Wednesday, December 28, 2011

University of Cincinnati

The history of the University of Cincinnati goes back to 1819 when Cincinnati College and the Medical College of Ohio were founded. In 1870 Charles McMicken donated the land and money to start what was then called McMicken University and later changed to the University of Cincinnati. In 1977 it became a state university.

There are many notable alumni and faculty from the University of Cincinnati like former President and Supreme Court Justice William Howard Taft, architect Michael Graves, developer of the oral polio vaccine Albert Sabin, and sports legends Sandy Koufax and Oscar Robertson.

The University of Cincinnati is considered a top tier university and has many undergraduate and graduate programs as well as the College Conservatory of Music, the Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP) program, a law school, college of medicine, nursing, and pharmacy programs to name a few. There are also two satellite schools – UC Clermont and UC Blue Ash, which was once Raymond Walters College.


The main campus in the Clifton area is 137 acres with 63 buildings from notable architects like Michael Graves, Bernhard Tschumi, and Frank Gehry. Among the many buildings on campus are the Crosley Tower (top left) designed by A.M. Kinney Associates, the DAAP building (top right) designed by Peter Eisenman, and the Van Wormer Library (bottom) – the first library on campus.

The school also has an athletic program with the University of Cincinnati Bearcats, which competes in many different sports and is known best for their football and basketball teams.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Fraternity Row

On Clifton Avenue across from the University of Cincinnati the homes of many of the sororities and fraternities can be found. This section of Clifton Avenue is often called, “Fraternity Row”. Currently there are approximately 22 fraternities and 14 sororities at the school. On Clifton Avenue you will find the homes to 6 of the fraternities including Phi Kappa Tau (pictured on the left) and 10 sororities like Delta Delta Delta (pictured on the right). Many of these homes were built in the 1920’s and 1930’s.

Fraternity Row
2600-2811 Clifton Avenue, Clifton

Friday, December 16, 2011

Hebrew Union College

Hebrew Union College was founded in 1875 by Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise, the founder of American Reform Judaism due to the need for formal Rabbi training in the United States. The school is the oldest Jewish Seminary in the country. The school first started in the basement of the Mound Street Temple and in 1881 moved to its own building on West Sixth Street. In 1912 the school moved to its current location in Clifton. The college expanded in 1950 when it merged with the Jewish Institute of Religion in New York and in 1954 opened a location in Los Angeles. In 1963 a location was opened in Jerusalem making it the only Reform Judaism school in Israel.

Hebrew Union College focuses on undergraduate and graduate programs in Rabbinical studies, Cantorial studies, Jewish educational studies, and Jewish communal service studies. The archaeology center at Skirball Museum in Cincinnati has a large artifact collection from Canaan and Israel and the Klau Library and American Jewish Archives at the school has one of the largest collection of Jewish and Hebrew artifacts and documents in the western hemisphere.

Hebrew Union College
3101 Clifton Avenue, Clifton

Monday, December 12, 2011

Good Samaritan Hospital

Good Samaritan started in 1852 as St. John’s Hospital for Invalids when Archbishop John Purcell donated a small hospital downtown to the Sisters of Charity to use to care for the poor. Impressed by the care provided by the Sisters of Charity, two local bankers donated a larger hospital, which was once used to treat wounded soldiers during the Civil War and it was changed to the Hospital of the Good Samaritan. In 1915 the hospital moved to its current location in Clifton and since that time it has grown to be one of the largest in the area.

The hospital provides a variety of services and is a teaching hospital and is home to the Good Samaritan College of Nursing. Today the hospital is part of the TriHealth network and is ranked nationally as one of the best hospitals in several different categories. The Good Samaritan Hospital Foundation a charitable foundation used to support the hospital and its services.

Good Samaritan Hospital
375 Dixmyth Avenue, Clifton

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Burnet Woods

This 90-acre park was purchased in 1872 and opened as a park in 1874. The park features a fishing lake that was built in 1875, a historic bandstand that was built in 1911, hiking trails, and a disc golf course. Near the lake is the Trailside Nature Center which contains a nature library and children’s museum. Located in the nature center is the Wolff Planetarium, which is the oldest planetarium west of the Allegheny Mountains. Just outside of the nature center is a stone slide that was designed by Carl Freund and built by the Works Progress Administration.

Near Martin Luther King Jr. Drive is the H.H. Richardson monument. It is carved from 84 tons of pink granite from the former Chamber of Commerce building that was destroyed by fire in 1911. Named after the architect of the building, the monument was created by University of Cincinnati students in 1972.

Near Clifton Avenue is the Lone Star Pavilion. Dedicated in 1974, the pavilion has two cannons that were given to Sam Houston by his friends in Cincinnati for use in the battle for Texas independence.

