Thursday, December 23, 2010

Know Theatre

The Know Theatre got its start in 1997 as the Know Theatre Tribe and performed at Gabriel’s Corner Church. As of 2006, The Know Theatre found a new home on Jackson Street. The theatre has received many awards and accolades over the past years for their performances like the Post-Corbett Award in 2003 for their production of Corpus Christi, Acclaim Awards, and a Cincinnati Entertainment Award in 2009-2010 for their production of Angels In America. The Know Theatre also produces the Cincinnati Fringe Festival each year. It is a festival that brings to the city many performers and artists that may not get to be seen on a formal stage.

Know Theatre
1120 Jackson Street, Over The Rhine

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Up to this point if you have spent any time following the tour or if you have simply been driving around town you probably have seen some great murals on the sides of buildings, perhaps a painted pig or two, or even a nicely painted piano sitting in a park waiting to be played. All of these things can be credited to ArtWorks, a non-profit organization in Cincinnati that was founded in 1996. It connects students and artists together to create some amazing works of art. A lot of the street art you see in and around Cincinnati is from up and coming artists learning from professionals.

In the early 2000’s ArtWorks hosted the Big Pig Gig where more than 400 fiberglass pigs were painted with some very unique themes and scattered around town. A lot of the pigs were auctioned off with the proceeds benefiting ArtWorks and many of the pigs can still be seen in various places around town.

One of ArtWorks recent projects is MuralWorks. MuralWorks started in 2007 and many murals have been painted on buildings throughout the city. Because of this project, the city is more colorful, lively, and is in a sense, a living art exhibit.

Over the past Summer, ArtWorks teamed up with artist Luke Jerram for the, Play Me I’m Yours project. It is a project where local students paint donated pianos and they are placed around town for everyone to play and enjoy.

The latest project from ArtWorks is the Queen City ArtRacks program which creates decorative bike racks for use across town.

ArtWorks always has a lot going on. Aside from these projects ArtWorks partners with organizations like the Cincinnati Art Museum to create exhibits and they also host their annual fundraiser, Secret ArtWorks which brings together donated art work from famous and up and coming artists. The paintings are sold to interested buyers and the artists are revealed after the sale. It’s a great way to contribute to ArtWorks while at the same time picking up some nice works of art.

ArtWorks also has a gallery located at 20 E. Central Parkway which is definitely worth checking out.

20 East Central Parkway (with art all around town)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Gateway Quarter

Over-The-Rhine was settled by German immigrants back in the mid-19th century. These immigrants created the Over-The-Rhine neighborhood in the image of their homeland and built homes, theatres, churches, and beer gardens to reflect this. The area got its nickname from the time of the Miami & Erie Canal, which reminded them of the Rhine River back home. Stepping out of downtown Cincinnati and over the canal bridge was considering crossing “Over The Rhine”. The name stuck and the community was born.

Sometime in the 20th Century, many families started to migrate out of the city leaving the urban area with a small population. OTR has had its ups and downs over the years with high crime rates, poverty, and even riots but today the area is seeing a rebirth as a quality place to live, work, shop, and eat.

Over-The-Rhine was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983 as one of the largest intact urban historic districts in the country and with the largest collection of Italianate architecture in the country. This historic area has been danger and many of the buildings have been demolished but with the hard work of many, a lot of the surviving buildings are being restored to their true beauty making Over-The-Rhine the great neighborhood that it once was.

A prime example of this effort is the area on and around Twelfth and Vine Streets known as the Gateway Quarter. With the collective effort of the city, neighborhood interest groups, and the 3CDC, ongoing work is being done to rehabilitate many of these historic structures and turning them into condos, shops and restaurants, and businesses as part of the Over-The-Rhine Comprehensive Plan. The objective is not only to rehabilitate the historic structures in the neighborhood but to make sure that any new construction and infill fits in with the current landscape of the community. The Gateway Quarter area has grown and is still growing with great living space, restaurants, and shops as well as entertainment. The surrounding buildings have been restored to their former glory and this area of Over-The-Rhine is a, “must visit” area of the city.

