In its 64-year history, the Contemporary Arts Center has had a reputation for introducing new ideas from a diverse array of artists. So it's no surprise that its newly designed home, the LOIS & RICHARD ROSENTHAL CENTER FOR CONTEMPORARY ART, should be so unique. Built of concrete, steel, and glass, the six-story building, which opens May 31, seems to defy gravity. The sidewalk outside flows into the building to become the back wall. An open ramp/stair seems suspended in space. The galleries themselves appear to be part of a 3-D jigsaw puzzle with views from all sides. The inaugural exhibit at this first U.S. museum designed by a woman, Zaha Hadid, will offer interactions between visitors, the works of art, and even the building. "When the building itself is a great work of advanced art, it announces to all who enter that this is a place for experiment," says director Charles Desmarais. "It prepares us to be open to the surprises and challenges that are presented by new art."

SPORTS
America's oldest professional baseball team, the Cincinnati Reds, just got a new home, one that's a true ballpark. On March 31, the GREAT AMERICAN BALL PARK made its debut on the banks of the Ohio River. And though there's plenty that's sleek about the three-story structure, fans who long for the grand old days will be more than satisfied. "The ballpark essentially pays tribute to the Reds' rich history, especially Crosley Field, where the team came to prominence," says John Allen, the Reds' COO. To enter the ballpark, you must first walk through Crosley Terrace, where statues of players from that era are on display in a simulated game, and the pitcher's mound has the dimensions of that day and the grass has the same slope as Crosley's outfield.

HISTORY