Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Mike Perry Mural

This colorful mural was created by Brooklyn-based artist Mike Perry in 2012 when Perry was in town along with Naomi Reis for their exhibit Night and Day at the YES Gallery in Over-The-Rhine.  Mike Perry is an artist with work ranging from paintings to illustrations for anything from nonprofit to commercial.

This mural is located on Clay and Melindy Streets across from the Matt W. Moore mural.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Friday, December 14, 2012

American Building

This Art Deco building was completed in 1928 and designed by architect Joseph G. Steinkamp and his brother Benjamin Steinkamp.  The building was built in anticipation of the completion of the subway and Central Parkway – both becoming major modes of transportation in the city.  It was one of the first Art Deco buildings in Cincinnati and many features of this style can be found throughout the building from the stonework, arches, the balconies on the upper floors, and the lobby ceiling.  At 18-stories, it is the tallest building in Over-The-Rhine.  It was originally built as an office building but in 2004 it was renovated and turned into condos.

American Building
30 East Central Parkway, Over-The-Rhine

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Raymond Thunder-Sky Legacy Mural

Raymond Thunder-Sky was a local artist who could be seen walking around town dressed in a clown collar or suit wearing a hardhat and carrying a toolbox filled with art supplies.  He had an interest in construction and demolition sites and could be found at various sites in Cincinnati drawing these sites.  These colorful drawings often included Raymond’s own vision of what would become of these sites from amusement parks to clown costume factories.  Raymond passed away in 2004 but his legacy lives on with his works displayed at Thunder-Sky, Inc. in Northside – a gallery made in his honor.  Raymond Thunder-Sky created over 2,000 drawings and his work has been displayed in galleries and museums all over the world.

This ArtWorks mural was created in 2009 as a tribute to Thunder-Sky and was created in the same style as Raymond’s own work.

The Raymond Thunder-Sky Legacy Mural
3841 Spring Grove Avenue, Northside

Thursday, December 6, 2012


 Northside started as a small settlement in Native American territory back in the 1790’s and is located on what was once two Native American trails.  With the building of the Miami-Erie canal in the 1820’s, the population grew and the town of Cumminsville was founded by Ephraim Knowlton, the supervisor of the building of the Miami-Erie canal.  Cumminsville was named after David Cummins, one of the original settlers in the area.  The population increased even more with the building of the Cincinnati, Hamilton, & Dayton Railroad.  The town was often referred to as, “Hell Town” due to the numerous bars and drinking which resulted in drunken fights.  The town also held another nickname of, “Happy Valley” most likely for the parade of circus animals and performances that would take place on the circus grounds in the area.  Cumminsville was annexed by the city of Cincinnati in 1873.  Knowlton’s Corner in Cumminsville was once one of the busiest commercial areas in Cincinnati.

Cumminsville continued to see steady growth up through the 1920’s.  In the 1970’s with the construction of Interstate 74 the town was split in two and at that time North Cumminsville and South Cumminsville was established.  In the 1980’s, North Cumminsville was changed to Northside.

Nowadays Northside is a vibrant and diverse community.  Along Hamilton Avenue is the business and historic district.  Here you will find many independently owned businesses from shops with local goods to foodstuffs, art, and restaurants.  Northside has a strong music scene with many local and regional bands playing at various establishments in the area.  Northside also has parks, community gardens, and various co-ops throughout as well as many popular events like the Northside Farmer’s market, Northside Rock ‘n Roll Carnival, and the Northside Fourth of July Parade - a long running parade that started in 1854.

A map of the Northside businesses can be found here.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Ludlow Monument

Location: Northwest corner of Mad Anthony and Knowlton Streets, Northside.

The marker reads:

Near this spot stood the block house at Ludlow Station built in 1791.

General Arthur St. Clair and his army encamped here from August 1st to September 17th 1791.

General Anthony Wayne and his army encamped here in 1793.

Erected by The Cincinnati Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution – 1916.

Pillars and granite from Court House rebuilt in 1884.

