Verdin, president and CEO of an iconic Cincinnati family-owned business founded in 1842, died Aug. 8, 2018 after a short illness. The Indian Hill resident was 82.
The name of the Verdin Co. is on countless bell towers, clock towers and carillons it has installed throughout the Cincinnati region.
Verdin and his partners restored the old St. Paul’s Church, which was threatened with closing. The church houses the Bell Event Centre and once housed the Verdin headquarters, which are still in Pendleton in the Cincinnati area.
He also championed Pendleton as an artist community and founded the PAC in Over-The-Rhine in 1991. It has since grown to house one of the world’s largest collection of artists under one roof.
Wittman, the first business owner to sign a lease in the PAC, credits the center for being the economic engine that has driven the revitalization of downtown. She said several businesses that started in the PAC — Mockingbirds, Miss Selby Soaps and Flores Leathers Works — either opened store fronts in Middletown, or outgrew their space.
She said the Pendleton brought “name recognition” to Middletown since the art center with the same name helped resurrect OTR in Cincinnati.
“It has done the same thing here in Middletown,” Wittman said. “It really has meant a lot to what’s happening in Middletown. It gave credence to what Middletown could do as an arts community.”
Wittman said it’s amazing after eight years how many people walk into the PAC and say, “I had no idea this was here.”