List of all the Parks in Cincinnati area.
The Mount Airy Forest acreage in the above list is incorrect, it is 1,471 acres. Some additional information: Newest Park is John G. and Phyllis W. Smale Riverfront Park. When completed in 2017 the total size will be 55 acres. 10 per cent of the city's land is park land for a total of 5,218 acres.
The first part of this section will concentrate on the two main entrances to Eden Park to be reached from Gilbert Avenue. There is a third entrance and it is shown in the last two cards. The first three cards show the entrance at Elsinore Tower from a distance with Gilbert Avenue going by it left to right. If you turn left on Gilbert Avenue at Elsinore Tower you would see the view in the fourth card. The last card shows the area called Deer Creek Common (you can see parts of it in all these cards). There were 6 landscaped baseball diamonds and a field house for indoor sports. This was the scene of the city's amateur baseball games, It was also where Woodward High School played its football and baseball home games. The buildings you see in the distance on Gilbert Ave. was the Baldwin Piano factory. The buildings you see on the top of the hill in the first four cards is the Cincinnati Art Museum.
Elsinore Tower is said to be inspired
by Elsinore Castle in Denmark. Built in 1883 it was actually a valve house for
the reservoir in Eden Park. Its purpose was to control the amount of water from
the reservoir into the city's water line on Gilbert Avenue. The city wanted to
enhance the landscape of Eden Park plus they wanted the structure to serve as a
new entrance to the park.
In 1883 Cincinnati was host to the Shakespearean Dramatic Festival at Music Hall. The highlight of the festival was the performance of "Hamlet" on Friday evening, May 4. The audience attending the play were highly impressed with the stage sets, especially the opening scene. This particular stage set was a 65-by-65 foot painting of Elsinore Castle (also known as Kronberg Castle), where the moody Denmark prince walked at night and spoke with the ghost of his father. A local artist named Merry painted this stage set. In the audience that night was Water Works Superintendent A.G. Moore. He was so impressed with the painting of Elsinore Castle that that next Monday morning he appeared at the offices of Samuel Hannaford and Sons with a newspaper illustration of the Elsinore stage set. What resulted was that Charles B. Hannaford, the son of Samuel, was commissioned to design the valve house in the form of Elsinore Castle. The Elsinore Tower was built later that year for a cost of $15,000.
There are steps behind the tower leading up the hill to the park and to the Cincinnati Art Museum that were added in 1886, the year the art museum opened.. The steps never caught on due to the steepness of the hill. Later a roadway was constructed thru the arch turning right and going up to Mount Adams and from there to Eden Park. As of 1988 the reservoir valves were housed in a vault beneath the tower while the tower itself is used for equipment storage..
View from top of hill Not a Postcard
The last image above shows the arch as it looks today, the building to the left is the channel 9 TV station that was constructed using stonework similar to that used in the arch. On March 3, 1980 the Elsinore Arch was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
We are now at the main entrance
to Eden Park which is across Gilbert Avenue from the Baldwin Piano Factory. The
first two rows show the entrance from Gilbert Avenue. The next three rows show
the entrance from inside the park. In some of the cards you can see the Baldwin
Piano Factory thru the arch. In the last two cards you can see the Cincinnati Art Museum
on the left side.
One thing you will notice in most of these cards are the street cars going by over the top of the entrance. Constructed in 1874 this was called a double-decked viaduct and was used up until 1949 when the Mount Adams Incline was closed and this line was no longer used, (it went to McMillan Avenue and points beyond). The top half was used first by horse cars and then by street cars. The lower deck was used by carriage riders and pedestrians.
Not a postcard
Scene on lower part of viaduct
I am placing the image above here even though it obviously is not at this spot in reality.
Real Photo Postcards
These two cards are probably showing the entrance to Eden Park on Alpine Place, which can be reached from several streets along Gilbert Avenue. I just love those "realistic" looking cars drawn in.
FOR MORE EDEN PARK CARDS