Art & Architecture in the Parks
Explore Art and Architecture in Cincinnati Parks
Cincinnati Parks has a diverse array of architecture and sculpture that confirm the human desire to interact with nature. Scattered throughout the Parks system are seemingly simple stone buildings, erected during the Great Depression, whose unique architectural flourishes confirm their true craftsmanship. There are charming gazebos, stately pavilions, and classical-to-modern examples of sculpture throughout the Parks system. We think you’ll enjoy exploring this characteristic of Cincinnati Parks just as much as our more natural features.
Art and Architectural Highlights of Cincinnati Parks
This guide to art and architecture in Cincinnati Parks is alphabetical by park name; for directions to each park, click here.
Alms Park (Columbia Tusculum/Linwood)
• Gateway: Stately stone walls with tall piers frame the entrance to the park, the land for which was donated to the Park Board in 1916 as a memorial to Frederick H. Alms by his wife. The land originally belonged to prominent 19th century citizen Nicholas Longworth, who produced his famous Catawba wine there. The entrance to the underground wine cellar can still be seen to the northeast of the park’s pavilion.
• Stephen Foster statue: Composer Stephen Foster (1826-1864) spent four years in Cincinnati working for his brother. While here, he sold songs such as “Oh Susanna!” for publication. Alms Park’s bronze statue of Foster was created by Arturo Ivone. It was cast at the Antioch Art Foundry and installed in 1937; the subject’s pensive expression and stooped posture reflect the difficult life Foster led in spite of his important place in American cultural history.
• Pavilion: This is one of three Parks pavilions inspired stylistically by the Italian Renaissance (the others are in Ault and Mt. Echo parks) and completed in 1929.
• Comfort Station: Built in 1936 with funding from the Works Progress Administration (WPA), this charming restroom for men and women is a little two-story stone tower built into a hillside. It is reminiscent of medieval Norman architecture and was designed by Carl Freund (see end of section for more information on Freund).
Ault Park (Hyde Park/Mt. Lookout)
• Pavilion: The scene of many wedding and other special events, the Ault Park Pavilion is the grandest of all Cincinnati Parks buildings. Completed in 1930, its Italian Renaissance-inspired architecture was popular at the time, and reflects the large municipal budgets available for public buildings during the booming 1920s. The surrounding terrace, cascading fountain and formal gardens were designed by Albert Taylor, who also provided landscaping plans for Alms and Mt. Echo parks. In 1992 the Ohio Historical Society awarded the Ault Park Advisory Council and other civic groups for the quality of work done on restoration the of the Ault Park Pavilion.
• Comfort Stations: At the opposite end of the architectural scale are Aults’s Comfort Stations, both designed by Freund. The one on Observatory Oval was completed in 1939 and exhibits features of the Tudor Revival style, with limestone walls and hipped wood-shingled roof. The one on Principio Road is a fanciful interpretation of the Colonial Revival style, with its Flemish-bond brick walls, jack-arched windows and a steep, cross-gabled shingle roof. It was completed in 1931.
Bellevue Hill Park(Clifton Heights)
• Pavilion: Built in 1955 when outdoor dancing was the rage, this stone building has a circular domed core with a flat cantilevered roof over a recessed bandstand and dancing area. Three mushroom-shaped concrete pergolas, each with a canopy of open grillwork supported by a cluster of columns, were intended to be planted with vines. One of Freund’s last works for Cincinnati Parks, it reflects the strong influence of Frank Lloyd Wright and his organic approach to architecture.
Bicentennial Commons at Sawyer Point(Downtown)
• Riverwalk (1988)
• Geologic Timeline (1988)
• Steamboat Monument
• Law and Society (1972)
• Westward (1980)
• Cincinnatus (1983)
• Entrance sculpture at Sawyer Point (Cincinnati Gateway) (1988)
Burnet Woods(University Heights/Clifton)
• Music Pavilion: Completed circa 1911, the gazebo-style music pavilion is the oldest structure in one of Cincinnati’s oldest parks (Burnet Woods became a park 1872). The gazebo is nearly identical to those in Washington Park (Over-The-Rhine) and Eden Park (Mt. Adams/Walnut Hills), and reflects the Mission style in its planar wall surfaces, stucco finish and red-tiled roof.