The Audubon Society named the park an important birding area.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Calvary Episcopal Church

The congregation held its first services in 1844 in a small schoolhouse on Clifton Avenue. Construction of the church was completed in 1867 and was designed by architect William Tinsley. The church is a Gothic Revival design and this style was chosen to fit in with the homes in the community. Mr. and Mrs. Henry Probasco donated the tower and bell in honor of Tyler Davidson. Artist Francis Pedretti designed the interior of the sanctuary. William Burnham designed the west window and patterned it after the famed; “The Five Sisters” window in the York Cathedral. In 1886, the Calvary Church of Clifton was formed. A later addition was the Parish house and Sunday school designed by Samuel Hannaford & Sons and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Calvary Episcopal Church
3766 Clifton Avenue, Clifton

Monday, November 28, 2011

Abbe Observatory

Cleveland Abbe (1838-1916) at the request of the Cincinnati Astronomical Society became director of the neglected Cincinnati Observatory in 1868 and it was at this time he developed a system for daily weather forecasting. Abbe and his team of observers scattered throughout the country would report on weather conditions at specified times and record and report forecasts via telegraph. Abbe was known as, “Old Probability” and in 1870 helped establish the US Weather Bureau and became Chief Meteorologist. The bureau later became the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Cleveland Abbe also founded the Monthly Weather Review, which is still published today. He also laid out a plan for standardized time zones in the United States.

The Abbe Observatory was built in 1915 by the US Weather Bureau and was the only weather station with a commemorative name. The Georgian Revival building located on Lafayette Circle once had weather equipment stationed on the roof and was the home to the Chief Meteorologist for the bureau. Ownership of the observatory was transferred to the University of Cincinnati in 1965. Today it serves as a private residence.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Cincinnati Woman's Club

Founded in 1897, the Cincinnati Woman’s Club is an organization created to promote social, educational, and artistic growth in the community. Among some of the successes of the club are the introduction of the 1904 antismoke ordinance in the city created to fight pollution, the introduction of playgrounds in the community, and penny lunches.

Their original building was located on Oak Street but was torn down in the 1960’s to make way for Interstate 71. The organization is now on Lafayette Avenue and still has the mission of civic betterment through volunteering and philanthropy. Their Philanthropic Endowment Fund makes grants to a variety of charities throughout the year.

Cincinnati Woman’s Club
330 Lafayette Avenue, Clifton

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Mt. Storm Park

This 57-acre park was once home to the estate of Robert Bowler, a former mayor of Clifton who earned his wealth in the dry goods business. The estate once contained greenhouses, gardens, a waterfall, and a lake. Also on the property is the Temple of Love gazebo designed by Adolph Strauch who is also known for the Imperial Gardens of Vienna and as the designer of Spring Grove Cemetery. Designed in 1850, the gazebo was used as a cover to a reservoir that once provided water to the greenhouses and lake. There is also a cave on the estate that was used by Bowler as a wine cellar and back in the 19th Century, Bowler hosted many celebrities at his estate including the Prince of Wales and Charles Dickens.

The home was torn down in 1917 and all that is left of the estate is the gazebo (shown above) and the wine cellar. In 1935 a shelterhouse, designed by Samuel Hannaford & Sons was built for the park.

The park today provides great views of the Clifton skyline and of Millcreek Valley. There are flower gardens, a playground, and large green spaces. Mt. Storm Park is another jewel in the Cincinnati Park System.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Academy of the Sacred Heart

The Academy of the Sacred Heart was founded in 1869 as a Catholic boarding school for girls operated by the Ladies of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The academy started on 6th street but moved to this location in 1876. The building is the former mansion of William Neff, a wealthy pork packer and was built in 1867. William Neff called his estate, “The Windings” and is modeled after the Kenilworth Castle in England. The Gothic style home is constructed of gray ashlar stone and all of the woodwork was carved by hand. The home proved to be too costly for Neff who sold it to the Academy of the Sacred Heart. A chapel and additional buildings designed by Samuel Hannaford were later added.

The academy closed in 1970 and in 1989 the building was converted into condominiums. It is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Academy of the Scared Heart
525 Lafayette Avenue, Clifton

Friday, November 18, 2011

Bethesda Home for the Aged

Built in 1867, this castle-like home was built for 19th century iron merchant George K. Schoenberger who also was one of the developers of Spring Grove Cemetery. The home was name Scarlet Oaks after many of the oak trees that grew on the property. The home is a Romanesque style building made of stone with French-Gothic style windows.

The home was purchased in 1908 by Ernest H. Huenefeld and given to the Bethesda Methodist Deaconess to use as a home for the elderly. Additional buildings were added over the years and today the grounds contain a health center and residential units. The original home is used as a chapel, library, and recreation center.

