Thursday, March 31, 2011

101. St. Peter in Chains Cathedral

St. Peter in Chains is part of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Architect Henry Walter designed the church and Bishop turned Archbishop John Baptist Purcell laid the cornerstone in 1841. In 1845, construction was finished and the church opened the same year.

This Greek Revival building has many features. It was built out of white limestone and the spire towers 220 feet above the street, which made the church the tallest structure in the city for many years. There are Corinthian columns inside and out and large bronze doors. The interior is lined with granite and mosaic art.

In 1938 the church was abandoned when the congregation moved to St. Monica Church but in 1950 renovation of the church began and it reopened in 1957. Today the church holds mass as well as weddings and concerts.

St. Peter in Chains Cathedral
325 West Eighth Street, Downtown

Monday, March 28, 2011

100. Plum Street Temple

Originally called the Plum Street Temple, it is now known as the Isaac M. Wise Temple named after Rabbi Wise, the founder of Reform Judaism in America and Hebrew Union College. The temple was built and dedicated by K. K. B’nai Yeshurun of the Lodge Street Synagogue - the first Reform Jewish Congregation west of the Alleghenies led by Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise from 1854 to 1900.

Built in 1866, the temple was designed by James Keys Wilson. It is a Moorish Revival style building with a tripartite façade, minarets, and beautiful arches. The interior is equally impressive with Neo-Gothic highlights as well as an array of colors giving it a bright feel.

The façade of the temple was copied from the Leopoldstädter Tempel in Vienna, Austria and many American synagogues have been inspired by this temple and Leopoldstädter. The Wise Temple is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Plum Street Temple
720 Plum Street, Downtown

Sunday, March 27, 2011

99. Cincinnati City Hall

Built in 1893 and designed by Samuel Hannaford, the city hall building is a H.H. Richardson inspired Romanesque style building. The building is highlighted on the outside by a nine story clock tower and large blocks of stone when is common in Richardson’s work. The building has many stained glass windows with a variety of themes related to the history of the city and the interior is as equally impressive with marble stairways, mosaic floors, decorative ironwork, and murals. There are also several ceiling paintings created by Cincinnati artists John Rettig, Walter Beck, and Frank Duveneck. Cincinnati City Hall is on the National Register of Historic Places and tours are available.

The building still serves as city hall and contains the mayor’s office, city council, the city manager’s office, and various city departments.

Cincinnati City Hall
801 Plum Street, Downtown

Thursday, March 24, 2011

98. Lloyd Library

The Lloyd Library contains an extensive collection of books and materials on pharmacy, medicine, botany, as well as natural and scientific history. The library was created by the brothers John, Ashley, and Curtis Lloyd who ran their own pharmacy business called Lloyd Brothers Pharmaceutical Company. The library started with two books that John Lloyd brought with him to Cincinnati in 1864 and today the library has over 200,000 books in its collection. To ensure the existence of the library, a trust was established in 1919. The Lloyd Library is one of the largest pharmaceutical libraries in the United States.

The current library was built in 1971 on the same spot that the original library once stood. It has over 30,000 square feet of space. Along with being a library, it is also a museum that contains pharmaceutical artifacts and the original bottles that were once used by the Lloyd’s for the medicines they created. The library also hosts art and special exhibits throughout the year.

Lloyd Library
917 Plum Street, Downtown

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

97. Cincinnati Fire Museum

Firefighting in Cincinnati began back in 1794 when the first brush fire hit the city. Volunteer fire companies date back to 1808 and in 1853, Cincinnati became one of the first cities to have a paid municipal fire department. Also in 1853, two local inventors Able Shawk and Alexander Latta created the first successful steam fire engine which they named the, “Uncle Joe Ross” which would supply water while simultaneously throw a stream of water on a fire.

Built in 1906, the building housed Engine Company No. 45 until it closed in 1962. The building was designed by architect Harry Hake Sr. and is a Renaissance Revival style building. This firehouse was originally built to house horse-drawn fire equipment and was one of the busiest firehouses in the city. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places.

In 1980 the firehouse became the Cincinnati Fire Museum. The museum contains the history of firefighting in Cincinnati as well as artifacts from the early days of firefighting up through some modern firefighting equipment. There are many other exhibits and special events that take place at the museum as well as exhibits on fire prevention and fire safety. Group tours are also available.