Gateway Quarter
Area surrounding Twelfth and Vine Streets, Over The Rhine

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati

The Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati is a non-profit professional Equity theatre which has new regional, world, and off-Broadway premiere productions. The ETC and its actors have received numerous CEA and Acclaim awards and the theatre is a member of ArtsWave. The Ensemble Theatre was founded in 1986 and performed at Memorial Hall until moving into their present location in 1988. This brightly colored building with its tall faux marble columns was home to many different things in the past like a consulate, a bank, and a printing shop. In 2008, ETC announced the renovation of the building next to them to expand the theatre.

Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati
1127 Vine Street, Over The Rhine

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Alkemeyer Commercial Buildings

These two buildings were built between 1879 and 1884 and are located on Court Street near Vine Street. The buildings have been used for a millinery, shops, and apartments and are historically significant for their architecture more than for their use. The Lotze Building is located to the left on 19 Court Street and designed by William Walter for the heirs of inventor Adolphus Lotze. It is an Italianate Style building which is mainly used for apartments today. The other building to the right is a Queen Anne Style building located at 23 Court Street and is used as a clothing store today. Both buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places.

Alkemeyer Commercial Buildings
19-23 W. Court Street, Cincinnati

Friday, December 17, 2010

The School for Creative & Performing Arts

The School for Creative & Performing Arts was founded in 1973 as a magnet arts school for the area. It was first located in the Mt. Adams Public School. The school is known for attracted talented high school kids in the area and even around the world. Only about 20% of the students who apply get accepted to attend. The school focuses on writing, dance, drama, music, theater, and art. In 1975 the school was temporarily located in Roselawn until it moved into Woodward High School in 1976. Up until recently, Woodward was the home for the school.

The Erich Kunzel Center for Arts and Education was completed in 2010 and ready for the new school year. This is a state of the art facility geared around the performing arts.

The school has received national attention over the years and in 2009 the school was featured in the MTV reality series, Taking The Stage. Some of its notable graduates are Sarah Jessica Parker, Carmen Electra, and Nick Lachey.

The School for Creative & Performing Arts
108 West Central Parkway, Over The Rhine

Friday, December 10, 2010

85. Central Parkway

The history of Central Parkway goes back before the time that it was a major paved thoroughfare. In the late 1700’s, Central Parkway was used as a military trail for St. Clair and Wayne and from 1828 to 1920, Central Parkway was part of the Miami & Erie Canal system which stretched from Lake Erie near Toledo down to the Ohio River in Cincinnati. With the end of the canal system the city planned on building a subway system and using the canal route for the subway tunnels. The city received funding for the subway in 1916 but with the start of World War I, construction did not start until 1920. Because of the war and rising inflation, funds ran out and construction stopped in 1927. Today the subway tunnel still exists under Central Parkway.

Central Parkway was dedicated in 1928 as a wide lane street with a wide island in the middle of the street with trees, benches, walkways, and lighting. Over the years with increased automobile traffic, Central Parkway has been widened. In the 1990’s the center islands were restored to what they used to be. Central Parkway serves in a way as a line between the central business district and Over The Rhine.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

84. Crosley Square

What was once an Elks Lodge turned into Crosley Square in 1942. At one time, WLW radio was located in the building where Crosley radios were made. When World War II started, the Crosley radio manufacturing facility became highly classified due to the fact that Crosley was making detonators for the military. The Crosley executives purchased the old Elks Lodge on Ninth and Elm and made it the broadcasting center for the Midwest. With the invention of television, Crosley Square became home to WLWT TV in 1948. Over the years many television and radio shows were done out of this building and many celebrities and important figures went in and out the doors of this building. Many Cincinnati favorites like Ruth Lyons, Paul Dixon, and Bob Braun did their shows from this building and some of the first color television shows were televised from here as well.