Bethesda Home for the Aged
440 Lafayette Avenue, Clifton

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Clifton Gaslight District

Incorporated in 1850 the village of Clifton became known for its stately mansions with lush gardens, wooded acres, and parks. Clifton is considered one of the first of Cincinnati suburbs and was annexed in 1896.

The area around Ludlow and Clifton Avenues is called the Clifton Gaslight District because of its use of the original gas lamps that line the streets. Ludlow Avenue is filled with many unique shops and restaurants as well as the Esquire Theatre which shows many independent films.

Many Victorian mansions can be seen along Clifton Avenue and there are many historic homes still standing in the gaslight district such as the Lloyd House, the home of pharmacist Dr. John Uri Lloyd, known for the Lloyd Library. The Lloyd House is a Richardson style home designed by James McLaughlin. In Clifton you will also find the Henry Probasco House, “Oakwood” (shown above) designed by William Tinsley and built in 1860.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Probasco Fountain

Henry Probasco (1820-1902) worked as a wholesale hardware merchant and as a partner in a hardware store owned by his brother-in-law Tyler Davidson. Henry Probasco was a prominent figure in Cincinnati and held many positions throughout his life like manager of the public library, president of Spring Grove Cemetery, member of the Cincinnati Society of Natural History, and Mayor of Clifton. He is probably best known for the Tyler Davidson Fountain, a gift he gave to the city of Cincinnati in honor of his former partner and brother-in-law Tyler Davidson.

The Probasco Fountain was dedicated in 1887. Based on a design by Samuel Hannaford, the fountain is made of bronze with a granite base and has an ornate design of chrysanthemums. It was originally built to be used as a drinking fountain and has several basins. A dipper once hung from the fountain for people, a larger basin for horses, and smaller basins for dogs. The fountain was a gift to the residents of Clifton and inscribed on the fountain is, “Thirsty and ye gave me drink”. The Probasco Fountain is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Probasco Fountain
Clifton Avenue near Woolper Avenue, Clifton

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

The Cincinnati Zoo opened in 1875 and is the second oldest zoo in the country. It started on 65 acres of land and with just a few animals including a circus elephant and a talking crow. Over the years the zoo has acquired more land and today contains more than 500 animals of all species. The are many exhibits at the zoo which focus on different parts of the world with cheetahs, tigers, giraffes, gorillas, polar bears, white lions, as well as the only Sumatran rhinos in the country.

As well as the animal exhibits the zoo is also a botanical garden with over 3,000 plant species. Around the park you will find a variety of plants, flowers, trees, and shrubs that are both native to this area and from around the world as well as some endangered plant species.

The Cincinnati Zoo is designated a national historic landmark for its history and the structures in the park. One of the structures is the old aviary building which is now the passenger pigeon memorial in honor of the last known passenger pigeon that passed away here in 1914. The reptile house (shown above) was built in 1875 and is the oldest standing zoo building in the country.

The Cincinnati Zoo is ranked one of the best zoos in the United States.

Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
3400 Vine Street, Avondale

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Children's Hospital

Established in 1883, Children’s Hospital got its start in a rented home in Walnut Hills. The hospital was formed when a group of concerned parishioners got support from their bishop and The Hospital of the Protestant Episcopal Church was started. Several years later in 1887 a new, larger hospital was opened in Mt. Auburn and in 1926 the hospital moved to the location where it stands today. The hospital and its research facilities continued to expand in the 1970’s, 1980’s, and up through today.

A lot of research and discoveries have been made at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital through the years. After World War II, Albert Sabin came to the hospital and researched and developed the oral polio vaccine. Others included the preservation and transportation of whole blood, the study of birth defects, and the first functioning heart-lung machine to name a few.

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital is ranked one of the best in the United States.

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital
3333 Burnet Avenue, Avondale

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Altenheim, Cincinnati Home for Aged Men

The Altenheim was established in 1891 by a group of wealthy Germans in Cincinnati as a home for elderly Germans. The home was open to men aged 65 and over. Located on the corner of Elland and Burnet, it was first known as the Deutscher Altenheim but after the start of World War I, it became the Cincinnati Altenheim. In later years the name changed to the Cincinnati Old Men’s Home and then the Home for Aged Men. Unlike many of the old aged homes at that time, The Altenheim let their residents live as if they were in their own private home. The home was purchased by Children’s Hospital and eventually demolished to make way for a parking garage.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Jewish Hospital

