Monday, May 10, 2010

Lectures, tours coincide with Betts' multi-family housing exhibit

The Betts House Research Center is hosting a series of lectures and tours in support of its exhibit "From Tenements to Townhouses: Multi-Family Housing in Cincinnati", on view through September 30.

On May 13, Over-the-Rhine Foundation Executive Director Mike Morgan will host "Over-the-Rhine Tenements: Historic Foundations for a Greener Future", a lecture focusing on the changing lifestyle and technology patterns that influenced development in Over-the-Rhine over the 19th and 20th centuries. With the largest collection of 1850-1900 tenement buildings outside of New York City, these three-, four- and five-story buildings with commercial storefronts now are being sought by developers looking to capitalize on the neighborhood's inherent "new urbanist" principles.

Morgan also will lead two walking tours of the neighborhood's tenements and modern renovations at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on May 15.

At 10 a.m. on May 22, Cincinnati Preservation Association Preservation Director Margo Warminski, curator of the Betts House exhibit, will conduct a walking tour of such Walnut Hills multi-family gems as Madam Fredin's Eden Park School, The Verona, and The Alexandra.

Warminski's lecture "Row Upon Row: Rowhouses in Cincinnati", focusing on how Mount Auburn, Walnut Hills and East Price Hill were transformed by Victorian Era transit-oriented development – and what we can learn from it as we revitalize our City, concludes the series on June 3.

Both lectures will be held at the Mercantile Library, 414 Walnut Street, Downtown. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., with each lecture beginning at 6 p.m.

Admission for each lecture is $10 for the public, or $5 for members of the Betts House or program co-sponsors Architectural Foundation of Cincinnati and the Mercantile Library. Reservations are requested and can be made through the Mercantile Library at (513) 621-0717 or

Admission for each tour is $15 for the public and $10 for Betts House members. Reservations are required and can be made through the Betts House at (513) 651-0734 or

On view since April, "From Tenements to Townhouses" explores the evolution of multi-family housing in Greater Cincinnati, from the first tentative steps at apartment living in the late 1800s through worker housing and the grand progressive social experiments of the 20th century.

Featured are some of the tenements, "over-the-store" flats, and elegant apartment buildings found in Clifton, Downtown, East Price Hill, Hyde Park, Mount Adams, Mount Auburn, North Avondale, Over-the-Rhine, South Fairmount, Walnut Hills, Covington, Glendale, Greenhills, Mariemont, and Norwood. Many were built by architects of national renown.

The Betts House is open Tuesday through Thursday from 11 A.M. to 2 P.M. It will also be open from 12:30 P.M. to 5 P.M. on May 22; June 5 and 19; July 10 and 24; August 14 and 28; and September 11 and 25.

The exhibit is made possible by grants from the Louise Taft Semple Foundation and the Bettman Prize administered by the American Institute of Architects Cincinnati; and panel sponsorships from LPK, Blue Ocean Developers, Towne Properties, York Vision, and anonymous donors. Public programming is sponsored by the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of Ohio.

Photos courtesy of Margo Warminski.

Previous reading on BC:
Latest Betts House exhibit focuses on local apartment development (4/15/10)
'Holidays at the Betts House' runs through January 6 (12/2/09)
Betts House receives state award for 'Great Cincinnati Families' exhibit (11/16/09)
Historic residence exhibit at Christ Church Cathedral (2/12/09)
Historic photo exhibit to hold opening reception at Betts House (1/22/09)