Great American Tower Tiara

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Adorning the top of the 41-story Great American Tower in Cincinnati, Ohio, rests the award-winning rooftop tiara constructed of architecturally exposed structural steel featuring a fluoropolymer coating system from Tnemec that’s worthy of a Queen City. “The coating system was specified correctly, applied correctly and everything went according to plan,” according to Dan Haines with Ohio Coating Consultants.

Designed by HOK in St. Louis, Missouri, the Great American Tower is part of the Queen City Square (QCS) complex commissioned by Eagle Realty Group and cosponsored by its funding partners, the Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority and the City of Cincinnati. The contractor was Turner Construction Company.Great American Tower Tiara Image 1Great American Tower Tiara Image 2

Individual structural steel components were assembled and coated by the fabricator to minimize the number of construction pieces handled in the field. Approximately 80 percent of the assembly effort was completed in the fabricator’s shop prior to shipping.

The structural steel sections were prepared by the fabricator in accordance with SSPC-SP6/NACE No. 3 Commercial Blast Cleaning and shop-primed with 400 gallons of Series 90-97 Tneme-Zinc, a zinc-rich aromatic urethane.

Another 470 gallons of Series 161 Tneme-Fascure, a low temperature-cure polyamide epoxy, were used as an intermediate coat, followed by a finish coat of Series 1072 Fluoronar, a high-solids fluoropolymer resin. Approximately 290 gallons of Fluoronar in a custom color match designated as QCS Gray were required for the 400-ton steel tiara.

An ultra-durable finish, Fluoronar was chosen by the architect for its gloss and color retention, according to coating consultant Mike Cerutti, CSI, who worked closely with HOK on the Great American Tower project. “It was picked for its longevity because the future cost of recoating this structure would be astronomical,” Cerutti explained. “The architect was extremely pleased with the finish.”

In 2012, the Great American Tower rooftop tiara earned national recognition in the Innovative Design in Engineering and Architecture with Structural Steel (IDEAS2) awards program of the American Institute of Steel Construction. The IDEAS2 award is the most prestigious honor bestowed on building projects by the structural steel industry in the U.S.

The 41-story Great American Tower is Cincinnati’s tallest and “greenest” building, having earned the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold level of certification. The building contains 800,000 square feet of office space over a 2,000 car parking facility.

project information

Project Name

Great American Tower Tiara

Project Location

Cincinnati, Ohio

Project Completion Date

July 2010


Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority, Cincinnati, Ohio


Eagle Realty Group, Cincinnati, Ohio


HOK, St. Louis, Missouri

Steel Applicator

Owen Steel Company, Columbia, South Carolina

Field Applicator

Frank Novak & Sons, Cleveland, Ohio