Samuel Hannaford Solo Again  

The Legacy of Samuel Hannaford Main Page

Copyright © 2006 Betty Ann Smiddy

Although he wasn’t the architect, Hannaford was the supervisor for the Cincinnati Post Office and Custom house (1874-1885), bounded by Fifth, Sixth, Walnut and Main streets, known as Government Square. This massive building (354x164 ft.) was in the French Renaissance style and cost $5,000,000. Alfred B. Mullett was the architect.

It was four stories tall, but with an attic, towers and a varied roof line, was actually taller. It was built as a hollow square, providing a sky light, light and ventilation to central core corridors. There was a full basement and a sub-basement. The post office occupied the first floor with a ceiling of glass in the central portion. Other offices in the building were Internal Revenue, the courts, government office and custom-house.  In 1871 Cincinnati was declared a port of entry and collected duties on European goods.

The exterior walls were gray granite from Fox Island, Maine. Red granite came from Middlebrook, Missouri. Bodwell Granite Co. was responsible for this part of the construction. The building was fire proof - partitions of brick, brick arches and floors made with iron beams.

For a complete discussion of this building, see, “Illustrated Cincinnati,” by D. J. Kenny, 1875, reprinted.

Alms & Doepke Department Store (1888), 222 W. Central Parkway. This store was a combination of several buildings occupying the depth of a city block. Brothers Frederick H. and William Alms and their cousin William F. Doepke founded this department store in 1865. Their father was from Germany and the brothers fought for their country in the Civil War. It was after they returned that they started in the dry goods business. The store was the largest in Cincinnati and operated at the same location until its closing in 1955. Hannaford built the seven story north west building; Chicago architect David Burnham the east end in 1912. It is on the National Register of Historic Places. Hannaford designed an addition in 1889.

In 1992 the closed store was expected to be demolished and a new building for county workers to be built on the site. Instead the building was renovated extensively by the county in 1993 to house Hamilton County Department of Human Services.  The original building with cast iron decoration on the lower levels had been covered over by a brick veneer in the 1960s. Part of the $24 million renovation was restoring the building exterior to the original. Fiberglass capitals were cast from the existing granite ones to complete what had been destroyed of the original trim.

In addition to the department store, Hannaford designed three houses for William Alms, one house and two apartment buildings for Frederick Alms. The Alms Hotel was converted from one of the Alms apartment buildings. Hummel Building provided the brick and stone.  

Spring Grove’s Norman Chapel (1879-1880) in is the Carolingian Romanesque style and is in the shape of a Latin cross. The stone ashlar walls has a trim of tooled sandstone and limited corner carvings. It is harmonious with the gateway entrance and original office building designed in 1863-1867 by James Keyes Wilson. Hannaford also designed the Queen Anne superintendent’s residence (Salway house) that stood on the corner of Gray and Winton Roads, which was built in 1885-1886 and demolished in 1984. William Salway was the superintendent of Cedar Hill Cemetery in Hartford Connecticut and was approached to become the superintendent of Spring Grove following the death of Adolph Strauch. Not only was he offered a good salary but also a new house to leave Connecticut for Cincinnati, which he accepted. It was torn down because of its size and upkeep. The land had become more valuable than the house.

Spring Grove cemetery contains 733 acres and is one of the largest cemeteries in the country.  Founded in 1844 by members of the Cincinnati Horticultural Society, the 122 acre Garrard farm on Spring Grove Ave. was purchased and the cemetery consecrated in 1845. In 1848 the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton Railroad won its right of way through the cemetery.  The familiar overpass was built in 1850. Only in recent years has the rail way been abandoned and the tracks removed from Winton Road.

Full of lovely tombstones, ponds, mausoleums and markers, Spring Grove cemetery was laid out by the German landscape gardener Adolph Strauch. He served as caretaker until his death in 1883. Known also for the historic personages buried there, including Samuel Hannaford and his family, maps and tours are available of the grounds and for the plantings.

Joseph Earnshaw did the survey of the cemetery and helped to develop the original landscaping. Hannaford frequently used Earnshaw for his surveying work.  The firm that Earnshaw founded, now McGill Smith Punshon International, is still in business.