• Trailside Nature Museum: This fieldstone building was completed in 1939, a combined project between the PWA and the CCC and designed by Freund. It reflects the influence of Frank Lloyd Wright with its horizontal design and rustic stone work. All external corners are rounded, as is the central chimney.
• H. H. Richardson Monument: Reminiscent of Stonehenge, these 51 pink granite blocks (weighing a combined 84 tons!) were part of the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce Building, which stood at Fourth and Vine streets downtown until gutted by a fire in 1911. These salvaged blocks were stored and rediscovered in 1967. Their placement in Burnet Woods, overlooking Martin Luther King Boulevard, is the result of a design competition sponsored by the University of Cincinnati’s architectural school. This winning design was submitted by Stephen Carter.
• Nature Center: The nature center was built in 1938 as a pool house consisting of the two-story center section. Over the years the building came to be used as a day camp and is now a nature center. A second floor was added in 1950, the east wing in 1968 and the front deck in 1987. Despite all the alterations the building still reflects the Modern approach taken by original architects Hubert M. Garriott & John W. Becker. The pool was filled in to create a parking lot in the early 1990s.
• Central Parkway is one of the major parkways in a citywide network envisioned in the 1907 park plan by George Kessler (see Parks History). Extending for two miles along the former route of the old Miami & Erie Canal, Central Parkway was developed in conjunction with a rapid transit railway, which was to run in a tunnel created in the old canal bed. Construction of the railway began in 1920, but ceased in 1927 when funds ran out. The system was never completed because the growing popularity of the automobile diminished need for mass rail transit. When dedicated in 1928, Central Parkway featured broad central islands with concrete walks, trees, benches, ornamental street lamps and circular ventilators for the subway below. In the 1950s, increasing auto traffic led to widening the roadways at the expense of the medians and fixtures, with the exception of the streetlights. In 1990, the remaining medians were replanted.
• Between Main and Sycamore Streets, an historic marker capped with a silhouette of a Conestoga Wagon party marks the confluence of two 18th-century military trails. At the median at Plum Street rests a sculpture with an insect-like form and created by French artist Jean Boutellis. It was given to the city in 1980 by the Robert Taft family.
Drake Park(Kennedy Heights)
• Pavilion: Established in 1957, this 66-acre park was named in honor of Daniel Drake, Cincinnati's pioneer physician and scientist. Dr. Drake, who founded Cincinnati's first medical college, was a naturalist by avocation. The stone shelter, which dramatizes the hilltop overlook, was designed by architects Arend and Arend in 1965. The geometric plan, flaring roof and rough stone recall the late work of Frank Lloyd Wright, specifically his First Unitarian Church in Madison, Wisconsin.
Eden Park (Walnut Hills/Mount Adams)
• The park was named for the Garden of Eden, as it was called by Nicholas Longworth, who owned most of the land in the mid-19th century. Eden Park currently comprises 186 acres, which the City began acquiring in 1859 for the purpose of a new reservoir. Landscape architect Adolph Strauch, designer of Spring Grove Cemetery, prepared the initial landscaping plan for Eden Park.
• Elsinore Tower: Located on Gilbert Avenue at Elsinore Place, this unique water works tower (built 1883) was inspired by a local production of Hamlet – it’s safe to say they don’t built water towers like this anymore! This valve house for the city’s Water Works was designed in Romanesque Revival style.
• Administration Building: Near Gilbert Avenue at Eden Park’s main entrance, this is one of Freund’s best designs for Cincinnati Parks. It shows his admiration for Frank Lloyd Wright’s style, and today it’s also the site of a solar and wind energy project, making this our first “all-green” building.
• Seasongood Pavilion: Dedicated in 1960, this concrete pavilion is the fourth bandstand erected in Eden Park since concerts first were heard there in 1872. Nestled in a natural amphitheater, this pavilion was a gift to the city by Martha S. Stern to honor her civic-minded brother, Murray Seasongood (1878-1983).
• Atman (sculpture): This 32-foot tall abstract sculpture is owned by the Eden Park-based Cincinnati Art Museum. It was created by Mark di Suvero and installed in 1986. Born in Shanghai, this piece is reminiscent of calligraphy strokes, and its name means “World Soul.”
• Cincinnati Art Museum: Dedicated in 1886, this limestone-faced Romanesque Revival building was designed by James W. McLaughlin, who also designed the three-story art academy building finished the next year. The Museum had several wings added in the 20th century.