The Jewish Hospital was founded in 1850 during the cholera epidemic and out of a need to treat the poor in the Jewish community. The hospital was funded by a few Jewish philanthropists and is the oldest Jewish hospital in the United States. By 1890, a permanent home for the facility was built in Avondale. By 1974 the remainder of the original buildings were torn down and a newer, modern facility was built. In 1997, Jewish Hospital moved from its location on Burnet Avenue in Avondale to its current home on East Galbraith Road in Kenwood. Jewish Hospital is open to anyone and is often ranked as one of the nation’s top hospitals.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

University Hospital

In 1915, General Hospital opened and served as a teaching hospital and care facility for the poor. Samuel Hannaford designed the 24-building campus and the areas were separated to prevent the spread of diseases that were thought to be airborne at the time. By 1960 the administration of the hospital was transferred from the city to the University of Cincinnati. By 1969 an emergency unit and high-rise main building was constructed and the majority of the original buildings except for a few were torn down. One of the few that still stands is the General Hospital Nurses Home, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.

In 1982 the hospital changed its name from General Hospital to the University of Cincinnati Hospital and in 1994 it became University Hospital, part of the UC Health network. Today the hospital is a state of the art facility, which still serves as a teaching hospital for the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

University Hospital
234 Goodman Street, Avondale

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Shriners Hospital for Children

The Shriners Burn Institute opened in Cincinnati 1968 and is a 30-bed nonprofit pediatric burn hospital for patients 18 and under. The hospital in Cincinnati is part of the philanthropic efforts of the Shriners organization which has 22 hospitals across North America specializing in orthopaedics, burn care, cleft lip and palate, and spinal cord injuries for children.

Shriners Hospitals for Children
3229 Burnet Avenue, Avondale

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Vine Street

Vine Street is the primary north/south artery through the city and is the dividing line between the east and west side of Cincinnati.

Vine Street begins at Second Street to the south and makes its way through downtown passing by many famous Cincinnati landmarks such as Carew Tower, Fountain Square, The Cincinnatian Hotel, the Garfield statue in Piatt Park, and the Public Library.

Vine then crosses over Central Parkway into Over-The-Rhine and passing through the Gateway Quarter (shown above). From there it makes its way uptown. At Calhoun Street, Vine Street splits off and turns into Jefferson Avenue. Vine was split off in the 1970’s to make way for a shopping center and Jefferson actually runs parallel and is a bypass around a section of Vine Street in Corryville called, “Short Vine”. The “Short Vine” section contains shops, restaurants, and entertainment.

Jefferson Avenue and Vine Street meet up at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and from there, Vine Street stretches through some of the outlying neighborhoods of the city and ends in Hartwell where it turns into Route 4/Springfield Pike.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Mt. Auburn Methodist Church

Built in 1851, the Gothic Revival style church originally started as a Protestant church that eventually became a Methodist church. The city helped pay for the church bell in order for it to be used in part as the community fire alarm and it served this purpose until 1875. The church basement served as the only school in the community until 1854. In 1893 the original congregation moved to a church on Maplewood Avenue and a German Methodist congregation moved from Vine Street to this church. When a fire destroyed the Maplewood Avenue church in 1957, the two congregations merged. The 3-story addition to the church was built in 1962.

Mt. Auburn Methodist Church
2439 Auburn Avenue, Mt. Auburn

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Christ Hospital

The Christ Hospital was started in 1889 when James Gamble and a group of Cincinnatians invited Isabella Thoburn, a missionary and nurse, to come to Cincinnati and teach others to care for the growing number of citizens living in poverty. Thoburn opened a 10-bed hospital on York Street in the West End called, Christ’s Hospital. By 1893 the hospital moved to Mt. Auburn and by 1902 a nursing school was started. In 1904 the hospital was renamed Christ Hospital. Today the hospital is a 555-bed facility and is recognized as one of the nation’s top hospitals.

Christ Hospital
2139 Auburn Avenue, Mt. Auburn

Sunday, October 2, 2011

William Howard Taft National Historic Site

William Howard Taft (1857-1930) was the 27th President and 10th Supreme Court Chief Justice. He is the only person to have served in both positions and in his career served on the Ohio Supreme Court, was the Solicitor General, served on the U.S. Court of Appeals, was Governor-General of the Philippines, and Secretary of War as well. During his presidency he saw the passage of the 16th amendment, Civil Service reform, and made improvements to the postal service.

This site is the birthplace of Taft and where he lived until he left to attend college at Yale. It is a Greek-Revival home built in 1835. The home became a national historic landmark in 1969 and was restored to its original condition. It contains many of the Taft belongings with some of the original furnishings as well as some period pieces. The grounds also contain a visitor center and the Taft Education Center. It is the only designated national park in the city.

William Howard Taft National Historic Site
2038 Auburn Avenue, Mt. Auburn

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hauck Botanical Gardens

This 8-acre park was once the home of Cornelius J. Hauck, former park board member and avid horticulturist. Hauck lived here until he passed away in 1957 and the land was donated to the Cincinnati Park Board. His home now serves as the headquarters for the Cincinnati Horticultural Society.