The Nast German Methodist Episcopal Church (Nast Trinity Methodist Church, 1880) 1310 Race St.This brick Romanesque/English Gothic Revival church has terra cotta detailing. There is a meeting hall on the first floor and the sanctuary is on the second, an arrangement typical of German Protestant churches from that period. Over the left hand door is the date of 1842, when the congregation was founded, and over the right hand door is 1880, when this church was erected. It was named after Wilhelm Nast, who founded German Methodism in 1835 in Cincinnati.

 In 1880 Hannaford designed the Gothic Walnut Hills Presbyterian Church at the corner of William Howard Taft Road and Gilbert Ave. For a year this church was in the news and in the forefront of a preservationist fight to save the structure. Its remaining corner bell tower is a neighborhood landmark. The church was on the National Register of Historic Places.

The congregation was founded in 1817 and its few members worshiped in the home of their minister, Rev. James Kemper. They next moved into a stone church at the corner of Melrose Ave. and McMillan Street. The cornerstone from that 1818 church was later embedded in the wall of the 1885 church. As the congregation grew, they joined Lane Seminary Church in 1878, which was leading the fight against abolition both locally and as a national voice.

A famous series of debates on abolition, in which African Americans took part, affected how Americans viewed the abolition question and divided Lane Seminary. Dr. Lyman Beecher, father of Harriet Beecher Stowe, and her husband, Calvin Stowe, taught there. Dr. Beecher was the first president of the seminary. Because of Lane Seminary, Walnut Hills became the first integrated community in Cincinnati.

The Walnut Hills Presbyterian Church, built of ashlar stone, was dedicated Nov. 8, 1885 and had 431 members. The wood work was by James Griffith.  Its tower had a conical roof that is missing today.

Later additions of a chapel (1891) and an office (1929) had Hannaford & Sons as architects. By 1918, the congregation had swelled to 900. At its peak, the church had over 2,000 members. But as the neighborhood declined, membership slowed dwindled. People died, some joined other congregations, and others moved away. The church was sold by the Presbytery in 1995, after the congregation fell below 40 members, to the Freeman Avenue United Church of Christ for $225,000. They, in turn, sold the church in 1998 to the next door funeral home owner, Rev. Donald Jordan of the Thompson, Hall & Jordan Funeral Home for $325,000.  Rev. Jordan invested half a million dollars into renovating the property, into which he planned to expand his business, but needed $2 million to finish the renovation. He couldn’t raise that much after applying for grants, working closely with the Cincinnati Preservation Association, and Ohio Senator Mark Mallory. Everyone agreed that the building should be saved, but the money wasn’t forthcoming. The city did not have the building on its historic registry and there was nothing barring the issue of a demolition permit.

Its podium  was donated to a church in Ripley, Ohio that had strong ties to the Underground Railroad. The stained glass windows were carefully removed. The building was demolished in 2003. Funds were raised to save the bell tower portion to use as a small, local museum telling the story of Rev. Kemper, Lane Seminary, and the Underground Railroad. 

Lombardy Apartments (1881) 318-326 W. 4th Street, is a seven story sandstone building in the French Second Empire style. It has the original cast iron storefronts.  The Lombardy was commissioned by Thomas Emery’s Sons in the “French flat” style. These were not sleeping rooms, but apartments like we know today, five rooms with a private bath, kitchen and passenger elevators. The Emery’s were the first to introduce apartments to Cincinnati. They were called usually called flats because the rooms were all on one level. One early occupant was William Howard Taft (1883-1886).  Fourth street was called the “Broadway of Cincinnati,” a fashionable address to have. Around the entrance of the Lombardy is a bas-relief. The property was restored in 1995 by Max and Angela Hofmeyer.