• Bust of Senator Robert Alphonse Taft: Senator Taft was among several Taft politicians from Cincinnati, including his father, U.S. President and Supreme Court Chief Justice William Howard Taft. This bust near the Art Museum depicts Senator Taft as an older man; he served in the U.S. Senate for 23 years until his death in 1953.
• Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park: The newer portion of this building was incorporated into the Rustic Victorian shelterhouse in 1960, and the two roofs of the buildings have been terraced over. The Playhouse has been presenting award-winning plays since.
• Morse Johnson Memorial: Commissioned to honor the nearby Playhouse in the Park, this memorial is a stylized human figure constructed of sheet brass and finished in a bronze patina. The hooded figure, dressed as a court jester, is posed in a dancing position.
• Spring House Gazebo: The oldest of Cincinnati Parks’ structures, this whimsical gazebo has become a symbol for the entire Cincinnati Parks system. Designed by Cornelius M. Foster, the gazebo was built in 1904 and replaced a spring house. Its brightly painted scalloped arches, tile roof and ball finial give the gazebo a fanciful air, reminiscent of Moorish architecture.
• Mirror Lake/Reservoir Ruins: The remainder of the reservoir recalls one reason Eden Park was created - as a new water reservoir. Though that structure is now covered by Mirror Lake, which features a fountain that shoots a 60-foot geyser into the air, part of the old reservoir wall is still visible just south of the lake.
• Krohn Conservatory: Greenhouses have been part of the Eden Park landscape since the 1880s. In 1930, the Park Board decided to replace the old buildings with a modern greenhouse conservatory. The new building was designed in the Art Deco style, the leading design movement of the twenties and thirties, and was built of aluminum and glass. The Eden Park Conservatory opened to the general public on Sunday, March 26, 1933, and was named for Irwin M. Krohn in honor of his 25 years of service on the Board of Park Commissioners.
• Melan Arch Bridge/Stone Eagles: This stone bridge, built in 1895 and designed by Austrian engineer Fritz von Empergen, was the first steel-reinforced, poured concrete arch bridge in Ohio, and made Eden Park more accessible. The four granite eagles, each five feet tall, that flank the approaches to the bridge were originally perched beside the dormers of the Chamber of Commerce Building downtown that was gutted by fire in 1911.
• Capitolene Wolf: This bronze sculpture is a replica of the ancient Etruscan statue on the Capitolene Hill in Rome. It was a gift from the City of Rome in 1932, arranged by the Sons of Italy to honor the Roman general Cincinnatus, for whom Cincinnati was named. The statue is inscribed with “Anno X,” which translates to the year 1931 – the 10th year of Benito Mussolini’s regime.
• Cormorant Fisherman: This is a newer piece of art, installed in 1992 at the Twin Lakes overlook, a gift from Cincinnati sister city Gifu, Japan. It depicts a Japanese fisherman whose uses a tethered seabird to catch fish, which was for centuries a common fishing practice in Japan.
• Frederick W. Galbraith Memorial: Installed in 1923, the memorial is a white granite, semicircular bench with a large central pilaster bearing a bronze bas-relief that honors Colonel Galbraith, a commanding officer of the Ohio National Guard during World War I. Designed by local sculptor Clement Barnhorn, the relief depicts figures from that war: soldiers, a sailor and a nurse, as well as two angels, all grouped on either side of Galbraith, who served as the first National Commander of the newly formed American Legion in 1921.
• Vietnam Veterans Memorial: Two soldiers, one white and one African American, are captured in a pose suggesting their grief and exhaustion – the perils and anguish of war all soldiers face. The bronze figures are atop a pink granite base inscribed with a map of Vietnam.
• Ohio River Monument: On the overlook behind Krohn Conservatory is the Ohio River Monument – a 30-foot high gray granite obelisk dedicated by President Herbert Hoover in 1929. It commemorated the completion of the canalization of the Ohio River from Pittsburgh to Cairo, Illinois.
Fernbank Park (Sayler Park)
• Fernbank Park comprises more than 65 acres stretched across more than a mile along the Ohio River. Originally there were two small parks on the property as well as the Fern Bank Dam, begun in 1905 and completed in 1911 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. When no longer needed due to other dams built along the river, Fern Bank Dam was dismantled in 1963, and the property as a whole was transferred to the Cincinnati Park Board in 1974 under the Legacy of Parks Programs.