The last broadcasts came from Crosley Square in 1999 when WLWT TV moved to their new location Mount Auburn. Since the time of television and radio, the building was purchased by Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy and turned into the Otto Armleder Memorial Education Center – a grade school for inner-city students.

Crosley Square
140 West Ninth Street, Downtown

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Cuvier Press Club Building

This social club got its start in 1911 when members of the Cuvier Club (named after naturalist George Cuvier) merged with the Pen and Pencil Club. The club was located on Opera Place until 1938 when they moved to the Fechheimer Mansion on Garfield Place and changed their name to the Cuvier Press Club. This home was designed by Samuel Hannaford and is an Italian Renaissance style home. In 1973, the city purchased the home and used it as a senior center. In 2005, it was purchased by LPK and joined with the Butterfield Senior Center building next door and is used as a meeting facility. The home is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Cuvier Press Club Building
22 Garfield Place, Downtown

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Cincinnati Public Library

The Cincinnati Public Library got its start in 1874 at a location on Vine Street between Sixth and Seventh Streets. In 1955, the library opened a new location on the corner of Eighth and Vine Streets. This contemporary building was designed by Woodie Garber and was recognized for its use of open space. In 1982 the library expanded to take up an entire block which encompasses Eighth Street and Vine all the way to Ninth Street and Walnut. With this new building came new features to the library such as a garden, a serpentine brick wall, Venetian glass tiles, and a plaque honoring veterans. In 1997 the North building was completed which expanded the library across Ninth Street. The main branch of the Cincinnati Public Library became one of the largest public library buildings in the United States.

This branch of the library contains a large amount of reading materials as well as audio and video. It also contains a great collection of historic documents and photos of Cincinnati which are available for research. The library also has many permanent exhibits such as sculptures like Louise Nevelson sculpture and the Amelia Valerio Weinberg Memorial Fountain (also known as the “book fountain” shown above). The library is definitely one of the great treasures of Cincinnati.

The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County
800 Vine Street, Downtown

Monday, December 6, 2010

Underwriters Salvage Corps Building

The Underwriters Salvage Corps was an organization which was formed in 1886 to work with the fire department and fire insurance companies. Its primary purpose was to assist the fire department at the scene of a fire to save people and properties surrounding the fires. Once fire departments became more common and established, the role of the Underwriters Salvage Corps was limited to cleaning up after a fire. The Underwriters Salvage Corps was disbanded in 1959.

This building was the site of Station 1 of the Salvage Corps. It was built in 1897 by William Schuberth and was used to store equipment and as the office for the employees on duty. It is a brick Queen Anne style structure and is on the National Registry of Historic Places.

Underwriters Salvage Corps Building
110 East Eighth Street, Downtown

Friday, December 3, 2010

St. Louis Church

The St. Louis parish was founded in 1870 with this church built in 1930. The area that the church is standing on was once the home to St. Ludwig’s Kirche, a Roman Catholic Church for a Campbellite group which was a sect that sought to return to more primitive aspects of Christian teachings. The two groups merged in 1870 to create the parish that stands today.

The church is a Florentine style limestone building and today the church still conducts mass and serves as offices for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

St. Louis Church
29 East Eighth Street, Downtown

Thursday, December 2, 2010

James A. Garfield Statue

James A. Garfield was the 20th President of the United States taking office in 1881 and was assassinated in the same year, 200 days after taking office. President Garfield had the second shortest Presidency in history after President William Henry Harrison who by coincidence has a statue erected in his honor at the opposite end of Piatt Park. Prior to being president, Garfield served as a Major General in the Union army during the Civil War and fought at the Battle of Shiloh. Garfield also served as an Ohio State Senator and a United States Congressman for Ohio.

