Friday, April 10, 2009

Fountain Square Month

Friday’s Fountain Fact

A multi-part series documenting the current events taking place on Fountain Square as well honoring some of its history and details.

The Fountain Square Balustrade

I will be a tour guide this summer on the East Over the Rhine walking tours presented by ARCHITREKS. The tours do not start until May but if you know where to look you will discover a Fountain Square artifact in the heart of Over the Rhine -- The Fountain Square Balustrade!

The original design of promenade at Fountain Square did not include any type of railing separating the plaza from the street. There was always a row of trees with decorative cages on each side, but no rail. William Tinsley, the Architect of Probasco Place, the original name of Fountain Square, even mentions the cages in his descriptions of the Square. For instance here is a postcard of Fountain Square at the turn of the century looking west:
But by the 1940’s, a railing appears. I am not sure when it exactly was erected but I assume it was needed to protect people as more cars flooded on to the downtown streets. Check out this circa 1940 postcard, looking east:
(Note those stairs going underground were to restrooms.)

So behind Old St. Mary’s Church and in the rear of the small park on Main Street, is a pink granite balustrade on the top of a retaining wall that was a section of the railing once used on Fountain Square!
Stay tuned for more Fountain Square facts during the month of April. And check out the East Over the Rhine walking tour with ARCHITREKS on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month, May through October.

Historic images from Library's Cincinnati Memory Project.

1 comment:

WestEnder said...

Wow, very interesting!