• Caretaker’s Residence and Warehouse: This yellow brick house is what is left of a complex built in 1910 by the Army Corps of Engineers. Originally an office building, it is an example of the Beaux-Arts style popular in the early 20th century, especially for commercial buildings.
• Pavilion & Concession Stand: Both buildings, with the Pavilion’s horizontal design and the flat cantilevered roof of each, were built in the 1940s and show Frank Lloyd Wright’s influence on architect Freund.
Fleischmann Gardens (Avondale)
• This four-acre park features beautifully landscaped gardens and the largest ginkgo tree in the state. On the site of the home of Charles Fleischmann, founder of the Fleischmann Yeast Company, the park was given to the city in 1925 by his heirs and expanded in 1976. The Washington Avenue entrance is marked by ornamental iron gates topped with an old-fashioned gaslight fixture. A stone path flanked by holly trees leads down steps to an evergreen maze.
Fountain Square (Downtown)
• Tyler Davidson Fountain: The centerpiece of downtown, the Tyler Davidson Fountain has come to symbolize the city as a whole. Cast at the Royal Bavarian Foundry in Munich, the elaborate bronze fountain was donated to the city in 1871 by Henry Probasco. The 43-foot-high fountain contains thirteen allegorical figures and four bas-reliefs depicting the importance of water to our lives. The central female figure, the Genius of Water, stands with arms outstretched showering water from the palms of her hands. Nuremberg sculptor August von Kreling (1819-1876) designed the fountain in the 1840s for King Ludwig I of Bavaria, but it was not executed until 1870 when Henry Probasco saw the sketches and commissioned the piece as a suitable monument for the city, as well as a memorial to his deceased brother-in-law and business partner Tyler Davidson. The fountain was moved 30 feet in the 1960s and turned 180 degrees to face west. The fountain was reconditioned for its 100th anniversary by sculptor Eleftherios Karkadoulias and rededicated in 1971.
French Park (Amberley Village)
• Herbert Greer French House: Once the home of Herbert Greer French, this rentable structure is the focal point of a 276-acre property bequeathed by French to Cincinnati Parks. A Procter & Gamble executive from 1893 until his death in 1942, French acquired a group of farms and selected this farmhouse to use as a lodge around 1910 and called it Reachmont Farm. He moved there full-time in 1931. This brick house appears to be early-19th-century and was altered and expanded more than once in the early 20th century. In the mid-1970s, Savage, Chappelear, Schulte Associates carried out a major renovation. The house remains an excellent example of Federal and Colonial Revival architecture.
Hauck Botanic Gardens(Avondale)
• The eight-acre Botanic Garden is the former estate of Cornelius J. Hauck (1893-1967). An avid horticulturist, Hauck planted 900 types of trees, shrubs, and evergreens on the grounds, patented a new variety of lilac, and donated his extensive library on botany, horticulture and landscape design to the Cincinnati Historical Society. Hauck served on the Park Board for 18 years and willed the property to the city.
• Gibson-Hauck House: Built in 1856, this brick mansion on Oak Street is named for Hauck’s sister, Katherine Hauck Gibson, who inherited the property from her father. In 1911 another heir converted the originally Greek Revival house to a Colonial Revival style.
• English Tea House: This is a replica of a structure from the 1939 World’s Fair. It is open with a wood-shingled roof and steep gables, reflecting the Tudor Revival style. Of course, it is made even more charming by the surrounding gardens.
Hyde Park Square (Hyde Park)
• Kilgour Fountain: In 1900, real-estate investor Charles Kilgour donated this fountain to the people of Hyde Park. Centrally located on Hyde Park Square, this bronze fountain features a classically draped female figure, lion-head water spouts and fluted basins. The work of Cincinnati-born sculptor Joseph Cronin (1859-1923), the fountain was restored and redesigned in 1976 by Eleftherios Karkadoulias, who lowered the lamps and added a large concrete pool. Karkadoulias was also responsible for the restoration of the Tyler Davidson Fountain.
Inwood Park (Mt. Auburn)
• Pavilion: Inwood Park originated with the purchase of an old stone quarry in 1904. Built circa 1910, the pavilion is one of the earliest buildings extant in Cincinnati's parks. It’s an excellent example of the Mission style.
• Friedrich Ludwig Jahn Memorial: This sculpture by Leopold Fettweis features a white marble portrait bust of Jahn (1778-1852) inset into a large gray granite slab, into which an oak tree was carved. Jahn was honored as the “turnvater” or father of gymnastics and playgrounds.
