Excerpt: Public restrooms are generally nondescript, sterile places, and the Portland Loo at 9 W. Mehring Way on the far end of Smale Riverfront Park is no exception. It’s squat, gray and utilitarian, and since its 2015 installation it has existed in quiet obscurity next to Paul Brown Stadium, which is shuttered for half the year.


The Portland Loo also happens to be the symbol that inspired Jason Haap and Justin Jeffre, the founders of Cincinnati’s regional PHLUSH (pronounced “flush”) chapter. PHLUSH (Public Hygiene Lets Us Stay Human) pushes for equitable public toilet availability and, through the organization, Haap and Jeffre hope to change the way Cincinnati looks at one of our most basic needs.


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