Thomas Emery came to Cincinnati from England in the late 1830s. His first venture was in real estate, offering assistance to English immigrants. While speculating in real estate the also started a business to manufacture dripless candles and lamp oil from his lard oil factory. He also had a grocery and wine store.  He died accidentally by a fall from a catwalk in his factory and fell 5 stores into a vat of boiling oil. After his death in 1857, his three sons - Thomas, Jr., John J. and J. Howard took over the business. Thomas and John hired Hannaford as their architect for many of their buildings: Thomas’ house “Edgecliffe” in Walnut Hills (1881), Emery tenement houses (1882), Oritz Apts., (1881, 4th & Sycamore Sts.), Alta Apts., (1881) Brittany Apts., (1885, 100-104 W. 9th St.), Saxony Apts.. (1891, 105-111 W. 9th St), Normandy Apts.,  (1885, Race & Longworth Sts.), Palace Hotel (1882, 6th & Vine Sts.), and the original Emery Hotel (1876, with Procter as partner).  Hannaford also designed “Emery Row” (1878) apartments on Scott Boulevard in Covington, Ky. John J. Emery moved to New York in 1896 and it was his son, Jack, that returned to Cincinnati in 1924. Jack Emery was responsible for the building of the Carew Tower and Netherland Plaza Hotel. The Emerys purchased property along major roads for their apartment buildings. They were aimed for middle class occupancy. While downtown was the best and most convenient address to have, their other apartment buildings were placed in prosperous communities.

Edgecliffe” was a lovely limestone stone building that was on the National Register of Historic Places. It overlooked the Ohio River and was the home of Thomas Jr. and Mary Hopkins Emery, one of Cincinnati’s most prominent families. It later was part of the Edgecliff College campus. The 31 room mansion had a three story glass roofed atrium. A Rookwood lined solarium was on the second floor. The dining room furniture and wooden wall panels were carved by Benn Pitman and William Fry. Thomas died in 1906 on a business trip to Egypt. At that time, the Emery’s paid more property tax than any other family in Ohio, so vast were their holdings - which also went across the country. Mrs. Mary Emery’s life’s work was philanthropy.  She is also remembered for her planned community, Mariemont. She lived in her house until her death in 1927. The property was purchased in 1935 to become Our Lady of Cincinnati College. The house served as the location for the art department. In 1969 it changed its name to Edgecliff College. In 1980 Edgecliff merged with Xavier University which put the Edgecliff campus up for sale. It sold for $6.1 million and the buildings were razed in October 1987.

The Camp Washington School (1882, 18th district school)) was a plain, three story, brick building in the Italianate style. It was added onto in three stages, with the Hannaford’s eastern wing being the oldest. Another wing was designed by Henry Bevis. At one time it was the largest public school in Cincinnati. The building was closed as a school in 1982 and demolished in 1994. Before it was torn down there was discussion if Hannaford was responsible for any of the building still standing.  In a ‘Cincinnati Enquirer’ article of Dec. 21, 1990, Dan Young of the Cincinnati City Planning Department is quoted; “When the school was built in 1881, it was attached to a building built by Hannaford in 1869 (sic)…Both coexisted as the school... But in 1908, the Hannaford building was demolished and a new addition attached to the 1881 structure...” The school’s “claim to fame” was its association with the Clopper family of Northside. Mr. Edward N. Clopper was principal 1869-1879. 

Palace Hotel (1882), now the Cincinnatian Hotel, 601 Vine St. This French Second Empire hotel was a deluxe place to spend the night when the Emery’s opened it. Thomas Emery, Jr. supposedly developed this hotel because he thought the price of a room and meal at the famous Burnet House was too expensive.  The Palace would not have looked out of place in Paris, with its limestone wall treatment and steep mansard roof. It had a central, glass roofed atrium and a seven story grand staircase. As Cincinnati’s premier hotel it offered the newest conveniences - incandescent lights and elevators - but guests shared a bathroom located at either end of the hallway. Its 160 rooms rented for $2-$4 per night. At eight stories it was the tallest building in Cincinnati. Its restaurant, which faced Vine St., was “The Cricket” which was in business until the 1980s.  A major remodeling in 1948 added stone facades to the lower two stories. Renamed the Cincinnatian Hotel in 1951, it slowly deteriorated and plans were made to demolish the hotel, replacing it with a parking garage. It was sold and redeveloped, opening again in 1987 as a European luxury style, four star hotel. It is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Alexander McDonald House “Dalvey” (1881) This important Victorian Gothic style stone house was built in Clifton for McDonald, an early Standard Oil Co. of Kentucky president and partner of John D. Rockefeller. McDonald, a Scottish immigrant, made his first fortune as a starch manufacturer and served as a director to two railroads and one bank. The interior of Dalvey was opulent, with the cherry stairway decorations, woodwork, columns and some furniture throughout its 35 rooms carved by the Frys. It also had a pool. Dalvey was built of blue limestone supplied by David Hummel. In 1920 it was purchased by George R. Balch, president to the Cincinnati Realty Co. and treasurer of the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton Railroad. For Balch, who already had a Hannaford designed home (1895-96) at 267 Greendale Ave, this was a “trade up”. The mansion was torn down in 1961 for Clifton Elementary school at Clifton and Resor Avenues. The iron gates are from the Balch period of ownership and contain an elaborate letter “B.” Tours were given before the mansion was demolished.