Kennedy Heights Park (Kennedy Heights)
• Shelter: Atop a hill, this one-story painted brick building has a cross-shaped plan and hipped roof with exposed rafter ends. The wood doors still retain their ornamental iron handles. Built in 1937, the shelter/comfort station was designed by Carl Freund.
Lytle Park (Downtown)
• Lytle Park’s heroic bronze portrayal of Abraham Lincoln stands 11 feet in height. Artist George Grey Barnard (1863-1938) was commissioned by the Charles P. Taft family to create the work, which took him five years to complete. The statue was dedicated in 1917 by former U.S. President William Howard Taft, younger half- brother of Charles.
McEvoy Park (College Hill)
• Pavilion: This 27-acre park features grassy hills and a stone pavilion. The property was purchased in 1949 from Matthew McEvoy at significantly less than market value with the provision that he be permitted to remain in residence there until his death. The pavilion, designed by Joseph E. Stith in 1957, features a geometric plan and a sweeping roof.
Memorial Pioneer Cemetary (Linwood)
• Memorial Pioneer Cemetery, the oldest in Hamilton County, marks the only restored remnant of the pioneer settlement of Columbia. Dating from 1790, when the Columbia Baptist Church was established on this site, it’s the resting place of Revolutionary and Civil War veterans. In 1937, the cemetery was conveyed to the city by the Cincinnati Baptist Union. The tall Corinthian column came in 1888 from Cincinnati's old 1856 Post Office building (designed by James Keys Wilson) which was razed. In 1967, Frederick L. Payne began a four year restoration of the cemetery. When Payne retired as Director of Parks in 1987, a Colonial-style garden was created to commemorate his efforts.
Mt. Airy Forest (Mt. Airy, Westwood)
At almost 1,500 acres, Mt. Airy Forest is Cincinnati’s largest park. It was established in 1911 out of several unproductive farms, and was the first municipal reforestation in America. A crew of young African Americans were employed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (a federal jobs program during the Great Depression) to build service roads, the large check dams in West Fork Creek, and—along with more skilled laborers working for the Works Progress Administration—most of the shelter, service and restroom buildings. They also planted more than one million trees! Each recreational area typically included a shelter, comfort station, picnic tables and a water source, either a fountain or a pump. Some of Mt. Airy Forest’s structures include:
• Arboretum: Built in 1953, this Carl Freund-designed building reflects his admiration for Frank Lloyd Wright, with its low, cantilevered roof and asymmetrical entrance features. The entrance and surrounding garden were restored in recent years.
• Garden Totem: Located in the Arboretum parking lot, this abstract sculpture of stainless steel by Jim Quigley was inspired by Japanese kimonos and landscape forms. It was installed in 1994.
• Blue Spruce Open Shelter: This small building of ashlar stone and heavy timber framing, supported by peeled timber posts and heavy stone piers, is an excellent example of Rustic Parks architecture.
• Pine Ridge Lodge: This lodge is an ingenious adaptation of an 1869 farmhouse. Its renovation by CCC crews was completed in 1936 and according to a design by Freund. It’s a two story building with fieldstone walls and a steeply gabled slate roof.
• Oval Open Shelter: Set in an oval near the center of Mt. Airy Forest, this open shelter has stone corner piers, natural cedar-log framing and a hipped roof with wood shingles. Its interior has a natural stone floor and is enclosed by a peeled cedar-log balustrade. CCC-built in 1931, it’s one of Parks’ best examples of Rustic architecture.
• Furnas Hill Open Shelter: Another good example of Rustic architecture is this open shelter featuring massive stone corner piers, peeled cedar-log framing, a gabled roof with wood shingles and exposed rafter ends.
• Oak Ridge Lodge: This recreational complex designed by Freund and built in 1948 consists of a main lodge, a circular seating area, a terrace and pyramidal-roofed open shelter.
• Maple Ridge Lodge: Frank Lloyd Wright’s influence is again evident in this lodge built in 1956, with its use of rustic stone, overall geometric form, and low overhanging roof. Its large interior assembly room features a massive fireplace, and the lodge itself is set upon the crest of a hill.
• McFarlan Open Shelter: Designed by H. Brunke and built by CCC crews, this stone and timber-frame shelter also features rough hewn oak posts and beams. Its interior has fireplaces and corner oak seats.