Mr. Hauck called this land, “Sooty Acres” because of the many coal-burning factories surrounding the land. The park has a large collection of trees, shrubs, and evergreens as well as many flowers including hydrangeas, daffodils, daylilies, and lilacs. It is a peaceful garden tucked away off of the surrounding busy streets.

Hauck Botanical Gardens
2625 Reading Road, Mt. Auburn

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Harriet Beecher Stowe House

Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) was an abolitionist and an author of over 20 novels including her most popular book, Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Born in Connecticut, she moved to Cincinnati in 1832 with her father Lyman Beecher when he accepted a position as president of Lane Theological Seminary. The family was anti-slavery and supporters of the Underground Railroad. It was here where she met her husband, Calvin Ellis Stowe and in Cincinnati and Kentucky where her and her husband saw first-hand the treatment of slaves and the struggles to become free. Harriet Beecher Stowe and her husband left Cincinnati in 1850 and moved to Brunswick, Maine. In 1852, she wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin, a book that brought slavery to life for many people.

The Harriet Beecher Stowe House is a national museum and focuses on the life of Harriet Beecher Stowe, the Beecher family, the abolitionist movement, and the Underground Railroad.

Harriet Beecher Stowe House
2950 Gilbert Avenue, Walnut Hills

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Xavier University

Founded in 1831, Xavier University is a Jesuit, Catholic University and the 6th oldest Catholic university in the country. Xavier is also recognized as one of the top universities in the country in several categories. The school has many undergraduate and graduate programs in the areas of arts & sciences, health, education, and business.

The campus has a combination of old and new with many beautiful Gothic style buildings. Hinkle Hall is one of the oldest buildings on campus and is one of the buildings that sit along Victory Parkway. There is also the Bellarmine Chapel and a new residential complex.

The school also has a men and women athletic program and is best known for the Xavier Musketeer men’s basketball team.

Xavier University
3800 Victory Parkway, North Avondale

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Hotel Alms

Frederick Alms is known for the Alms & Doepke department store downtown as well as the park named after him. Alms also owned a hotel near his home in Walnut Hills. The original Hotel Alms was built in 1891 across the street from his home. The larger more modern hotel was built in 1925 and was designed by Cincinnati architect Harry Hake. This modern hotel boasted 500 rooms and a 400-car garage, a beautiful Japanese garden called the, “Tokyo Garden”, the Mermaid Lounge, a 24-hour coffee shop, an alfresco dining room, and many verandas. The hotel was definitely a first class hotel. WKRC used to broadcast from the hotel and there are two tall towers located on the top of the hotel. The original hotel building was eventually torn down but the newer one still stands and today is the Alms Hill Apartments.

Hotel Alms
2525 Victory Parkway, Walnut Hills

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

St. Rose Church

The church is named for St. Rose of Lima, the first saint from the Americas and is also known as St. Rosa. St. Rose was founded and built in 1867 and dedicated in 1869. The spire is over 190 feet tall and can be seen from great distances. A 4-sided clock was added to the steeple in 1890 and it is believed that ships would set their clocks to it. On the rear of the building is a marker that shows the floods the church has withstood over the years including the flood of 1937 that crested at 79.9 feet. The church is part of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

St. Rose Church
2501 Riverside Drive, East End

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Columbia Parkway

Until the Interstates were built, U.S. Route 50 was a major thoroughfare. U.S. 50 runs from Ocean City, Maryland to Sacramento and stretches for 3,000 miles. This route runs through Cincinnati and from downtown to Fairfax, Route 50 is called Columbia Parkway.

Driving down Columbia Parkway you will see beautiful views of the Ohio River, the hills of Northern Kentucky, and the Cincinnati skyline. Columbia Parkway runs through Walnut Hills and historic Columbia-Tusculum. There are many historic markers along the parkway, which point out the rich history of the east side of town such as Fulton and Turkey Bottom. Many of the original Art Deco finishes are still standing like the stairs that were constructed in 1938 by the Works Progress Administration. Even though they were sealed up in 2008, the outline of where the steps once were can still be seen.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Little Miami River

The Little Miami River stretches for over 100 miles and 5 counties starting in Clark County in the north and spilling into the Ohio River near Lunken Airport in the south. In 1968, the river was designated the Little Miami National Scenic River as a result of the federal Wild and Scenic River Act of the same year. In 1969 it was the first river in the state to be designated the Little Miami State Scenic River.

Since then the river has been preserved for its natural beauty. There are many state parks that can be found along the river as well as the Little Miami Scenic Trail, a hike/bike trail, which uses an abandoned railroad track right of way and is over 80 miles long from Springfield to Cincinnati.