The “Elsinore Tower” entrance (1883) was once the main approach into Eden Park. A competition for a valve house design was held by the Water Works Department which wanted to keep any needed construction decorative within the park. The tower was built as a valve house to regulate water flow between the Eden Park reservoir and the Ohio River. At that time Cincinnati was hosting a Shakespeare Festival with Cincinnatian James E. Murdoch starring as Hamlet. The 65' x 65' stage backdrop of Hamlet’s castle Kronberg was thought to be the inspiration of this tower and gate. One story is that Arthur G. Moore, superintendent of the Water Works, was in the audience and was so impressed with the stage set that he appeared in the office of his son-in-law Samuel Hannaford with a newspaper clipping illustration of the stage set. Costing $15,000, it is composed of a large cylindrical tower connected by an archway to a smaller square tower in the Norman Romanesque style. This entrance did not prove popular - the steps leading up to the Art Museum were very steep and as more people started to travel by car, a wider, less winding road was needed. A new entrance was created further up Gilbert Ave. Elsinore Tower is on the  National Register of Historic Places. David Hummel Building provided the stone.

John Church Company (1885) 4th and Elm, National Register of Historic Places. This Queen Anne style building of Dayton limestone was designed for John Church Co. who was the largest printer of church music. In 1989 the building was renovated.

Musik Verein Halle (1885) 1115 Walnut St. had a grey sandstone facade. The cornerstone was laid 7-25-1885 by the Cincinnati Maennerchor (men’s choir) at a cost of $100,000. The cost of maintaining the building and decline in membership led to its being purchased in 1898 by the Knights of Phythias as their main hall.  

Winton Place Methodist Church (1885), Parsonage (1889) and Sunday School (1925), 700 East Epworth Ave. This stone Romanesque church with a Richardsonian arch has an octagonal bell tower. This was the Hannaford family’s church and where Samuel met his second and third wives. Hannaford, and later his sons, was a very active church member, serving as trustee, steward, treasurer, class leader, missions, education, and preacher support. In 1901 Hannaford traveled to Europe representing the church at the Ecumenical Methodist Conference.  To keep the church from being built without any debt, materials were purchased or donated and where the congregation labor was insufficient, outside workers were brought in. This “pay as you go” idea took 2.5 years for the church to be completed. The church cost $13,500 totally and was completed in 1888. The parsonage was drawn by Hannaford and the cornerstone laid in 1889 and on March 21, 1902 it was completely built and paid off. The lot for the Sunday  school, designed by Charles E. Hannaford, was purchased in 1910 but because of the war years, actual construction did not start until 1924, 

According to “Winton Place United Methodist Church Faith, Facts & Folks” by Geraldine C. Reed (1986): “The summer of 1896 when Winton Place would soon be faced with becoming a part of Cincinnati, the question of Prohibition was discussed. So far they had discouraged any Saloons being opened in the Village and hoped it would continue that way. G. C. Fowble wrote: “May God grant that there may always be enough enemies of this evil here to secure our homes and loved ones from the influence of the Saloon and not forget that Temperance is one of the Graces of God’s Holy Word.” In the back of this church history is the only place the author has seen Samuel Hannaford to have a middle initial, “P.”

Turner Hall (ca 1884), 2728 Vine St., (Corryville) Hannaford was responsible for remodeling the hall. 

