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.