Our little excursion now takes us on the road past the springhouse along the reservoir and around past the old pump house and we arrive at the what was then the municipal greenhouse and is now called the Irwin M. Krohn Conservatory. In 1894 not only was the pump house constructed, but the water tower you keep seeing, and the first greenhouse was also built. The non-postcard image below shows the Green House as it looked in 1924.
The structure you see in the first two rows was the second greenhouse, they were built to supply plants for all the city parks. The first two greenhouses were also used as a laboratory by high school and university instructors. The cards in the third row show the present conservatory, Dedicated in 1933, it is named after Irwin Krohn (1869-1948) for his 25 years of service on the park board.. It contains a waterfall, fern house, and display wings for exhibits. It is now considered one of the largest public greenhouses in the world. It contains more than 1500 labeled specimens of tropical plants that thrive year round.
Floral Clock located opposite the Krohn Conservatory
Newer views of the Krohn Conservatory
The Christmas Crib was first made available to the public in 1939 by the Western Southern Life Insurance Co. and was erected in Lytle Park but after WWII began it was moved to the Union Terminal so that it could be seen by military personnel arriving and departing the depot. It was then returned to Lytle Park after 1945 and remained their until the building of the I-71 tunnel under the park when it was then moved (1967) to Eden Park next to the Krohn Conservatory where it has remained to this day.
Continuing up the road past the conservatory you can see a bridge over the road. This is the Joseph Melan Arch bridge and yes, it also was built in 1894. This structure has the distinction of being the oldest reinforced concrete bridge in the United States. It is named after the person who designed the bridge. The four stone eagles that are seen flanking both entrances are from the Chamber of Commerce building which burned down in 1911 so, of course, if you do not see the eagles the card must be before 1911. (like Duh!). The last three cards in the next row show the view from the bridge back the way we just were.
Not a Postcard
Eagles flanking bridge
The next row of cards look through the arch back towards the conservatory.
Real Photo Postcard
This row of cards show the view going to the next section of the park.
4 midget cars!
The real photo card above pretty well explains what the bridge road gives easy access to, the water tower. So we might as well take a closer look at this land mark. The first seven cards show the tower from the bridge area.
Real Photo Postcard
Error Card Not a postcard
The second card above demonstrates a rather serious printing error. As can easily be seen next to a correct version when the blue part of the printing process was being done done for some reason this card was missed. It could also be a test card to see how the printing process was going and it somehow got into circulation.
Built in 1894 the original
purpose of the water tower was as a pressure tank to get water into the Walnut
Hills mains and hydrants, (you will see Walnut Hills in the next section).
Expansion made it necessary to provide pressure tanks in other more strategic
locations, and so this water tank was closed down in 1916. Inside the tower is a
spiral staircase and elevator going to the top. In those days you could take the
elevator for five cents and enjoy the panoramic view of the Ohio River. During WWI it served as a guardhouse for infantry
encamped in the park. When night flying was still in its infancy, a revolving
beacon was placed on top. In 1943 the city turned the tower over to the Park
Board for preservation. However the copper spire you see on top was removed
during a WWII scrap drive.
There was an effort to remodel the tower for use as a Police Department communications center in 1947, but it was abandoned after several workers contracted a fever caused by the pigeon droppings that had accumulated over the years. The tower is now closed but remains a landmark in the park.
Same view-different interpretation Real Photos
Two different views of Tower
Located south of the tower are 5 memorial tree groves. The largest is the Presidents Grove that was started April 27, 1882, Arbor Day. The American Forestry Congress were meeting in Cincinnati at the time. The first tree is a white oak that had once stood near George Washington's tomb. Every president has a tree that is appropriately marked. Richard Nixon has had several because they seem to "mysteriously" die. South of this grove is Pioneers Grove, in memory of Cincinnati's first settlers. A heroes Grove east of the water tower contains oak trees planted to honor the soldiers of Valley Forge. South of Eden Park Drive near the Gilbert Avenue entrance, a second Heroes Grove was planted in 1919 by the Mothers of Democracy in memory of the men and women who lost their lives in World War I. West of the tower lies Authors Grove honoring distinguished American writers that children planted April 30, 1882.
FOR MORE EDEN PARK CARDS