The river is not only known for its beauty but for the many recreational activities like canoeing, biking, hiking, fishing, and horseback riding.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Grandin, Vineyard, Tusculum

This part of the tour takes us down Grandin Road, Vineyard Place, and Tusculum Avenue. This area is a beautiful residential area with large homes, and river views.

Grandin Road is named for Philip Grandin, a banker who owned several hundred acres of land in the area. On this road you will find many beautiful homes created by many well-known architects and featuring a variety of styles. There is Lillybanks, a Tudor Revival home designed by John Scudder Adkins, the George Hoadley Jr. House which was constructed out of concrete and designed by Elzner and Anderson, and the Corbett Home (pictured above), a Post Modern home designed by John deKoven Hill, an apprentice and trusted associate of Frank Lloyd Wright.

Vineyard Place was most likely named for Nicolas Longworth’s vineyards that once grew in the area. Vineyard Place is probably best known for St. Ursula Villa School, a Catholic elementary school.

On Tusculum Avenue you will find many painted lady homes, the historic Victorian Stephen Decker Rowhouse built in 1889, and Alms Park.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Grandin Road Viaduct

The Grandin Road Viaduct, also known as the Grandin Road Bridge or the Delta Avenue Viaduct was built in 1905 and was the highest in the city at 150 feet over Delta Avenue. The viaduct once connected Grandin Road in Hyde Park to Grandin Road in Mt. Lookout. The wood and steel structure underwent many repairs in its lifetime and in 1975, it was torn down due to concerns over the safety and stability of the bridge.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Cincinnati Country Club

Established in 1895, the Cincinnati Country Club is one of the first 100 clubs of its kind in the United States. William Howard Taft was the first president of the club. Nicholas Longworth laid out the first 9 holes of the golf course. The full 18 holes were later designed by Robert White as a par 71 course with a total 6,304 yards from the longest tee. The club also has a clubhouse with a banquet hall, a swimming pool, and tennis courts. It is a members only club.

Cincinnati Country Club
2348 Grandin Road, Hyde Park

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Summit Country Day School

The Summit Country Day School or, “The Summit” is a private Catholic school for students from pre-school through high school. The school opened in 1890 as the Academy of Our Lady of Cincinnati by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. It was originally a school for girls. By 1927 the school became The Summit Country Day School and a school for boys was established in 1941.

The main building was built in 1890 and designed by Edwin Forrest Durang. The building has been renovated many times over the years along with the addition of new buildings and a football field.

Summit Country Day School
2161 Grandin Road, Hyde Park

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Holy Angels Church

Holy Angels Church was founded in 1859 and was located on Grandin Road. The first church was a small stable on the estate of Joseph B. Foraker, the governor of Ohio from 1886 to 1890. The building was enlarged and turned into a parochial school by Reverend W.F.M. O’Rouke. In 1862 a Byzantine style church made of stone was built. By 1999 the church closed and the parishioners merged with St. Francis de Sales. In 2000, Springer School purchased the property and where the church once stood is now a playground.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Institutum Divi Thomae

The Institutum Divi Thomae was founded in 1935 by Dr. George Sperti and the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. The institute was a graduate school for scientific research. Dr. Sperti served as the director of the institution and it was supported through the profits of his research and inventions. Among many of the advancements at the institute were Aspercreme, Preparation H, methods to freeze-dry orange juice, a sunlamp to enhance vitamin D in milk, and a burn ointment. In his lifetime Dr. Sperti held more than 120 patents. The institute closed in 1988 when Dr. Sperti became ill.

Institutum Divi Thomae
Madison Road and Dexter Place, East Walnut Hills

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Seventh Presbyterian Church

The congregation of the Seventh Presbyterian Church was founded in 1849. The Romanesque style building was designed by Samuel E. Desjardins and built in 1886. The church features a Venetian glass mosaic as well as a tower, which stands 150 feet tall and made of granite. The church was remodeled in 1923. In 2009, the church closed.

Seventh Presbyterian Church
1721 Madison Road, East Walnut Hills

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Edgecliff College

What is now the University of Cincinnati’s College of Applied Science once was Edgecliff College, a Catholic Women’s College founded by the Sisters of Mercy. Edgecliff started out as Our Lady of Cincinnati College in 1935 replacing the College of Sacred Heart in Clifton. In the 1970’s it became a coed school and in 1980 the college merged with Xavier University. In 1986 Xavier closed the campus and sold some of the land to a developer who built high-rise condos. The University of Cincinnati purchased the remaining buildings from the college. In honor of the college, Xavier University named their alumni hall Edgecliff Hall.

