Walking Tour of the Queen City, Pt. 2


Last Wednesday's walking tour of Cincinnati continued with me, my cousin George, and his wife Jeanne walking past the Aronoff Center and on to Fountain Square, which was renovated just a few years ago, and the fountain moved a tad closer to the Fifth Third Bank building.

We bought some Skyline Chili and cheese coneys and found a table right next to the Tyler Davidson Fountain, which was dedicated in 1871. It was a beautiful, mild day, and Fountain Square was filled (but not too crowded) with people.

We crossed the street and entered the Carew Tower, which until recently was Cincinnati's tallest building at 49 stories (it is now surpassed by the Great American Insurance building).

Named for Joseph T. Carew, of the Mabley & Carew department store, which once occupied the site, the building is a National Historic Landmark and is considered one of the world's finest examples of French Art Deco architecture.

We rode the elegant elevator to the forty-fifth floor, then a tiny elevator (the three of us just fit) to the forty-eighth floor, and finally a flight of stairs to the observation deck on the forty-ninth floor...paid our two bucks apiece and went out onto the deck to enjoy the view. What a view it was (by the way, the Great American Tower, now the tallest building in Cincinnati at--counting the "tiara" at the top--54 stories and 665 feet tall--is the building at the far right of the photo above). As we arrived, a pair of window cleaners were just climbing onto the deck, finishing their work...having hung over the side of the building to clean windows on the east side of the building...from a little seat not much bigger than a child's swing. Not me, man.

We proceeded next down Fourth Street, where we stopped at Dixie Terminal....another art deco masterpiece. I never realized how many fine art deco buildings there are in Cincinnati (and we hadn't even seen the last of them here!).

Dixie Terminal is actually two buildings side by side, north and south. They were completed in 1921 and served as streetcar terminal, stock exchange, bus terminal, and office building over the years. The terminal was used for bus service after streetcar service stopped in the 1950s; buses arriving from northern Kentucky crossed the Roebling Suspension Bridge and took ramps from the bridge into the terminal. I seem to remember arriving there on a bus at least once in my childhood...but I can't imagine why. The bus service stopped using the terminal in 1998 (though the guard at the terminal said 1996).

It's a beautiful building, and well worth visiting.

(to be continued)

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