Monday, July 30, 2012

"The Big Indian Sign"

This sign has been a roadside landmark for almost 60 years now.  The sign was put up in 1954 for the Pontiac dealership that was once there.  The 50-foot image became known as Chief Pontiac.  At one time the sign was trimmed in neon and the arm would move waving to passing motorists.  “Where Paddock Meets Vine at the Big Indian Sign” became a popular catch phrase for any of the automobile dealerships that have been at this location.  The sign no longer lights up and due to zoning, the arm has been made stationary but it still stands at the same location.  The catch phrase still guides motorists to its location in Hartwell.   

The Big Indian Sign
7505 Vine Street, Carthage

Friday, July 27, 2012

Alms and Doepke Building

This building was once the Alms and Doepke Dry Goods Company operated by William F. Doepke, William H. Alms, and Frederick H. Alms.  At the time it was the largest department store in Cincinnati and the second largest west of New York.  The Victorian style building was started in 1878 with additions added later by Samuel Hannaford in 1886 who built the 7-story building on the north west side and Daniel Burnham on the east end in 1912.  When the building was originally built it bordered the Miami Erie Canal.  The department store closed in 1955.  By 1995 the building was renovated and now serves as offices for Hamilton County as well as Hamilton County Job & Family Services.

The building is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Alms and Doepke Building
222 East Central Parkway, Over-The-Rhine

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Zion Baptist Church

The church was started in 1842 by Father Wallace Shelton and members of Union Baptist Church making it the second oldest African American congregation in Cincinnati.  The church was originally downtown on Plum Street and was part of the Underground Railroad movement providing shelter for escaped slaves searching for freedom.  In 1867 a brick church was built making it one of the first owned by African Americans in Cincinnati.  In the 1950’s the city was going through urban renewal and forced the church to move.  The church purchased land in Avondale and in 1961 built the church that stands today.  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke at the church in 1964 celebrating the church’s 122nd anniversary.

630 Glenwood Avenue, Avondale

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Eyes

This mural was part of the Urban Walls project in 1971 put together by Carl Solway and Jack Boulton who selected 10 artists to design murals for empty walls around the downtown area. 

“The Eyes”, was created by local artist Preston McClanahan.  Painted on the side of a parking garage, the mural features the eyes of different people like Abraham Lincoln, Paul McCartney, and Vincent van Gough.  The eyes were painted on the bricked up windows of they walls using stencils that were traced on the wall and filled in by painters. 

The mural was visible from downtown and Interstate 75 up until the construction of the Enquirer building in 1992.  The mural is worn with the paint peeling but can still be found tucked away in Benham Alley just off of Elm Street.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Woman Offering Water

This bronze fountain was created in 2003 by sculptor Matt Kotlkarczyk and is located just outside of Burnet Woods on the corner of Ludlow and Clifton Avenue.  The fountain is of a bare breasted woman adorned with flowers and water flowing from her hands.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Barlow Motors Building

The Barlow Motors building is actually a pair of buildings that were built in 1915 and 1917 for the Barlow Hodson Motor Car Company.  These beaux-arts buildings were designed by Harry Hake.  The building featured a drive-in elevator that would take automobiles to the second floor for service.  The building is made of concrete and was a city approved bomb shelter during World War II.

The building was restored by the Bruce D. Robinson Design Group to use as office space for the company.  Many of the original features remain from the sign on the outside of the building, artifacts from the building and the elevator floor, which acts as a ceiling for the main lobby.  A sky garden was added to the rooftop and a glass corridor to link the pair of buildings together.

At the rear of the building is an outline of a canal house that once stood there during the days of the Miami-Erie Canal.

Barlow Motors Building
1100 Race Street, Over-The-Rhine

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Otto Armleder Park

This 238-acre park located in the Linwood neighborhood is named for Otto Armleder (1862-1935), a Cincinnati businessman who owned a carriage manufacturing company, which later turned into a truck company.  A philanthropist, Mr. Armleder also donated some of his wealth to benefit the city and the park system.

The park is a collaborative effort between the Cincinnati Park Board, Hamilton County Park District, and Cincinnati Recreation Commission.  There are hiking trails, picnic shelters, a playground, huge fields and meadows, and soccer fields.  The park also has a 10-acre dog park and access to the Little Miami River.  There are bike paths around the park as well as a new 1.9 mile trail connecting the park to the Lunken Field loop and the Ohio River Trail.

Otto Armleder Park
5059 Wooster Pike, East End

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Friday, July 6, 2012

Washington Park

When I first posted on Washington Park, it was just starting to undergo a renovation.  The newly renovated park opened today after an amazing transformation.  What is great about the new park is how a lot of the original pieces of the park have been included with the new.  The busts of Civil War heroes Friedrich Hecker and Robert McCook are still in the park as is the cannon from the Mobile Bay campaign and the original bandstand.  Added to park are many park benches, an event lawn and stage, a dancing fountain, the Classical Music Walk of Fame, and of course plenty of underground parking.  Here are some photos taken shortly after the opening of the park.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Bellevue Hill Park

Bellevue Hill Park overlooks the city basin and is where the Bellevue Incline and Bellevue House was once located.  The Bellevue Incline was used to bring the city residents up to the top of the hill for a retreat from the factory pollution and crowded conditions of the city back in the day.  The Bellevue House was a popular resort with a beer garden and dance hall.  The incline was discontinued in 1926 and the Bellevue House was demolished in 1927.  The city bought the property and later turned it into a park.

The 15-acre park was built in 1955 with futuristic concrete pergolas designed by R. Carl Freund.  The pergolas were inspired by the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright and served as a bandstand and outdoor dancing venue at that time.  The park also has breathtaking panoramic views of the city from the overlook named in honor of Daniel J. Ransohoff – a documentary photographer, social worker, and associate professor of community planning at the University of Cincinnati.

The park also has a playground, baseball field, and picnic areas.

Click on photo to enlarge

Bellevue Hill Park
2191 Ohio Avenue, CUF

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Cincinnati, The City That Sings

This mural was painted by a group of volunteers in time for the 2012 World Choir Games hosted in Cincinnati and carries the theme of the city.  The mural is only part of the cleanup efforts in the area.  The Cincinnati side of the Purple People Bridge has been cleaned up and painted with new plantings and a kiosk welcoming visitors as part of the Purple People Bridge makeover.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Pleasant Ridge Business District

The Pleasant Ridge business district is the area around Montgomery Road roughly bound by Lester Road to the east and Woodmont Avenue to the west.  The central area of the business district is at the intersection on Montgomery and Ridge Road.  This historic and diverse neighborhood is lined with gas street lamps and contains many unique shops and restaurants like Everybody’s Records, Gas Light CafĂ©, Pleasant Ridge Chili, Queen City Comic, Molly Malone’s, Emanu, and Pleasant Perk as well as a public library.  Along with the Kennedy Heights neighborhood, it is a collaborative arts and entertainment area called District A.  The Pleasant Ridge business district is designated as a community entertainment district.

Montgomery Road, Pleasant Ridge