Home to the Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park and the Krohn Conservatory, Eden Park is one of the most popular of the Cincinnati Parks. Landmarks within the park include Hinkle Magnolia Garden, which features a picturesque gazebo, memorial tree groves and paths, Mirror Lake and the Bettman Fountain.
Twin Lakes, once an old quarry, features two lakes, a footbridge and walking paths, an impressive view of the Ohio River and Kentucky, several sculptures and a playground. It’s a great spot for chess or launching model boats. Nearby is a 172-foot high Water Tower from 1894 and now used by the City of Cincinnati as a communications facility.
950 Eden Park Dr.
- Picnic Area
- Rental Pavilion/Lodge
- Gardens/Botanical Features
- Comfort Station/Restrooms
- Significant Natural Areas
- Historic Feature/Public Art
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.