Cincinnati Fire Museum
315 West Court Street, Downtown

Monday, March 21, 2011

96. Crosley Telecommunications Center

Built in 1976, the Crosley Telecommunications Center is named after Powel Crosley Jr., an entrepreneur and broadcast pioneer. This building is the home of WCET, the first licensed public television station in the United States and prior to moving here in 1976, operated from Music Hall. The center is also home to public radio stations WGUC, a classical music station and WVXU, a NPR station as well as a variety of programming. The Gray Wireless Communications Museum is also located in the Crosley Communications Center. Named after Jack Gray, a collector and wireless communications engineer, the museum has on display artifacts from the early days of wireless communications.

Crosley Telecommunications Center
1223 Central Parkway, West End

95. Betts House

The Betts House was built in 1804 and is the oldest home in Cincinnati and the oldest brick building in the state of Ohio. This Federal style home is located in the Betts-Longworth district for which the district is named after in part. The home was built by William Betts, a brick maker who made his way from New Jersey to Pennsylvania before he and his family finally settled in Cincinnati. At the time the house was built, it was in a rural area of Cincinnati and William Betts owned 111 acres around the home. The home originally started as a two-bedroom, two-story home and over time additions were built on the home doubling it in size.

William Betts passed away in 1815 and in 1833, 100 acres were subdivided and sold at auction with the remaining 11 acres left with the family. The city grew up and around the Betts home and in 1988 after years of neglect, the great-great-granddaughter of William Betts purchased and renovated the home. In 1994, The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the State of Ohio received ownership of the home and converted it into a museum with the mission of showcasing building techniques throughout the history of Cincinnati.

Betts House
416 Clark Street, West End

Saturday, March 19, 2011

94. Chestnut Street Jewish Cemetery

Located in the Betts-Longworth Historic District, it is also known as the Old Jewish Cemetery. In1821, Benjamin Lieb requested from his deathbed that he be buried as a Jew. Two of the six practicing Jews in Cincinnati purchased the plot of land from Nicholas Longworth for $75 and Lieb was the first burial at the cemetery. Burials stopped in 1849 after the cemetery filled due to the cholera epidemic. A gate and brick wall was added in 1873.

Chestnut Street Jewish Cemetery is the first Jewish cemetery in Cincinnati and the oldest Jewish cemetery west of the Allegheny Mountains. There are approximately 85 graves in the cemetery which was once managed by Bene Israel but since 2004 it has been managed by the non-profit organization Jewish Cemeteries of Greater Cincinnati.

Chestnut Street Jewish Cemetery
Corner of Chestnut Street and Central Avenue, West End

Thursday, March 17, 2011

93. St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church and School

Founded in 1846, St. Joseph’s served as a Catholic church for the increasing number of German immigrants in Cincinnati and the overflow population of the Holy Trinity and St. John the Baptist churches. While the church originally had a German American congregation over the years it has become a parish for African American Catholics. In 1956 Father Clarence Rivers became the first African American priest of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

In 1960 the original church was torn down in order to widen Linn Street and a new church was built in 1965. The original convent, school house (pictured), and rectory are still standing.

St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church and School
745 Ezzard Charles Drive, West End

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

92. The Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal

Built in 1933, Union Terminal was designed by Fellheimer and Wagner. It is an Art Deco building built on the land that was once part of Lincoln Park. The main building is a huge half domed rotunda built with limestone and glass. It is the largest semi-dome in the Western hemisphere. Inside you will find mosaic murals by German artist Winold Reiss, a gold and yellow arc following the top of the rotunda, and many other beautiful features that you need to see for yourself. In the front is a large illuminated fountain and pool. With the opening of Union Terminal, the city was able to consolidate 5 rail terminals. Union Terminal served 7 major railroads and could accommodate 216 trains a day. With air and auto travel becoming more and more popular, train service declined and by 1972 all train service stopped at Union Terminal.

In the 1980’s Union Terminal had a short life as a shopping mall called, “The Land of Oz”. By 1985, all stores and the mall closed.