The Garfield statue is located at the East end of Piatt Park at Garfield Place and Vine Street. The statue was created by Charles Niehaus and unveiled in 1887. At one time, the statue stood in the middle of the intersection of Eighth and Race Street on a taller pedestal but since that time it has been place on a lower pedestal and moved out of the street because it annoyed horse drawn carriage and automobile drivers.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Doctor's Building

Built in 1923 and designed by the Cincinnati firm Tietig and Lee, the Doctor’s Building is a Venetian Gothic Revival Style building constructed mainly of brick, reinforced concrete and terracotta tiles. This building acted as a medical center for Cincinnati and was equipped to provide doctors and dentists with everything they needed. At the time, the building was built on the South end of the park so it could be seen above many of the other buildings in the area. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Doctor’s Building
19 Garfield Place, Downtown

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

83. The Gramercy and The Greenwich

Piatt Park is the city’s oldest park. In 1817, John and Benjamin Piatt gave this land to the city for use as a marketplace. Because there were numerous marketplaces around the city at the time, the city used the land as a park. In 1868, the city dedicated this area as Eighth Street Park and a year after the death of President James A. Garfield in 1882, the city renamed the park Garfield Park. In 1940, the city renamed the park Piatt Park in honor of the men who gave the land to the city. The park itself is Piatt Park while the surrounding area is commonly known as Garfield Place.

Facing Piatt Park on opposite sides of the street and on the corner of Elm Street are two apartment complexes – The Gramercy on the South end and The Greenwich on the North end. Both of these apartments were developed by Towne Properties with The Gramercy being built in 1992 and The Greenwich built in 1996. At the time, these were built as a city sponsored effort to add residential units downtown. Since that time, many buildings have been converted to apartments, lofts, and condos.

The Gramercy and The Greenwich
Garfield Place, Downtown

Monday, November 29, 2010

82. William Henry Harrison Monument

William Henry Harrison started his career in the military and was stationed at Fort Washington in Cincinnati. He was also the military leader in the battle of Tippecanoe where he got his nickname, “Old Tippecanoe”. As commander of the army of the Northwest, he fought in the War of 1812 and became a war hero from that. In his political career, he served as Governor of the Indiana Territory as well as a U.S. Representative and Senator for Ohio. In 1840, Harrison was elected the ninth President of the United States and the first President from Ohio. After serving 31 days in office, he died of pneumonia becoming the first President to die in office. Harrison is buried West of Cincinnati in North Bend, Ohio.

The statue of Harrison is in Piatt Park and is made of bronze with a granite pedestal. It is an equestrian statue depicting Harrison as a General. The statue was created by Louis Rebisso and was dedicated in 1896.

William Henry Harrison Monument
Piatt Park - Eighth and Elm Streets, Downtown

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

81. Covenant First Presbyterian Church

The church was first organized in 1790 as the First Presbyterian Church and was located on Fourth Street. In 1816, some of the congregation split off to form the Second Presbyterian Church and made their home on Elm Street and later became known as the Covenant Presbyterian Church. In 1933 the two congregations merged once again to become the Covenant First Presbyterian Church. Through its history the church has had some notable members and pastors such as James Kemper, whose log cabin has been preserved in Sharon Woods, British theologian G. Campbell Morgan, and Reverend Lyman Beecher – an abolitionist and father of Harriet Beecher Stowe.

The church which stands today was built in 1875 and is a Gothic Revival Design. There are many fascinating features to the church like the interior which is designed after seventeenth century Gothic tithing-barns in Scotland and England, the pulpit which is carved from Black Walnut by Henry L. Fry, and the tower bell which was cast by Paul Revere and is stamped with, “Revere, Boston”. The church is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Covenant First Presbyterian Church
717 Elm Street, Downtown

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

80. Cincinnati Bell Telephone Company Building

Cincinnati Bell was founded in 1873 as the Cincinnati and Suburban Telegraph Company providing telegraph services to homes and businesses. In 1878, Cincinnati Bell brought the first phone service to the city. When this building opened in 1931, it had the World’s longest straight switchboard with 88 operator positions.

