Goodbye to the Drawbridge Inn: Heyday Expansion

Part II: Time for Expansion

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the complex enjoyed popularity.  Its English-inspired Tudor architecture and decor appealed to the theme hungry masses of the day.  Its convenience and visibility to the interstate appealed to the now well-trained American traveler.  A steady stream of airport travelers helped fill guest rooms. A host of meeting rooms, restaurants, lounges, and a coffee shop, ensured that the complex had activity 24 hours a day.

rowntowner crossbow ad 1972
Above: A 1972 ad for The Crossbow. Credit: Cincinnati Magazine

The success meant that the complex had become Northern Kentucky’s de facto convention center finding a market in smaller events.  It was time to grow to meet demand.

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Queen and Crescent: Cincinnati, New Orleans, and Texas Pacific Railway

We are not the experts on rail history.  We can’t even claim to know very much about Cincinnati rail history.  Several well done sites have virtually complete histories.  Sites like Cincinnati Transit Historical Association, Ronny Salerno’s Queen City Discovery, Jake Mecklenborg’s Cincinnati-Transit, West2k  and our favorite, Jeffrey Jacucyk’s Cincinnati Traction History are all wonderful resources maintained by able enthusiasts.  But when we happened upon a cache of fascinating photos from early last century, we wanted to make our little contribution to the storytelling.  Ladies and gentlemen, the Queen and Crescent Freight Depot.

Queen And Crescent Freight Depot - Cincinnati, OH
A 1914 view of the depot.  Here we are looking at the NWC of Vine and Front Streets.

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Enquirer Building Conversion Continues; A Different Perspective

Cincinnati Enquirer Building. Photo by Greg Hume

By now, the plan to convert the 90-year-old Cincinnati Enquirer Building into a 249-room Hampton/Homewood dual flag is progressing well.

Most of us are familiar with the front façade of the 14-story building and all its dressings.  Serving as the fictional offices of WKRP in Cincinnati, it made a national appearance weekly in the late-1970’s and early-1980’s.  Recently, PE preserved a few timely views of the rear of the building during one of our CBD: Off The Beaten Path treks. (See one here.)  Here’s a side of the building which is easily accessible but which most of us have probably never seen. Read more of this post

Covington, KY in 1939 by John Vachon (Part 1)

Inspired in part by cincyhisotoryluvr’s blog Digging Cincinnati History and using similar research techniques, I wanted to start some of my own. Here you’ll find the first of which I hope are entertaining and informative posts that show us what’s survived and what has not.

The Library of Congress is a treasure trove of images from yesteryear.  Exactly the kind we like here at PE.  They are the kind that document our built environment in journalistic banality but have an exquisite beauty all their own for the way they captured what has been lost and the mystery they provide.

Recently, I stumbled across three images that were new to me.  The images were taken by John Vachon while he worked as a photographer for Farm Security Administration and are probably some of the more pedestrian examples of his work.  His “Negro boy near Cincinnati” was much more remarkable as was the haunting “Worker at carbon black plant, Sunray, Texas” below.

Worker at carbon black plant, Sunray, Texas”

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Time Passages…Cincinnati Alleys in 2005

Just for fun, we thought we would haunt some of the alley ways in the Central Business District in 2005. 

Ogden Place - CBD, Cincinnati, OH

Downtown has seen several of these go by the wayside over the years as the CBD demanded that projects be constructed on a large scale. Before superblock developments alleys crossed and subdivided the larger blocks we know today. Today, they’ve been either renamed, obliterated or have become nameless delivery access for the modern towers. Some coincide with present day Skywalk’s. Gone are Egan Alley, Thorp Alley, Hatters Alley and Lawson Alley and others.

A surprising number still survive but without signals or the overhead street signs they have a way of blending into the scenery.  Ogden, Benham, Berning, L’Hommedieu to name a few.  

While nothing special, we did think it would be nice to put them here for you.

Everybody knows this one.  Ogden Place.
Ogden Place - CBD, Cincinnati, OH Ogden Place - CBD, Cincinnati, OH
A new twist?
NURFC - The Banks, Cincinnati, OH

These are unidentified.
Unidentified Alley - CBD, Cincinnati, OH   Unidentified Alley - CBD, Cincinnati, OH

Also, unidentified.
Unidentified Alley - CBD, Cincinnati, OH

Benham Alley.
Benham Alley - CBD, Cincinnati, OH

McFarland Street.  Not an alley but probably one of the lesser known CBD streets.
McFarland Street - CBD, Cincinnati, OH       

And since we know this probably came to mind when you saw the title…you’re welcome!

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