Walking Tour of the Queen City, Pt. 1

The lovely Robin and I enjoyed a wonderful visit yesterday from my cousin George Baker and his wife Jeanne, who had DRIVEN (in two days!) from their home in Denver! Wanting to make the most of the day we had to spend together, I took George and Jeanne on a walking tour of Cincinnati. I'm not exactly professional docent material...but I like the word "docent," so that's gotta count for something, right?

Our first stop was Union Terminal, now Cincinnati Museum Center (that's George and Jeanne, in front of the fountain). Originally built in 1933 as the Union Terminal train station, the building was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1977. The 10-story, arched, limestone and glass facade of the building is approached via a quarter-mile-long and beautifully appointed plaza. The dome is flanked on either side by curving wings. An illuminated fountain, cascade and pool lie in the foreground center. A strikingly beautiful art deco masterpiece, it was recently named one of the top 50 architecturally significant buildings in America by the American Institute of Architects.

Our next stop was Findlay Market (we didn't start the walking tour until AFTER we parked on 12th St.). I had not been here for decades, and was a little disappointed that it wasn't more lively (it was a late September Wednesday, to be fair). Still, it is Ohio's oldest continuously operated public market and one of Cincinnati's most cherished institutions.

The lane alongside the market is very nicely kept.

Once we parked, we headed down Central Parkway (this is the view back the way we came), which was once part of the Miami and Erie canal system. The Salvation Army DHQ and Cincinnati Citadel Corps (where I grew up...well, partly) is on the immediate right, and then we turned down Main Street and past the massive county courthouse.

I managed not to duck into one of my favorite spots in the city, the historic Ohio Bookstore (FIVE FLOORS OF BOOKS!).

And then (speaking of The Salvation Army), we stopped on Eighth Street to admire the many fine architectural details of the former Cincinnati Citadel (now a law firm), the cornerstone of which was laid by Commander Eva Booth in 1905. Not that anyone can see the thing for the two leafy trees in front. This venerable old citadel was designed by the same architect that designed Cincinnati's City Hall.

From there we....well, you'll just have to wait for the next installment, now, won't you?

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