This Art Deco building was designed by Henry Hake and has many relief sculptures representing the communications industry. The most noticeable is the relief sculptures of telephones that are carved into the limestone frieze. Along with this there are several other reliefs such as an ancient runner, Alexander Bell’s first telephone call, and flag signaling from a ship.

The building is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Cincinnati Bell Telephone Company Building
209 West Seventh Street, Cincinnati

Monday, November 22, 2010

Cincinnati Athletic Club

The organization got its start in 1853 as the Cincinnati Gymnasium and Athletic Club. It was founded by some of the elite members of society including Rutherford B. Hayes who would late go on to become President of the United States. Hayes was not the only U.S. President to be a member of the club – there was also James A. Garfield, Benjamin Harrison, and William Howard Taft.

The club’s facility at Shillito Place was built in 1903. It is a Second Renassaince building designed by Warner and Atkins. At the time it was built it was considered one of the country’s best athletic facilities second only to the gymnasium at Columbia University in New York. The Cincinnati Athletic Club is still active and the building is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Cincinnati Athletic Club
111 Shillito Place, Cincinnati

John Shillito Company Building

The company got its start as a dry goods store in a partnership between John Shillito and William McLaughlin and was established as the McLaughlin & Shillito Company in 1830. They operated out of a store on Fourth Street which was designed McLaughlin’s son James. In 1837 the partnership ended and the store became the John Shillito & Co. or more commonly known as Shillito’s. In 1930, Shillito’s was acquired by F&R Lazarus Company which became a founding partner of Federated Department Stores a year later. In 1982, the store became Shillito Rikes which was a merger between the two and in 1986, the store name changed to Lazarus. In 2005, the Federated Stores became Macys.

The John Shillito Building was designed by James McLaughlin and was built in 1878. This store was modeled after the famous Paris department store Le Bon Marche and its steel skeleton was a new innovation at the time and inspired the Chicago style of modern commercial architecture. The building once had a pressed brick façade but in 1937 the front of the store was reclad in a limestone Art Deco style. The old façade can still be seen on the South side of the building. In 1998 the building was converted to loft apartments.

John Shillito Company Building
675 Race Street, Downtown

Sunday, November 21, 2010

79. Cincinnatian Hotel

Designed by Samuel Hannaford and built in 1882, the Cincinnatian Hotel got its start as the Palace Hotel. The Palace is of a French Second Empire Design and was designed as a Grand Hotel. At the time it was built, it was the tallest building in the city. At the time it was built, the hotel featured 300 guest rooms with shared bathrooms. The hotel underwent renovations in 1987 and the number of rooms was reduced to 146 rooms and seven suites. The hotel has maintained its original charm and also includes a restaurant called the Palace Restaurant and the Cricket Lounge. The Cincinnatian is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Cincinnatian Hotel
601 Vine Street, Downtown

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Cincinnati Enquirer Building

Completed in 1926, this 14 story building was once the home of the Cincinnati Enquirer. The Enquirer occupied the first 5 floors of the building for their business, editorial, and shop facilities. The building was designed by Lockwood, Greene & Company of Philadelphia and is a mix of Art Deco, Pre-modern, and Gothic styles. The building has many details from bronze figures adorning the entry to stone figures, gargoyles, and second floor balconies with Greek columns. Restoration was done on the building in 1982 and the building is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Cincinnati Enquirer began as a newspaper in 1841 and remains Cincinnati’s only daily paper. The Enquirer no longer occupies this building as they moved their offices to their new building on Elm Street which was built in 1992.

In pop culture, many may know this building as the Osgood R. Flimm building which was the office of WKRP in Cincinnati and shown in the opening credits.

Cincinnati Enquirer Building
617 Vine Street, Downtown

Thursday, November 18, 2010

"Additional" by Julian Stanczak

Across Sixth Street from the Contemporary Arts Center, this work of art from Stanczak serves not only as a living work of art in the streets of Cincinnati but also as a parking garage façade. Fifth Third Bank commissioned Julian Stanczak to create this façade for their parking garage which debuted in 2007. The work is a total of 522 aluminum bars painted different colors and while you walk down the street, the tubes will change colors giving a nice visual experience.