The Turnverein was the oldest and largest German American Society in Cincinnati.  Local Turner Halls gave the German American community a place to meet and take classes in physical education, music, theater and art, etc. It was truly a social hall where politics, education and culture met. Politically, the organization was liberal. It opposed Prohibition which the Turners saw as a direct threat to their culture.

Founded in Germany in 1811 by Friedrich Ludwig Jahn, whose granite monument is in Inwood Park, the organization believed in improving society through education - both physical and mental.

When the building opened it had a large gym and meeting room. The building was later expanded to include a swimming pool and bowling alley. 

The Turners changed the name of the hall to the North Cincinnati Gymnasium following the anti-German movement of W. W. I. The Turners faded away, although they are still active today.

Nearby Schiel School (23rd District School) 2821 Vine St., was remodeled by Hannaford & Sons. 

College Hill Town Hall (1886) was designed in the Gothic Revival and eclectic Renaissance style. The builder was Gibbons & Smith. It was entered on the National Register of Historic Places March 17, 1978.

When College Hill engaged Hannaford to design its town hall in 1884, it was a village of large estates and tree lined avenues. On July 24, 1875, the Village Council purchased 5 acres from Samuel Freeman and Lida S. Cary for $6,000 on the corner of Belmont and Larch Ave. The brick and stone building with an asymmetrical facade and a four story arched tower was completed in 1886. The building’s north and south facades are dominated by large arched windows which permit maximum light to the inside of the auditorium. The building cost between $15,000 and $16,000.

Officially dedicated on Jan. 20, 1887, its 17 rooms were open for use. The trussed ceiling in the auditorium, stage and stage scenery, frescoed walls and elaborate chandeliers made Town Hall the focal point of the community.

For twenty-four years, Town Hall was the seat of governmental functions of the village. It was the hub of cultural, social and athletic activities. One room served as the College Hill Building and Loan, and another as a public library. The ground level was occupied by the fire department, village police and local jail.

The village agreed to annexation by the City of Cincinnati in 1911. The future of Town Hall and the surrounding park area for use of College Hill residents was assured through a provision in the deed of transfer.  

For many years Town Hall was still used for community activities - tennis courts were built, ball fields were filled and later a swimming pool was added by the community. St. Clare’s parish held their first services in the auditorium. While a new College Hill public school was under construction, it served as temporary classrooms. College Hill resident, Powel Crosley, Jr. used Town Hall for his experiments with early radio. The building’s longest and primary tenant was the Free & Accepted Masons, Lodge 641.

In 1974 structural and substandard code problems caused the building to be vacated and boarded up. The fate of the building was uncertain and prospective demolition loomed. The College Hill Forum, founded in 1967, became concerned over the building’s condition and saw a potential for renovation and renewed use by the community. The Forum was able to sign a lease with the City because of a clause written in the 1911 annexation agreement. The City brought the systems to comply with code, corrected structural defect and added a new roof. Federal grants paid for the basement renovation and kitchen. The high cost of utilities, maintenance and a difficulty in drawing renters and tenants led to the Forum in 1989 to sign over the building to the Contemporary Dance Theater.

The surrounding park and ballfield are named for Judge George J. Heitzler who was active in the Tri-State Amateur Baseball Association.

Probasco Fountain (1886) This is a non-house example of Hannaford design. Henry Probasco (1820-1902) was employed by Tyler Davidson & Co., a large hardware and tool business. While working in the business, he met, and then married, Davidson’s half sister Julia. Probasco became a partner in the business and after Davidson’s death, he inherited the company. When he gave the fountain to Clifton, he was mayor of that community. The fountain was situated in the center of the village, in front of Resor’s Academy. The curved top is decorated with mums. There was once a public drinking cup attached to the fountain, the fountain trough was for horses and the lower, smaller basin was for dogs.  Probasco’s home is “Oakwood”, designed by William Tinsley, built 1859, 430 West Cliff Lane.

H. & S. Pogue Co. (1886) Cincinnati lost much when Pogue’s went out of business and the building torn down to build Tower Place.

The Pogue brothers, Henry and Samuel came from Ireland to Cincinnati and worked in their uncle’s dry goods store. They later were able to buy him out and H. & S. Pogue Dry Goods Company was established in 1863. They had a store on 4th street, a very stylish address, and had several store front expansions, one by Hannaford (Italianate).  In 1916 Hannaford & Sons refaced the building in stone with carved lion heads above the street level. The facade stone was from David Hummel Building.