Mt. Echo Park (East Price Hill)
• Pavilion: Mount Echo Park was established in 1908, and improvements were made in the 1920s and ‘30s. Its pavilion is set on the eastern edge of the park and overlooks a sweeping view of downtown, the Ohio River and riverside hills of Kentucky. Like its architectural cousins, the pavilions at Alms and Ault parks, Mt. Echo’s pavilion was designed in the Italian Renaissance style with elegant arches and columns and was built in the late 1920s. The pavilion’s landscaping was designed Albert D. Taylor of Cleveland, whose landscaping credits also included Alms and Ault parks and Fleischmann Gardens.
• Shelter: Like the park’s pavilion this imaginative open shelter, designed by Freund and built by the WPA, offers a beautiful vista. Mt. Echo’s unique shelter has a low-hipped roof supported only by two massive stone chimneys. Frank Lloyd Wright’s influence is shown in the low roof and use of rustic natural materials.
Mt. Storm Park (Clifton)
• Temple of Love: This is a gracious reminder of Robert Bowler's estate. In his magnificent home (razed in 1917) Bowler entertained the Prince of Wales, Charles Dickens and other 19th-century celebrities. The Temple was designed in 1845 by Adolph Strauch, former supervisor of the Imperial Gardens in Vienna and designer of Spring Grove cemetery. A domed pavilion with Corinthian columns, it reflects the 19th-century affinity for classical themes. A pattern of swans and foliage embellishes the frieze. The structure also functioned as a cover for a cistern, which held water for Bowler’s greenhouses.
• Pavilion: Overlooking the Mill Creek Valley, this bold stone pavilion consists of a central loggia flanked by lower, setback enclosed wings. Completed in 1935, the pavilion is characterized by the lack of ornament, flat surfaces and its geometric shape, a design dubbed “Depression Modern.” It was designed by Cincinnati’s Samuel Hannaford & Sons.
Owls Nest Park (O’Bryonville/East Walnut Hills)
• Gateway: Owl's Nest Park takes its name from the homestead that once stood here. The property was donated in 1905 by Charles E. and Edward C. Perkins in memory of their parents. The gateway, installed in 1909, was reputedly designed by Guy Lowell, a prominent Boston architect, and modeled after those at Harvard University near the Charles River Bridge.
• Pavilion: This elegant brick building has colonnaded loggias on the front and sides and a steep roof. Completed in 1932 by the CCC, the shelter was designed by the prominent local firm of Elzner & Anderson in a Colonial Revival style.
Piatt Park (Downtown)
• Monument: Piatt was Cincinnati’s first park (see Parks History), and this bronze sculpture honors an early Cincinnati hero: William Henry Harrison (1773-1841), ninth U.S. president and Ohio’s first. Harrison achieved fame in the Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811 and as a War of 1812 military commander. Following his marriage to the daughter of John Cleves Symmes, he settled just west of Cincinnati in North Bend. Harrison was elected U.S. president in 1840; a few days after delivering the longest inaugural address in history (an hour and 45 minutes), he died of pneumonia. Created by Art academy instructor Louis T. Rebisso (1837-1899) and his student Clement Barnhorn, this sculpture is Cincinnati’s only equestrian statue.
• Fountains: Flanking Race Street in Piatt Park are two circular reflecting pools with granite slabs that mirror the surrounding urban landscape. Beneath a curtain of water that flows over the granite surfaces are carved symbols for water, air and land. Cincinnati artist Stuart Fink’s fountain was dedicated in 1989 in memory of local delicatessen owner Isadore “Izzy” Kadetz, who died in 1983.
• James Abrams Garfield Monument: At Piatt’s east end is this 1885 bronze-cast monument to the 20th U.S. president, one of six born in Ohio, who was assassinated in 1881. It’s the creation of Cincinnati sculptor Charles Henry Niehaus.
Rapid Run Park (West Price Hill)
• Set on a rise overlooking a reflecting pool, the Rapid Run Park Pavilion, built in 1941, consists of an open arcaded central block flanked by lower wings in a U-shaped plan. The coursed ashlar stone walls are punctuated by soldier-coursed window lintels and arches. The pavilion was designed by Tietig & Lee.
Seasongood Square (Avondale)
• This neighborhood park was donated in 1919 by heirs of General Lewis Seasongood. The whimsical comfort station takes the form of a stucco-surfaced turret with a conical roof. Built in 1930, it was designed by Carl Freund in the Tudor Revival style.