“Additional” by Julian Stanczak
Sixth Street between Vine and Walnut Street

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Contemporary Arts Center

In 1939 the CAC got its start as the Cincinnati Modern Art Society in the basement of the Cincinnati Art Museum. The Contemporary Arts Center has been host to many exhibits from artists like Pablo Picasso, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, and the controversial exhibit of Robert Mapplethorpe.

From the basement of the Art Museum, the CAC moved to the Women’s Exchange Building on West Fourth Street in 1964 then to the Mercantile Center on Fifth Street in 1970 and finally to their permanent home on Sixth and Walnut in 2003. The Lois & Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art was designed by Zaha Hadid and has three floors of gallery space, a lower level for performances and an, “Unmuseum” for children. New exhibitions are always happening to it is good to visit often.

Contemporary Arts Center
44 East Sixth Street, Downtown

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

78. Stanley J. Aronoff Center for the Arts

Built in 1995, the Aronoff Center is a multi-theater complex composed of 3 performance spaces, meeting and reception rooms, and the Weston Art Gallery. The building was designed by famed architect Cesar Pelli. Through the year the center holds musicals, ballet, theater, art, and other performances. The center is named after Stan Aronoff who served 30 years in the Ohio Senate.

Stanley J. Aronoff Center for the Arts
650 Walnut Street, Downtown

Monday, November 15, 2010

77. Gwynne Building

This Beau Arts style building was completed in 1914 and designed by architect Ernest Flagg for Alice Gwynne Vanderbuilt who was the wife of Cornelius Vanderbuilt II and granddaughter of Major David Gwynne, a real estate broker in Cincinnati. The building was the headquarters for the Proctor & Gamble Company from 1935 to 1956. This beautiful building has recessed windows with metal railings as well as ox heads adorning the corners of the building. The Gwynne Building is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Gwynne Building
602 Main Street, Downtown

St. Xavier Church

The Parish began in 1819 with the first church being a small wooden building on the corner of Liberty and Vine. Bishop Fenwick purchased some property on Sycamore Street and placed the small wooden church on rollers and more it to site where this church now stands. There was need for a larger church and this church was completed in 1861 with Bishop Purcell celebrating the first mass at the church that year. In 1882, a fire destroyed the interior and roof but the church was rebuilt the same year. In 1987, the church underwent a renovation and was redecorated. To this day, the church still serves the downtown area and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

St. Xavier Church
607 Sycamore Street, Downtown

Friday, November 12, 2010

Krippendorf-Dittman Building

This building was built in the late 1800’s and designed by Louis Picket along with Samuel Hannaford & Sons. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places and once was used as the manufacturing and sales facility for the Krippendorf-Dittman Company which made shoes. The building has been repurposed into loft apartments and today is called the Lofts at Sycamore Place.

Krippendorf-Dittman Building
628 Sycamore Street, Downtown

Thursday, November 11, 2010

76. 800 Broadway Building

This building, which was built in 1933, is also known as the Times-Star building. The Times-Star was a local newspaper in Cincinnati and was the result of a merger between The Spirit of the Times and the Star newspapers in 1880. In 1958, the Times-Star was sold to the owners of the Cincinnati Post and the Post operated out of this building until 1979 when the paper merged with the Cincinnati Enquirer. Today the building is used by Hamilton County for offices and courts.

The building itself is a 16-story limestone building designed by Samuel Hannaford & Sons. There are statues at the top corners of the building as shown in the photo as well as emblems that symbolize learning and printing.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Highland Towers

Built in 1964, Highland Towers is the tallest building in Mt. Adams. It was built on the site which was once the top on the Mt. Adams incline which operated between 1876 and 1948. Also on this site was the very popular Highland House which could hold up to 8,000 people in its beer garden.

