Site of one of the original Kroger Grocery Baking Company’s first
stores, where Bernard H. Kroger served this area of contrasts,
“Over-the-Rhine”, since 1902. B.H. Kroger was 23 years old when he
opened his first store at 66 East Pearl Street near the Cincinnati
Riverfront in July of 1883, “The Great Western Tea Company”. By 1902
when the company was incorporated as The Kroger Grocery & Baking
Company, he has 40 stores. In 1908, Kroger had 200 muledrawn wagons
that served its customers. Determined to give the community every bit
of the quality they paid for, Kroger was the first to combine meats and
groceries under one roof and the first grocery company to operate its
own bakery. Kroger is a significant business in the community and a
major contributor to the local economy.
OVER-THE-RHINE - 1404 Vine Street
In the 1840’s Cincinnati’s basin area, Over-the-Rhine, what’s now
Central Parkway was the Cincinnati end of the Miami and Erie Canal.
This area north of the canal welcomed German, Irish and Italian
immigrants. Home were built, businesses started and life flourished. In
the 1900’s these streets beckoned new immigrants – Appalachian families
and African Americans displaced from the West End. A little dry humor
turned the canal into the Rhine, and the area became Over-the-Rhine.
Listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1983, today,
urban pioneers and new economy entrepreneurs arrive from the suburbs
and add to the mix. The “Basin” continues its traditional roles as home
for those seeking new life.
WOODWARD HIGH SCHOOL - 1310 Sycamore
William and Abigail Cutter Woodward founded Woodward High School, the first public high school west of the Allegheny Mountains, on this site October 24, 1831. Concerned that the poor of Cincinnati has no avenues for education, the Woodwards donated land, time funding, and expertise to this venture that brought the arts and sciences to “those who have not the means of procuring such advantages themselves.” Notables include Dr. Joseph Ray, principal, 1851-1855, author of several popular mathematics texts; Professor William McGuffey, author of the well-known readers and spellers; and William Howard Taft, Class of 1874, former U.S. President. From 1856-1863, the home of Levi and Catherine Coffin was also located on this site. Both were legendary abolitionists who helped enslaved people escape to freedom in Canada. Levi is often referred to as the “President of the Underground Railroad.
SCHOOL FOR CREATIVE AND PERFORMING ARTS – 1310 Sycamore Street
Since 1976, this site has been home to the School for Creative and
Performing Arts, the first, oldest, and, in 2003, still the only school
of its scope and breadth in the world. Founded in 1973, SCPA is a
public high school for grades 4-12, offering a complete college
preparatory academic training in eight arts majors – Dance, Drama,
Instrumental Music, Music Theater, Technical Theater, Visual Arts,
Vocal Music, and Writing. Created as a magnet school to achieve
equality in education for all students, the school’s mission is to
provide children who excel in the arts an education that will help them
achieve their dreams.
FINDLAY MARKET - Findlay Market, corner of Elder and Elm
Ohio's oldest surviving municipal market house, Findlay Market was
designed under the direction of City Civil Engineer Alfred West Gilbert
(1816-1900). It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places
in 1972. The structure was among the first market houses in the United
States to use iron frame construction technology. Originally an open
pavilion, much of the market was erected in 1852, but disputes with
contractors delayed its opening until 1855. The center masonry tower
was built in 1902. Soon after, public health concerns prompted
enclosure of the market stalls and the addition of plumbing and
refrigeration. Until then, vendors found cool storage in deep cellars
beneath nearby breweries. The tower bell was brought from Cincinnati's
Pearl Street Market in 1934. Findlay Market was renovated in 1973-74
and again in 2002-03.
GENERAL JAMES FINDLAY (1770-1835) - Findlay Market, corner of Elder and Elm
James Findlay, early settler, civic leader, entrepreneur, and namesake
of Findlay, Ohio, opened a log store near the Ohio River in 1793 and
prospered despite Native American attacks. He helped establish a public
library in 1802, was Mayor of Cincinnati in 1805 and 1810, commanded a
regiment during the War of 1812, became a Major General in the Ohio
Militia, and was elected to the U.S. Congress. With profits from his
successful mercantile business, Findlay purchased considerable acreage
in the forested Northern Liberties, an area known as Findlay's Woods.
In 1833 he recorded a town plat showing Findlay, Green, Race, and Elm
streets as they are today and designating an open area for a market.
The Findlay estate later donated the market space the city for
establishment of a municipal market named for and maintained as a
memorial to General Findlay.
THE NORTHERN LIBERTIES – Findlay Market, corner of Race and Elder
The Northern Liberties roughly correspond geographically with the Over
the Rhine (North) Local Historic District established in August 2001.
The Historic District Designation Report documents expansion of the
ethnic German immigrant community in Over the Rhine into the Northern
Liberties during a wave of German immigration between 1830 and 1840.
Developers subdivided the land, laid out streets, and began to build
houses and businesses. German churches, cultural institutions, and
newspapers were founded, including the nation's only German language
daily newspaper. German entrepreneurs developed an extensive brewing
industry in the area consisting of 36 individual breweries by 1860.
German immigration to Over the Rhine continued through the last half of
the 19th century. Most of the 950 structures in the Over the Rhine
North district were erected between 1860 and 1900. According to the
Historic District Designation Report, "Over the Rhine's collection of
commercial, residential, religious and civic architecture is one of
America's largest and most cohesive surviving examples of an urban,
nineteenth century community."
CINCINNATI PUBLIC MARKETS – Findlay Market, corner of Race and Elder Streets
During the 18th and 19th centuries, public markets were a primary
source of perishable food for residents of America's growing, densely
populated cities. Many cities, including Cincinnati, built and operated
large municipal markets that housed butchers and fish sellers and
attracted farmers and produce vendors to surrounding streets.
Cincinnati operated nine public markets at the start of the Civil War.
ANTI-GERMAN HYSTERIA – Findlay Market, South Side
The United States declaration of war of Germany in April 1917 resulted in a tragic display of hysteria directed against everything and anything German. In Cincinnati, German teachers were dismissed from public schools, German professors were censored, German collections and publications were removed from circulation at the Public Library, businesses with German names had their names “Americanized” and, by police order, only English language public meeting could be held.
ANTI-GERMAN HYSTERIA(cont) – Findlay Market, South Side
As a result of the anti-German hysteria during World War I, name changing became the rage. The Cincinnati City Council followed the trend by changing German street names on April 9, 1918. Among those changed were: German Street to English Street, Bismark Street to Montreal Street, Berlin Street to Woodrow Street, Bremen Street to Republic Street, Brunswick Street to Edgecliff Point, Frankfort Street to Connecticut Avenue, Hamburg Street to Stonewall Street, Hanover Street to Yukon Street, Hapsburg Street to Merrimac Street, Schumann Street to Meredith Street, Vienna Street to Panama Street, and Humboldt Street to Taft Road.