Ground given by Mr. Samuel Molyneux.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral

A photo of the cathedral can be found here.

Location: Southeast corner of Seventh and Plum Streets.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Second National Bank

Located on the corner of Ninth and Main Street, the Second National Bank building was built in 1908 and designed by architects George S. Werner and John S. Adkins who also designed buildings such as the Cincinnati Athletic Club.  This 13 story Neoclassical building is made of concrete The interior was designed by Charles A. Pedretti.  Today the building serves as offices.

Second National Bank Building
830 Main Street, Downtown

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Bridging Tusculum

Completed in 2010 by ArtWorks, the mural consists of eight panels located on a train overpass at Delta and Eastern Avenues.  This colorful mural depicts the scenery and life in Columbia Tusculum and features the painted lady homes, hills, the Ohio River, and the residents of the neighborhood.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

River Downs

Located along the Ohio River next to Coney Island and Riverbend Music Center is River Downs.  The track opened in 1925 as the Coney Island racetrack.  Following the flood of 1937 the track reopened as River Downs.  In 1988 the open-air grandstand was rebuilt to resemble the original grandstand from 1925 and seats approximately 8,500.  There is a one-mile long oval dirt track with two chutes and a 7-furlong turf course as well as 1,350 stables.

River Downs has seen many racing champions run its tracks like a few appearances from the famed Seabiscuit as well as champions Black Gold, Crusader, Harlan’s Holiday and Spend A Buck.  Many famous jockeys have run the track as well like Larry Snyder, James Graham John McKee, Rafael Bejarano, and Triple Crown winner Steve Cauthen who got his start at River Downs.

Live racing runs from April through Labor Day with simulcast racing throughout the year. 

Plans are underway to tear down the grandstand and build a new race and casino complex by 2014.

6301 Kellogg Avenue, California

Monday, November 19, 2012

Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum

 Gate House at the entrance to Spring Grove.

With the cholera epidemic of the 1830’s and 1840’s the smaller cemeteries around the city became overcrowded and there was a need for a larger cemetery with room for expansion.  In 1844, members of the Cincinnati Horticultural Society formed a cemetery association and went out looking for a location for a cemetery that was close to the city but with enough room for growth.  The plan was to create a cemetery that was a serene and respectful place for burial.  The cemetery was to be modeled after cemeteries like Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.  With the help of attorney Salmon P. Chase who lobbied for the charter and special legislation, Spring Grove Cemetery was formed in 1845 with the first burial that same year.

Johnny Appleseed monument.

Landscape architect Howard Daniels was commissioned for the design of Spring Grove and in 1855 landscape architect Adolph Strauch was hired to renovate the grounds.  It was at Spring Grove where Adolph Strauch developed the “landscape-lawn plan”.  The plan emphasizes the land as a whole instead of individual features giving the area a more park like setting.  A single prominent monument with similar individual stones was encouraged in order to promote a more unified look and ponds were placed around the property to drain what was once marshy land.  The cemetery features many interesting tombstones, statues, memorials, and mausoleums as well as a large collection of obelisks, which mark individual family plots.  The winding roads and stone bridges add to the beauty of the land around it. 

There are many notable figures buried at Spring Grove including Governor’s, Civil War Generals, businessmen, Senators, Congressmen, and athletes.  Some of these are Salmon P. Chase, Nicholas Longworth, Bernard Kroger, Charles Fleischmann, Powel Crosley Jr., James Findlay, William Proctor, James Gamble, Charley Harper, General William Haynes Lytle, George Hunt Pendleton, and Alphonso Taft to name a few.

Willow Water Lake with the McCook memorial in the background (on right).

 In 1987 the name was changed to Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum.  Spring Grove contains a large collection of native and exotic plants as well as many state and national championship trees.

Spring Grove totals 733 acres with 450 acres currently maintained and is a National Historic Landmark.  Tours of the grounds and events are held throughout the year.

