Monday, April 19, 2010

When Cincinnati was 'the Paris of America'

The third in the Cincinnati Museum Center's five-part Heritage Programs "Paris of America" series on local history takes place tomorrow at 7:30 P.M. at the museum's Reakirt Auditorium.

Presented by Architectural Foundation of Cincinnati (AFC) Executive Director Sue Ann Painter, will focus on architecture in the City from 1870 to 1900.

Generally credited to Judge George Hoadly in an address he delivered in the late 1860s or early 1870s, the epithet "Paris of America" was reinforced by a series of articles appearing in an 1878 edition of the Cincinnati Commercial newspaper.

Throughout that period, Cincinnati businessmen and City officials embarked on an energetic program to promote it as such, and architects such as James McLaughlin, Samuel Hannaford, George Rapp and H. H. Richardson were enlisted to design art, industrial, and government for the new progressive cultural capital.

The results can be seen in such works as Music Hall, the Cincinnatian Hotel, and the Shillito Department Store.

Painter is the writer of Architecture in Cincinnati (2006), the first chronological history of the area to focus on architecture and the built environment.

Admission for the 90-minute session is $15. For more information, or to register, call (513) 287-7031 or e-mail

An outreach association of the Cincinnati Historical Society, Cincinnati Museum Center's Heritage Programs has been presenting historical, cultural, and architectural tours for more than 20 years.

On Tuesday, April 27, the fourth "Paris of America" lecture will cover the Cincinnati Observatory and the City's parks and, on May 4, the final installment will cover the City's entertainment and recreation.

Previous reading on BC:
Panel discussion makes case for Issue 6; Museum Center wins national award (10/6/09)
Museum Center to host 'historic' meeting (9/30/09)
Museum Center ramps up pro-levy campaign (8/31/09) shares memories, updates on possible levy (6/17/09)
Cincinnati Goes to War at Union Terminal (6/10/09)