The author worked at Pogues as a buyer and remembers the stockroom on the top floor. The building was expanded to abut Crew Tower when it was built by the Emerys. Pogues had a large stockroom loft with a wooden floor and large windows that looked like they never had been washed. Staff would stamp their feet to announce their presence to any rodents. 

The building was a warren of half floors between regular floors. Coal would be delivered every day on the Race St. side. Pogue’s big furnaces were responsible for some of the heat to the rest of the Carew tower. Below the basement known by customers was a sub-basement which held the shipping department and another basement below that which held the boilers. The walls were the stone foundation and in the wall was a tiny door for access to pipes and electrical work. The author was told that this tiny tunnel ran under 4th St. and connected to McAlpins. Hannaford also built the H. & S. Pogue Flats in Walnut Hills (1885).  

People's Theater “The play's the thing and Heuck's is the place." The People’s Theater building still stands in Over-the-Rhine at Vine and 13th Streets, though without its open tower. 

Samuel Hannaford did interior renovation on the back of the People's Theater on 13th Street. The theater was run by Hubert Heuck, who was credited with perfecting the "Burlesque Wheel," a circuit of stock company theater houses for eight cities (Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Chicago, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Detroit, and Pittsburgh) in 1915.  According to his son Robert, Heuck could guarantee the acts and actors a 30 week season. Heuck had formed the earlier Empire Circuit to guarantee shows in many cities.  

The latest tenant in “the original Heuck’s Opera House,” is Venice on Vine, a restaurant that operates as an educational program to provide on-the-job training to inner-city residents. Venice on Vine Pizza is a not-for-profit business enterprise of Power Inspires Progress. The restaurant occupies what was the lobby and saloon of the entertainment complex.  Some of the decorative plasterwork has been preserved. Before Venice on Vine, Ernest’s Men’s Shop occupied the space for a number of years.

After Hubert Heuck took over the Coliseum at 1221 Vine Street, which ended its career in entertainment as the Rialto Theater, now a parking lot, he named it the New Heuck Opera House, and changed the name of his original theater to the People’s Theater. The People's specialized in “Varieties and Burlesque.”  The theater became famous for the acts it attracted. Boxing matches, horse opera, and “blood and thunder melodrama” brought in a stream of paying customers. Native Americans acts played there, as did Buffalo Bill Cody and wild Bill Hickock. 

The People's Theater displayed on its posters such names as Maggie Cline, Sam Bernhard, Weber and Fields, Pat Rooney, Muldoon, Wheeler and Trainer, Hanlen and  Hart, Harrigan and Hart, Murry and Mack, Murphy and Shannon, Fields and Hanson, Mark Murphy, Niles, Evans, Bryant and Hoey, Billy Emerson, McIntyre and Heath, and the Panzer Brothers. W.C. Dunkenfield (later known as W.C. Fields) played in a touring vaude company here in 1898.” (Cincinnati, the Queen City, 1788-1912)

“...Buffalo Bill played The Last Shot, and James O'Neill, Rose Eyetinge and Sarah Bernhardt delighted one and all. ....it offered Lillian Russell, Joseph Jefferson, Bertha, the Sewing Machine Girl, and bang-up burlesque. In later years it gave O.O. McIntyre his education in “burleycue.” The show began, he reported, when the gallery bouncer rapped and yelled "Hats off!" Such old-time favorites as May Howard, Rose Sydell, Weber and Fields, and Billy Watson's Beef Trust held forth here, with all the tried and true routines - catchy music, bright costumes, generous nymphs, "whangs on the conk," and corny jokes. It was wonderful!" (The WPA Guide to Cincinnati, 1788-1943).

 Other Samuel Hannaford buildings from this period:

Monroe Co. Courthouse (1906-1908) Woodsfield, Ohio

Greene County Courthouse (1901-1903) Xenia, Ohio

Washington Co. Courthouse ( 1900-1902) Marietta, Ohio

Henry Powell House & fence (1882) 2209 Auburn Ave, Mt. Auburn

  Copyright © 2006 Betty Ann Smiddy