4521 Spring Grove Avenue, Spring Grove Village

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Goodall Building

Built in 1893 and designed by George W. Rapp, the Goodall building is a Renaissance Revival building made of brick, sandstone, and iron.  The 7-story building features oriel windows above the main entrance.  It was built for William Goodall, a businessman who sold stone, granite, and marble.  Goodall did not run his business from here but instead rented it to other businesses.  The building is on the National Register of Historic Places and is considered a good example of commercial Second Renaissance Revival architecture.

Goodall Building
324 West Ninth Street, Downtown

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Art for All

In the summer of 2012 the Taft Museum of Art partnered with various organizations in the area and placed 80 framed reproductions of paintings from the museum in public spaces around the area.  The Art for All project celebrates the Taft Museum’s 80th Anniversary and brings the works of art from the museum to the public.  The following are just a few of the paintings that can be found around the area.

Early Autumn Forest of Fontainebleau by Narcisse Virgile Diaz de la Peña, Lunken Trail

Landscape Mural by Robert S. Duncanson, Sawyer Point

An Extensive Valley with a Distant City by Aert van der Neer, Glenwood Gardens

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Monday, October 29, 2012

First Financial Center

Once known as the Chemed Center, this building was named the First Financial Center after First Financial Bancorp moved to this location in 2011.  This postmodern 32-story building was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and built in 1991.  The building has a gray granite exterior with a 2-story atrium and the top of the building is adorned with sculpted diamonds that are lit up at night.

First Financial Center
255 East Fifth Street, Downtown

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Longworth Hall Mosaics

This project was started in 2004 by the Cincinnati Arts & Technology Center and Cincinnati Public Schools.  Students worked along with artists to turn unused abutments under the railroad tracks in the Longworth Hall parking lot into works of art.  The first to be completed was a glass and tile mosaic with floral patterns (shown above).  Projects that followed included a water themed mosaic with fish, seagulls, and flamingos as well as an abstract mosaic (below) and a painted mural of Cincinnatus with brightly painted tunnels.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Samuel Burdsal House

Samuel Burdsal, a pioneer pharmacist built this home in 1834 for his family after his marriage to Mary Ann Turner.  This Federal style home was built in what was once the outskirts of the city was also a popular gathering place for many of Burdsal’s acquaintances which included lawyers, judges, military generals, governors, and General William Henry Harrison who later became President.  Samuel Burdsal lived in the home up until his death in 1888.

The home is also known as the Mushkat-Burrow House and is the oldest continuous residence in Cincinnati.  It is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Samuel Burdsal House
1342 Broadway Street, Pendleton

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Hot VS. Cold

Matt W. Moore is the founder of MWM Graphics in Portland, Maine.  Moore is an artist who creates digital illustrations, watercolor paintings, and murals and his exhibits can be seen all over the world. 

In 2011, Moore did a residency at YES Studio in Cincinnati making it his first exhibition in Ohio.  During this time he created this mural titled, “Hot VS. Cold” on the side of a building on Clay Street in Over-The-Rhine.  The mural was created using spray paint in his signature style of, “Vectorfunk”.  As Moore describes it, “The goal with each work is to have the viewer’s eye fall into the piece and get lost in the optical illusions, trying to figure out what is up, down, left, and right.”

Hot VS. Cold
1418 Clay Street, Over-The-Rhine

Monday, October 8, 2012

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Longworth Hall

The building was built in 1904 on land once owned by Nicholas Longworth.  The building was first used as a freight terminal for the Baltimore & Ohio railroad.  Over ¼ mile in length, the building contained an inbound freight house on the lower level and the upper floors were used for storage.  There was also a boiler house, roundhouse, and coal triple.  The building could accommodate up to 125 rail cars at any given time.  The building is a Romanesque Revival style structure designed by M.A. Long and is similar to its sister building Camden Yards in Baltimore.  At the time it was built, it was the largest structure of its kind in the world and today is still one of the longest buildings in the United States.  The building is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The building was purchased in 1985 and converted into an office building.  Today it houses many types of businesses including design firms, tech firms, restaurants, and clubs.