Edgecliff College
2200 Victory Parkway, Walnut Hills

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Capitoline Wolf

Located next to the twin lakes in Eden Park, the Capitoline Wolf is a bronze statue on a white marble and granite base given to the city by the Premier of Italy, Benito Mussolini in 1931. It was given in recognition to the city for being named after Roman hero Cincinnatus. It was originally presented to the city of Cincinnati in 1929 by the Sons of Italy, but after the ceremony it was discovered that a mistake had been made and Cincinnati received a much smaller statue than was intended. The correction was made and the rededication took place in 1931.

The statue is an exact replica of a statue that was created around the 5th Century BC. It depicts a she-wolf known as, Lupa Romana (Wolf of Rome) who in ancient mythology is credited for saving and raising Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome and depicted on the statue being nursed by the wolf. The original statue still stands in the Musei Capitolini in Rome.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Fort View Place

At the end of this street once stood 8 cannons that were mounted on parapets. This was to protect Cincinnati against a threat from Confederate forces during the Civil War. The battery that was once at the end of Fort View Place was called the Mt. Adams Battery. It was one of two sites in Mt. Adams that had cannons to defend the city. The other was called the Butcher’s Hill battery and it was located where Playhouse in the Park now stands. Mt. Adams was key in the defense of Cincinnati because of the views of the Ohio River valley and enemy forces could easily be detected from this vantage point. The Civil War ended and an attack never materialized. Not one single shot was fired from these locations.

Today Fort View Place is a quiet residential street and where the cannons once stood is a series of steps that lead down to Hill Street.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Pendleton House

George Hunt Pendleton was born in Cincinnati in 1825. He served in the Ohio Senate from 1854-1856, in the United States House of Representatives from 1857-1865, and was a United States Senator from 1879-1885. An anti-war Democrat, Pendleton was the Vice Presidential candidate along side running mate George B. McClellan in 1864. The lost the election to President Abraham Lincoln. Pendleton was also married to Alice Key, daughter of Francis Scott Key.

After the Civil War, Pendleton was an advocate for the, “Ohio Deal” to pay back war bonds in paper money or, “greenbacks” instead of gold which was not a very popular idea. During his time in the Senate, he sponsored civil service reform based on merit and not political patronage. The legislation became known as the Pendleton Act.

The Pendleton House sits atop Prospect Hill and is visible from many parts of downtown and Mt. Adams. Built in 1870, this Second Empire style building was the lifelong home of George Pendleton. In 1882, members of the Civil Service Commission met at the home to draft the legislation that bears Pendleton’s name and the commission met here for the first two years of its existence. The home is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Pendleton House
559 Liberty Hill, Prospect Hill

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Cincinnati Historical Society

The Cincinnati Historical Society dates back to the founding of the Historical and Philosophical Society of Ohio in 1831. This organization moved to Cincinnati from Columbus in 1848. Eventually, the focus was primarily on Cincinnati and its history and in 1963, the organization changed its name to the Cincinnati Historical Society.

The society has had many homes throughout its existence: the Cincinnati College Building, a building on West Eighth Street, and the University of Cincinnati Library. In 1964, the Cincinnati Historical Society moved into the newly built Adams-Emery wing of the Cincinnati Art Museum (shown above). In 1991 the Cincinnati Historical Society moved to the Museum Center at Union Terminal.

The purpose of this historical society is collecting and preserving historic materials from Cincinnati, Ohio, and the old Northwest Territory. The Cincinnati Historical Society has an enormous collection of books, manuscripts, and other documents as well as photos, films, videos, and artifacts in their possession. The Cincinnati Historical Society is open to the public.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Deer Creek Valley

In the 19th Century, Deer Creek Valley was once home of the meatpacking business and it was here where Cincinnati was given the name, “Porkopolis”. The area, which was once populated with slaughterhouses and factories, is now part of Interstate 71 which cuts through the middle of it.

Visible from Interstate 71 and often believed to be part of the abandoned subway system is the Deer Creek Tunnel. Construction of the Deer Creek Tunnel began in 1881 by the Cincinnati & Dayton Railroad to connect with the Cincinnati, Lebanon & Northern Railway. The connection was intended to carry passenger and freight traffic and would have stretched for 9,000 feet under Walnut Hills. By 1855, approximately 3,500 feet of the tunnel was completed and construction ended due to a lack of funds.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Cincinnati Museum of Natural History and Planetarium

The Museum of Natural History dates back to 1818 when it was founded by Dr. Daniel Drake. It was around that time when John James Audubon worked for the museum as a taxidermist and created exhibits. The museum was located in several different places around Cincinnati until the Cincinnati Museum of Natural History and Planetarium was built in 1957 on Gilbert Avenue next to the Elsinore Tower. The museum and planetarium was designed by architect Walter W. Cordes of Cordes & Pressler & Associates.

