Sunday, February 20, 2011

89. Music Hall

It was the vision of Reuben Springer to create a grand hall worthy of housing great musical event and industrial exhibitions. So much so that he offered to match the funds that the city put toward the building of Music Hall and it is believed that this is the first ever matching fund drive in the nation. In 1878, Music Hall was built.

Designed by Samuel Hannaford, Music Hall is of a Victorian design and has many beautiful features inside and out. The towering brick building features many turrets, gables, nooks, and garrets. Inside there is the Springer Auditorium, which is a grand auditorium with a beautiful domed ceiling with a very large, extravagant chandelier and an oil painting depicting the allegory of the arts by Arthur Thomas. This auditorium has over 3,500 seats and has a great old world charm in the design. Along with the main auditorium there is the ballroom, which is over 20,000 square feet and is used for expositions and trade shows. There are also two smaller meeting and reception spaces – Corbett Tower and the Critic’s Club.

The main foyer also serves as a gallery honoring those who have contributed to keeping Music Hall the beautiful space that it is. Walking around the foyer and floors above you will see the busts of prominent figures, composers, and patrons.

Music Hall is known as the home of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Pops, Cincinnati Opera, and May Festival Chorus but it has hosted many events over the years such as the Democratic National Convention in 1880 and the Cincinnati Industrial Expositions. Music Hall was once used for various shows, basketball games, and tennis matches as well. The hall served for the most part as a convention center until the Cincinnati Convention Center was built in 1967.

Another important figure in Music Hall history is J. Ralph Corbett, who in 1969 helped fund a major facelift to the building which helped keep Music Hall one of the most beautiful, impressive, and important buildings in Cincinnati. Music Hall became a National Historic Landmark in 1975.

Music Hall
1241 Elm Street, Over The Rhine

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