kenton Co. judge and executive Ralph Drees last March, his daughter, Barbara Drees Jones, sought a way to properly honor his legacy.

At the Covington City Council meeting Tuesday night, Drees Jones pitched her idea: A popular regional destination where visitors will enjoy sweeping, uninterrupted views of the Cincinnati and Covington skylines and the Ohio River. to fund and renovate the Devou Park Overlook.

This project is called the Devou Park Memorial Overlook Enhancement.

“Unfortunately my father passed away last year and we as a company wanted to do something to honor him,” Jones told the committee. “Our employees all wanted to do something along the lines of what he always did.”

The item is on the consent agenda for next week’s regular legislative session, indicating a high likelihood of approval.

In 2003, Ralph Drees stepped before the committee to propose the idea of ​​building and donating an event center at Devou Park to mark the 75th anniversary of Drees Homes.

A year later, the Drees Pavilion opened. Since its completion in 2004, more than $6.3 million has been invested in his Devou Park through proceeds from the Drees Pavilion.

Drees Jones worked with Cincinnati-based design firm MSP Design. Drees Homes utilizes his MSP for various design projects in the area.

“My father passed away last March and we started working on this in the fall,” says Drees Jones.

The five focus points of Overlook Enhancement are:

  • Added a permanent sign for Dolly’s Pavilion.
  • Add a connecting walkway from Roundabout Drive to Dolly’s Pavilion and move the flagpole to the roundabout.
  • Enhances perspective aesthetics from ADA ramps, picnic areas, parking lots, roundabouts, gazebos and pavilions.
  • Add an attractive swing, a convenient seat wall, and a pavilion that take advantage of the view.
  • Added commemorative plaque honoring the life of Ralph Drees.
Dolly’s Pavilion sign with backlight. | | Photo by Drees Homes and MSP Design.
Overview concept of renovation of Overlook in Devou Park. | | Photo by Drees Homes and MSP Design.
Overview of Overlook stairs in Devou Park. | | Photo by Drees Homes and MSP Design.

This project is funded by the Drees Homes Foundation. Drees will also oversee the project and be responsible for its construction.

“The Drees Company and certainly your dad and mom have been great partners in our city,” said deputy mayor Ron Washington. “Devou Park is absolutely beautiful and it just keeps getting better.”

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