The natural history museum contains a large collection of shells, minerals, fossils, birds, mammals, reptiles, insects, and pre-historic artifacts. It also contains a life-like cavern, an ice age exhibit, a replica wilderness trail, and a display depicting the life of early Native Americans. The planetarium had exhibits on the solar system and the night sky. It would feature special events such as laser light shows.

In 1990, the natural history museum moved to the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal. Many of the exhibits that were at the museum in Eden Park are still on display in its new home. By 2004, the old museum and planetarium were destroyed and the new WCPO-TV studio was built in its place. The sculptures of the mammoths (shown above) that were once outside of the museum can now be found in front of the Cincinnati Museum Center's Geier Collections & Research Center on the corner of West Fifth Street and Gest.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

John Weld Peck Federal Building

The 10-story, Modernism style building was built in 1964 and designed by architecture firms Potter, Tyler, Martin & Roth and Harry Hake & Partners. In 1984 it was named after John Weld Peck, an Ohio judge who served on the U.S. District Court for 5 years and the U.S. Court of Appeals for 27 years. It is the areas offices for many federal agencies including the Federal Executive Board, National Labor Relations Board, FBI, and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

The building is made of glass and limestone and features an aluminum sculpture on the side of the building created by Marshall Fredericks titled, “American Victory Eagle”. Inside the building is a mosaic by artist Charley Harper titled, “American Wildlife” or, “Space for all Species” and depicts over 100 species of animals found in the United States.

John Weld Peck Federal Building
550 Main Street, Downtown

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

United States Post Office

The main branch of the United States Post Office was originally in the Potter Stewart United States Courthouse building, which was built in 1939 and a post office was located on that site since 1874. The post office eventually moved to the Dalton Avenue location that was primarily a mailing annex used for mail distribution.

The post office on Dalton Avenue was designed by Samuel Hannaford & Sons and opened in 1933. The interior features ornate light fixtures, bronze doors, and marble wainscoting. The exterior is an Art Deco style built with sandstone and granite with granite eagles above the main entrance. The post office even has a tunnel between it and Union Terminal to handle mail that arrived by train.

United States Post Office
1623 Dalton Avenue, Queensgate

That 70's Tour

While I was out exploring the city I started to notice Queen City Tour signs where I least expected them. The signs did not follow the route of the tour that I knew but did lead me to some great sights around the city.

After a little research and a trip to the main branch of the library downtown, I found the original guide and map from the first Queen City Tour when it started in 1970. The 1970 Queen City Tour has a different route and while both the 1970 and 1996 tours have similar stops, there are several differences between the two. The 1970 tour does not cross the river into Kentucky. Instead, the tour goes out from the downtown area into several of the neighborhoods. Just like the 1996 tour, many of the sights still exist while others have been lost in time, some have moved and a few are still around, but have changed in name or purpose.

Over the next several months I will be covering the stops on the 1970 tour that I have not yet covered and at the end I will put together a guide and a map. Hope you find it interesting!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Ault Park

The park was established in 1911 and named after Levi Addison Ault, former park commissioner and the land was a gift from Levi and his wife Ida. The park covers over 220 acres of land that includes nature trails, play areas, and picnic areas. The park also features a lookout point with great views of the area around the Little Miami River and Lunken Airport. The beautiful Ault Park pavilion was built in 1930. The Italian Renaissance style pavilion designed by Fechheimer & Ihorst and has tall columns, a cascading water feature, and grand stairs leading up to it. From the top of the pavilion there are great views of the surrounding area. At the bottom of the pavilion are large manicured lawns and mature trees lining the gardens.



The gardens were originally designed by George Kessler and later modified by Albert D. Taylor, both well-known landscape architects. Over time the gardens have changed and a section features a rose garden while another is filled with gardens maintained by volunteers through the Adopt-A-Plot program.

Ault Park is host to many weddings and events like summer dances, Concours d’Elegance, Fourth of July fireworks, and the Reggae Run.

Ault Park
3600 Observatory Avenue, Mt. Lookout

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hyde Park Baptist Church

The Hyde Park Baptist Church is the oldest continuous congregation in the Northwest Territory first being established in 1790 as the Columbia Baptist Church The church was started by Steven Gano, a surgeon in the Revolutionary War. The original church was built in 1792 on the grounds where the Pioneer Cemetery is located.




Due to flooding in the area, the congregation moved the church to Duck Creek and Edwards Road in 1808 and became the Duck Creek Baptist Church. Due to a shift in population, the church moved to Mt. Lookout in 1875.

By 1907, the church moved to Hyde Park where they worship today.

Hyde Park Baptist Church
3460 Michigan Avenue, Hyde Park