In 1990 Union Terminal was renovated and opened as the Cincinnati Museum Center. The Museum of Natural History which was once located in Eden Park moved to the newly renovated facilities as well as the Cincinnati Historical Society Museum, the Children’s Museum, and an Omnimax Theatre. The Cincinnati Railroad Club also renovated the space in Tower A which was once the control tower for the terminal.

In 1991, Amtrak service returned to Union Terminal.

The Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal
1301 Western Avenue, Queensgate

Sunday, March 13, 2011

91. Cincinnati Job Corps Center

Designed by Samuel Hannaford and built in 1898, this was once the Convent and School of the Sisters of Mercy which was started by the Nine Sisters of Mercy who came to Cincinnati from Ireland in 1858. It is a Romanesque Revival style building. The building through its history has also served as the Provincial House, Our Lady of Mercy Academy High School, Provincial Novitiate, and the Cincinnati Job Corps Center.

The Cincinnati Job Corps is a job-training program for low-income individuals, which is administered by the U.S. Department of Labor. The center helps its students earn their high school diploma, learn a trade, and help place them in a job.

Cincinnati Job Corps Center
1409 Western Avenue, West End

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Mayor George Hatch House

George Hatch was Mayor of Cincinnati during the Civil War. In 1862 with the threat of Confederate forces advancing to the North, Mayor Hatch announced that all businesses be closed and the citizens of Cincinnati come to the defense of the city. By later that afternoon, he retracted his proclamation and made the police provost-guards of the city. Despite the protests of the mayor, the Army created the Black Brigade of Cincinnati and they built fortifications and helped defend the city. Hatch, a Pro-Southern sympathizer was ousted as mayor and left the city for Florida. George Hatch is the only mayor that has no known photograph or portrait.

The Hatch house was designed by Isaiah Rogers. It is a Greek Revival style home with two story bow windows, a style based on architecture found in Brighton, England. It also features Corinthian columns on the front façade. The house is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The home in recent years has received grants for renovations and was to be turned into a museum about Hatch, Cincinnati’s Civil War history, and the Black Brigade. Today the house is up for auction.

Mayor George Hatch House
830 Dayton Street, West End

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Hauck House Museum


Note: The museum is now closed.

In 1864, John Hauck along with John Windisch founded the Dayton Street Brewery. The brewery was later renamed the John Hauck Brewing Company in 1882. The brewery was one of the most successful in the city. John Hauck was not only a brewer but was also served as the president of the Cincinnati Reds in 1866, president of the German National Bank, and even saved the Cincinnati Zoo by paying off its debts when the founder of the zoo passed away.

Down the street from his successful brewery is the Hauck residence. It is an Italianate house with a carved stone façade and inside there are large rooms with parquet wood floors, marble fireplace mantles, painted ceilings and beautiful woodwork throughout. Today the home serves as a museum, which is used as an example of how families lived during the late 19th century. The museum has furniture, memorabilia, and even toys from that period in time.

Hauck House Museum
812 Dayton Street, West End

Monday, March 7, 2011

Dayton Street

Known as, “Millionaire’s Row” in the 19th Century, Dayton Street was home to the Cincinnati wealthy. Brewers, pork packers, and elected officials alike called this beautiful tree-lined street tucked away in the corner of West End their home. Famous brewer John Hauck and former Cincinnati Mayor George Hatch are among the many who made Dayton Street their home.

Dayton Street has a nice collection of Italianate homes which were built between 1850 and 1890. These two to three story masonry detached town houses have many fine architectural details and are lined with stone posts and wrought iron fences. Dayton Street is designated as a historic district and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Dayton Street
Between Central Avenue and Winchell

Sunday, March 6, 2011

90a. Lincoln Court (R.I.P.)

Lincoln Court was built in 1940 to house African American families displaced by Laurel Homes. It consisted of 53 buildings with 1,015 apartments that ranged from 2 to 6 rooms each. Lincoln Court also featured a church, 2-story community building, and a swimming pool. Between 2000 and 2002, Lincoln Court was demolished to make way for City West. None of the original buildings remain.


Located at Cutter Street and Ezzard Charles Drive is a monument honoring the African American residents of Lincoln Court and Laurel Homes who served in World War II.  The monument has a bust of Abraham Lincoln with a bronze plaque engraved with the names of the 268 soldiers from the neighborhood.  The monument was erected in 1946 and once stood at the entrance of Lincoln Court.  In 2005, the monument was moved to its current location.