700 West Pete Rose Way, Queensgate

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Philippus United Church of Christ

The congregation of Philippus Kirche formed in 1890 from members of St. Mattheus Church.  This Gothic Revival church designed by Anthony Kunz was completed in 1891.  This church has recessed arched windows on the outside with beautiful stained glass on the inside as well as an organ that was donated by the family of Christian Moerlein, a member of the congregation.  The most unique feature of the church is the gilded hand with an index finger pointing to heaven.  In 1968, a soldier’s helmet was placed on top of the cross above the entrance to the church to honor the members of the congregation who had served the country in time of war.

The church performed all services in German until 1921 when English-speaking services were introduced.  In 1933 the church became Philippus Evangelical and Reformed Church.  In 1957, the church became Philippus United Church of Christ.  German services were performed up until the 1980’s but there are special Christmas services in German today.    

Philippus United Church of Christ
106 West McMicken Avenue, Over-The-Rhine

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Power Building

The Power Building was built in 1903 and designed by architect Harry Hake.  This 10-story building was once home to a textile firm.  In 1996, the building was no longer used as commercial space and in 2002 the building was redeveloped into apartments and is now called Renaissance Apartments at the Power Building.

The building is on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the East Manufacturing and Warehouse District, an area significant for late 19th and early 20th century manufacturing in the city.

The Power Building
224 East Eighth Street, Downtown

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Court Street Marketplace

At one time Cincinnati had nine public markets with the Court Street Market being one of them.  The Court Street Market was built in 1864 to replace the Canal Street Market.  Court Street was widened and the wooden building for the market was built in the center of the street between Vine and Walnut.  Beneath the market building was a tunnel lined with stone that was used to run hogs to the slaughterhouses and during the court house riots of 1884 residents of the city used the tunnel to hide from the violence on the street above.  The market was closed in 1912 due to unsanitary conditions and the building was demolished in 1914.

There are now parking spaces where the market building once stood and a variety of restaurants and shops can be found as well as a farmer's market during the summer.  Some of Cincinnati's popular restaurants can be found here as well as Avril-Bleh & Sons who have been in business in Cincinnati since 1894.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Vision of Samuel Hannaford

This ArtWorks mural pays homage to architect Samuel Hannaford and depicts a room with a portrait of Samuel Hannaford with an open balcony overlooking Washington Park.  The surrounding area in the mural shows some of the great works of Hannaford like the Elsinore Arch, City Hall, and Music Hall.

The Vision of Samuel Hannaford
1308 Race Street, Over-The-Rhine

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Little Miami Railroad

Location: Northeast corner of Eggleston Avenue and Pete Rose Way, Downtown.

The marker reads:

The Little Miami Railroad, chartered in 1836, was the first railroad to server Cincinnati; it began service between the city and Milford on December 14, 1841.  Eventually, the Little Miami provided an important link between southwestern Ohio and the communities further to the east, but in its early years, the line could not come all the way into Cincinnati.  City Council prohibited the new, dirty, and potentially dangerous means of transportation from coming inside city limits.  Therefore, the railroad’s yards, workshops, and first passenger depot were in Pendleton, a community that is part of the present-day East End.  Passengers rode into Cincinnati in horse-drawn omnibuses or in train cars pulled by horses.

Building the railroad was extremely expensive, and by 1842, the Little Miami was bankrupt.  A $100,000 loan from the City of Cincinnati and the able management of banker and steamboat owner Jacob Strader reversed the company’s fortunes.  Around 1844, the railroad built a new depot at East Kilgour and Front Streets, along the riverfront.  The law prohibiting locomotives inside the city was lifted in 1845.  The construction of these facilities marked the beginning of the Cincinnati riverfront’s role as a key link in the area’s railroad network.  By 1847, the Little Miami carried more than 78,000 passengers, used fifteen locomotives, and had a net profit of $112,000.