Highland Towers is an apartment building which also has a restaurant that provides nice panoramic views of the city while dining.

Highland Towers
1071 Celestial Street, Mt. Adams

75. Rookwood Pottery

Rookwood Pottery was founded in 1880 by Maria Longworth Nichols Storer who was the granddaughter of Nicholas Longworth. The company was founded as a way for Maria to create and distribute her pottery. Rookwood became the first successful business owned by a woman. This building was built in 1891 and contains several kilns that were created by Maria. Rookwood was not only known for their hand panted pieces of pottery but also for their tile works. Many businesses and homes around Cincinnati have Rookwood tile in their entry ways and fireplaces. It has become one of the most recognizable and sought after ceramics in the country.

Rookwood remained at this site until 1960 when the company moved to Mississippi. The company closed in 1967. In 2006, a group of Cincinnati investors bought the rights to the pottery and brought the company back to life. The newly formed Rookwood is based right here in Cincinnati.

This original Tudor building was converted into a restaurant with the kilns intact and examples of the original pottery on display.

Rookwood Pottery
1077 Celestial Street, Mt. Adams

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Monastery

Around 1873, the Cincinnati Observatory moved from its location in Mt. Adams to Mt. Lookout. This was due to the increased number of factories in Cincinnati. The smoke from these factories made it impossible to properly work a telescope. The building that was left vacant in Mt. Adams found use as the first monastery for the Passionist Fathers. The Passionist Fathers leased this property for 99 years with an option to purchase. Over the years, they found that a larger church and building were needed and in 1895, the church that was once the Holy Cross Church was built with a new monastery built in 1901. In 1970, the Holy Cross Church merged its congregation with the Immaculata Church in Mt. Adams and in 1977, the old church and monastery was converted into offices and it is still used as that today.

The Monastery
1055 St. Paul Place, Mt. Adams

Monday, November 8, 2010

Mt. Adams Business District

For decades, the area that would become Mt. Adams was ignored by the city because of its inaccessibility and rough terrain. Nicholas Longworth purchased this property in 1830 and set up vineyards and made wine high atop the hill and called this and the surrounding area the, “Garden of Eden”. When disease destroyed the vineyards in the 1850’s, Nicholas’ son Joseph gave some of the land over to the city to create Eden Park. In 1874, an incline railway was created to provide access to the top of the hill. Once of the first structures built on the hill was an observatory. This land on the hill was originally called Mt. Ida and after a visit from President John Quincy Adams who spoke during the dedication of the newly built observatory, the city changed the name to Mt. Adams.

Things are a lot different today. What was once considered inhabitable land is now packed with residences and businesses and is considered one of the more desirable neighborhoods to live in Cincinnati. The business district itself has a lot of options when it comes to shopping, eating, and nightlife. The business district is primarily around the area of Hatch Street, Pavilion Street, and St. Gregory.

Mt. Adams Business District

Friday, November 5, 2010

Holy Cross-Immaculata Church

The cornerstone for the Immaculata Church was laid in 1859. Archbishop John Baptist Purcell donated the land for the church and supervised the construction of the church. The church celebrated its first mass in 1860. The church sits high atop the hill in Mt. Adams and can be seen from many points around Cincinnati. In 1970, the Holy Cross Church in Mt. Adams closed and the two parishes merged to form the Holy Cross-Immaculata Parish. On Good Friday there is a pilgrimage where Catholics and non Catholics alike ascend the stairs up to the church praying on each step. There are over 96 steps that lead to the base of the church and the Good Friday Pilgrimage has become an annual tradition for the church.

Holy Cross-Immaculata Church
30 Guido Street, Mt. Adams

Thursday, November 4, 2010

74. Ida Street Bridge

Making your way up to Mt. Adams on Wareham Drive you will drive under its grand arch and if you are making your way from the Art Museum to Rookwood, this is the bridge that you will take. The Ida Street Bridge was built in 1931 as a replacement for an old wrought-iron and wood bridge. This bridge is made of reinforced concrete and is a landmark of the neighborhood on the hill.