Stanbery Park (Mt. Washington)
• Caretaker’s Residence: This charming Tudor Revival house was the home of Brigadier general Sanford B. Stanbery, the highest-ranking officer from Hamilton County in World War I for whom the park was named. It is built in the Tudor Revival style.
• World War I Memorial: Known as “The Boy and the Book,” this life-size bronze sculpture shows a young man sitting on a tree stump with an open book on his lap. The piece was created by Arturo Ivone and dedicated in 1938 as a World War I memorial.
Theodore m. Berry International Friendship Park (Downtown)
• International Mosaics (2003)
• Crystalline Tower (2006)
• Munich Pavilion “Castle of Air” (2004)
• Seven Vessels Ascending/Descending (2003)
Thornton Triangle (Sayler Park)
• J. Fitzhugh Thornton Memorial: This sculpture of an eastern Woodlands Native American was created in 1912 by the J.L. Mott Iron Works of New York. The statue acquired the name Tecumseh, after the Shawnee intertribal leader who led resistance against white expansion into our region. Its zinc composition and cast-iron pedestal make this work a unique piece in the city. Only eight others like it have survived in the United States. A gift from Eliza Thornton in memory of her husband, this quaint statue in Thornton Triangle (Cincinnati's smallest park), has seen much misfortune over the years. It was partially submerged in the great flood of 1937. Three years later, after being struck by a car, the city sold the sculpture for $10 to an antique dealer in Indiana. Outraged Sayler Park residents vowed to find and return the Indian to its pedestal. After several months, the sculpture was located and returned to Thornton Triangle.
Valley Park(Camp Washington)
• World War I Memorial: Designed by Chicago artist John Paulding, this war memorial was installed in 1920. An infantry soldier, or doughboy, is depicted in bronze atop a tall granite pedestal as a memorial to the men in Camp Washington community who fought and died in World War I.
Washington Park (Over-The-Rhine)
• Music Pavilion: The circa-1910 music pavilion is the centerpiece of Washington Park, which began as a cemetery. The city began acquiring the land in 1855, and reinterred the bodies in outlying burying grounds, including Spring Grove Cemetery. The octagonal gazebo reflects the Mission style of architecture.
• Robert L. McCook Monument: This monument-bust by artist Leopold Fettweis honors a local Civil War hero whose white marble bust is set on a tall granite pedestal. The Irish McCook led the 9th Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment, nicknamed “Die Neuner” because its ranks were primarily German.
• Friedrich Hecker Monument: Another Fettweis sculpture, this marble bust honors philosopher and artist Hecker for his contributions to Cincinnati’s German American community. Hecker also served as a brigadier general in the Civil War. The German inscription on the monument’s pedestal translates to “With Word and Deed for the Freedom of the People in the Old and New Fatherlands.”
• Sculptural Bench: This newer addition to Washington Park (installed in 1989) is the work of Jim Quigley. It’s a steel bench with a brightly painted seat and back of a rare Brazilian wood called “purple heart” because of its dark color.
Wulsin Triangle (Hyde Park)
• Service Building: This triangular tract at Madison Road and Observatory is named after Lucien Wulsin (1845-1912), the principal donor. Wulsin went to work for the Baldwin Piano Company around 1866 and over the next 46 years developed the company into the foremost piano and organ dealer in the South and West. A 1937 plan for the park indicated a formal garden and service building, but the small stone shelter, designed by John B. Gartner, was not built until 1950. It reflects the Rustic style, with its field stone walls, low hipped roof and corner window.
About Carl Freund
By far the greatest number of Cincinnati Parks buildings were designed by R. Carl Freund (1902-1959). He was widely known in Cincinnati and also designed many religious and school buildings. A Wisconsin native, Freund graduated from the University of Cincinnati and designed 37 buildings for Cincinnati Parks over a nearly 30-year period. As he worked on Parks buildings in the 1930s, Freund’s interest in integrating buildings with nature became more evident. Frank Lloyd Wright also became an influence on Freund’s designs, as seen in the Trailside Nature Museum in Burnet Woods Park, Oak Ridge Lodge in Mt. Airy Forest, Bellevue Hill Park Pavilion, and the Administration Building in Eden Park. Freund, a talented adapter of various architectural styles, designed some of Cincinnati’s most creative Parks buildings.