The Little Miami Railroad stimulated residential and commercial development in the villages east of Cincinnati.  Commuter suburbs developed in rural villages as land was subdivided, and factories and warehouses went up along the rail line.

In the late 1860s, the Little Miami took over two smaller lines in eastern Ohio, and then in 1870, was itself leased by the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis Railroad.  In the 1920s, the Pennsylvania Railroad took over the PCC&StL. Passenger and freight stations in Cincinnati were closed when Union Terminal opening in 1933 and were finally torn down for clearance of the riverfront and urban renewal in mid-century.

By the 1980s, the growing use of the riverfront district for recreation purposes led to the reduction of rail activity in this vicinity.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Seventy-Foot Love Letter to the Queen

Located on the side of the Cincinnati Athletic Club building along Rusconi Place, this mural was created by artist William Schickel and commissioned by the city in 1977.  The mural is made of anodized aluminum and fluid enamel.  The curvilinear shapes of the mural were cut from 4 by 4-foot heat-treated aluminum panels painted in earth tones and scribbled with liquid enamel to represent the Queen City of the West.  The mural was elevated so that it could be seen from the skywalk.  The work not only makes use of these panels but are spaced apart to include the weathered brick wall as part of the work.

Not part of the mural but located directly below it on opposite sides of the wall are two articles from the Cincinnati Enquirer printed on metal plates.  The first article from 1903 commemorates the opening of the Cincinnati Athletic Club and the other from 1965 tells the story to how Rusconi Place got its name.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Western Hills Viaduct

Built between 1930 and 1932, Western Hills Viaduct spans the Mill Creek Valley and the Queensgate Rail Yard.  The viaduct is 3,500 feet in length and features two arches at either end of the bridge, which resemble the Art Deco style of that period.  It is a double-decked structure and upon its construction, the upper deck was used for automobile and pedestrian traffic with the lower deck used for streetcar and trucks.  From end to end, the viaduct connects Harrison and State Avenues to the west and Spring Grove and Central Parkway to the east.  With the dismantling of the earlier streetcar system, the tracks were removed in the 1950’s and in 1961 the eastern portion of the viaduct was reconstructed to access Interstate 75 with both decks carrying automobile traffic.  The viaduct was rehabbed in 1977.  Today it is unclear as to whether the viaduct will undergo reconstruction or demolition.

Monday, August 27, 2012

White's Station

Location: Anthony Wayne Avenue near Mill Creek (across from the Hamilton County Fairgrounds), Carthage

Monday, August 20, 2012

St. John Protestant Church

This church was part of Cincinnati’s oldest German congregation dating back to 1814 when it started as The German Evangelical and Reformed Church.  It was a church for German immigrants in Cincinnati and included both Protestants and Catholics since there was no Catholic Church in the city at the time.  The first church building was built in 1824 on Arch Street and this red brick Gothic style building on the corner of 12th and Elm Street was constructed in 1867 and the church changed its name to the St. John Protestant Church.  With the outbreak of World War I and at the height of anti-German hysteria the church stopped holding services in German.  In 1924 the church became St. John Unitarian Church.  In 1946 the congregation left this church and moved to Clifton and in 1960 built a new church on Resor Avenue.  In 1950 the church became the home of Apostolic Bethlehem Temple Church until the congregation moved to a new facility on Hamilton Avenue.  Missing the tall steeple it once had the church now lay empty waiting for a new life.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Big Pig Gig: Do Re Wee

The Big Pig Gig is back for the summer of 2012 and it is the first since 2000.  This ArtWorks project brings together local artists to design their pigs for display around the area.  This event was created specially for the World Choir Games.  The following are just a few of the pigs that you will find around town.  For more information, visit the ArtWorks – Big Pig Gig site.

 "Sowwy Night"

"Chinese Tiger Pig" 

 "A Puggy Pal"

"the PIG idea"

"A Street Pig Named Desire"

"Pigasso Serenade"


"It's a Pig World"

"Professor Pignassus and His Cinsational Flying Machine"