73. Pilgrim Presbyterian Church

In 1889, the Pilgrim Chapel became the first Protestant Church in Mt. Adams which was primarily a Catholic neighborhood. In 2001, the church became a member of the United Church of Christ. The church is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Pilgrim Presbyterian Church
1222 Ida Street, Mt. Adams

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

72. Cincinnati Playhouse In The Park

Today’s Playhouse in the Park began in 1959 using a park shelter house which was located where their building stands today. The new theatre, The Robert S. Marx Theatre was built in 1968 and named after a well known Cincinnati philanthropist.

Over the years, the playhouse has seen many famous actors come through its doors as well as made many actors famous. The playhouse has received numerous local and national awards for its performances. The playhouse has productions 10 months out of the year with some running as long as 4 weeks and even some of them premiering at the playhouse before going to larger venues off and on Broadway. The theatre is a very nice and comfortable spot to enjoy a play and definitely a, “must do” in Cincinnati.

Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park
962 Mt. Adams Circle, Mt. Adams

71. Cincinnati Art Museum

The original structure of the Art Museum was completed in 1886 and at the time of completion, the museum was called, “The Art Palace of the West”. It was in fact the first and largest museum of art West of the Alleghenies. Over time the Art Museum grew and additional space was added. Now the Art Museum boasts over 60,000 works which span a time over 6,000 years. It is the largest Art Museum in the state of Ohio. Some of the collections include ancient works of art from Egypt, Greece, Rome, and the Far East. There are quite a few paintings on exhibit as well as textiles, photographs, and sculpture. Throughout the year, there are many exhibits that come through the museum and it is always changing. The Art Museum is a worthwhile visit.

Cincinnati Art Museum
953 Eden Park Drive, Cincinnati

Monday, November 1, 2010

70. Murray Seasongood Pavilion

The pavilion is named after Murray Seasongood who served as the Mayor of Cincinnati from 1926 through 1929 and was also named one of the 100 Greatest Ohio Citizens in 1974. The pavilion itself is an outdoor entertainment venue which has great performances Spring through Fall. The Pavilion has received many updates over the years making it a great place to spend an evening watching a play or listening to a band.

69. Water Tower

This water tower was built in 1894 as part of Cincinnati’s water works system. The tower is 172 feet tall served as a water tower until 1912 and today it serves as the city’s communications facility. This tower was designed by Samuel Hannaford and is a historic landmark.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

68. Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Dedicated in 1984, this bronze statue by Kenneth Bradford is dedicated to those who served in the Vietnam War. The memorial depicts two soldiers looking onward with a map of Vietnam at the base. Various veteran groups hold commemorations at this site on Memorial Day each year.

Friday, October 29, 2010

67. Twin Lakes Overlook

The Twin Lakes area not only provides for a nice serene place to relax but also has beautiful views of the Ohio River and Northern Kentucky. Within the Twin Lakes area you will find a playground, plenty of park benches, the two lakes with plenty of geese and ducks, a walking bridge, and plenty of interesting sculptures like “The Capitoline Wolf” (shown below) which was a gift from the city of Rome, Italy. Walking around the lakes you will find plenty of artists creating works of the area.

66. Melan Arch Bridge

This bridge was designed and built by Fritz von Empergen of the Melan Arch Construction Company in 1895 using the Melan Arch technique invented by Josef Melan. This was a new technology at the time using concrete to encase an arch of steel beams.

65. Irwin M. Krohn Conservatory

Built in 1933, Krohn Conservatory is a 22,000 square foot hosts more than 3,500 plants from all over the world with changing exhibits throughout the year. The conservatory has collections of palms, desert foliage, and orchids as well as a 20 foot rainforest waterfall. Among the many interesting events that occur each year is the butterfly show where countless numbers of butterflies are set free inside the conservatory.