90. Laurel Homes

In 1936, the Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority started to clear a 16-block area to build Laurel Homes. Laurel Homes was completed in 1938 and was the nation’s second largest housing project funded by the Public Works Administration. Laurel Homes was also one of the first racially integrated public housing units in the country. The housing project was designed by architect Frederick W. Garber and consisted of 25 brick apartment buildings - each 4-stories tall. The buildings took up the area between Ezzard Charles, Linn, Liberty, and John Streets.

Between 2000 and 2002 all but three of the buildings were demolished to make way for the City West project. City West was a project of the Hope VI grant from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which was used to create mixed income townhouses on the area. Today, the only surviving structures from Laurel Homes can be found on the corner of Linn and Liberty Streets.

Laurel Homes is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Cincinnati Police Memorial

When visiting the police memorial you will find that it is a quiet, solemn place. It is a place where citizens, families, and police officers alike can go to reflect and honor those who have given their lives in the line of duty and have paid the ultimate sacrifice to protect and serve their community.

The memorial is bordered by granite tablets which are etched with images of police officers and engraved with the names of those who have been killed in the line of duty. There is an eternal flame that burns as well as the centerpiece of the memorial – a bronze statue on a polished black granite base of a police officer. The name at the base of the statue reads, “F. FELDHAUS” in honor of Frank “Pappy” Feldhaus, a Cincinnati Police Officer who spent 41 years on the force, retired in 1977, and passed away in 1980. Officer Feldhaus was known for his personable style and dedication to his work and the statue is a fitting tribute to the man.

Construction on the memorial began in 1988 with support from the Fraternal Order of Police, Queen City Lodge #69 and donations from the public and police officers. The memorial was dedicated in 1990. The statue of the police officer was made by local sculptor Kenneth Bradford.

On the 15th of May which is Police Memorial Day, the memorial procession which starts at Fountain Square ends at the Cincinnati Police Memorial. A wreath is laid and a there is a service to honor those lost. The Cincinnati Police Memorial is a fitting tribute to those who have served.

Cincinnati Police Memorial
Corner of Central Parkway and Ezzard Charles (across from the District 1 police station)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Over The Rhine Brewery District

In the mid-19th century Cincinnati was settled by German immigrants who fled from their homeland to find a better way of life. These immigrants brought with them their religious beliefs, cultures, customs, language, and a great tradition of brewing. At this time, Over The Rhine became a predominately German neighborhood. By the end of the 19th century, the Over The Rhine neighborhood was home to many German businesses, churches, and beer gardens and it was at this time that Over The Rhine became one of the largest areas for the brewing and distribution of beer in the country brewing twice as much beer than any other area in the nation.

Over The Rhine was home to many great breweries like Jackson Brewery, John Kauffman Brewing Company, J. G. John & Sons Brewery, Red Top, Schoenling, Hudepohl, Christian Moerlein, and Clyffside (shown below). Many of these breweries operated up until prohibition in 1919 and at the end of prohibition in 1933, only a few started brewing again. By the middle of the 20th century, the once proud brewing tradition in Over The Rhine ceased to exist.




The Over The Rhine Brewery District is roughly located in and around the area of Liberty Street, Central Avenue, and McMicken Avenue. While some of the buildings once used by these great breweries no longer exist, there are still a few remaining. In the area you can still find these great brewing facilities, ice houses, and tunnels that were used in the process of making beer. Many of these great structures were built in a Romanesque Revival style which was a style influenced by many of the German structures back home as well as a few Queen Anne style buildings. The buildings were built mainly out of brick and many of the facilities stretched for blocks.

Today, several breweries have returned to the Over The Rhine area and have started brewing once again. Companies like Samuel Adams Boston Lager Company have moved into the area and long time brewer Christian Moerlein is once again brewing in the neighborhood where they started back in 1853.

The non-profit Over The Rhine Brewery District Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation is very active in preserving developing the area which once held these great breweries. The organization sponsors events like the Prohibition Resistance Tour, Bockfest, The Findlay Market Biergarten, and starting this year the Summer Walking Tour. The organization has recently announced plans for redevelopment and investment in the Brewery District.