On Two Bookends

Ezzard Charles was the heavyweight boxing champion 1946-1951 as he won the crown from Joe Louis then lost it to Jersey Joe Walcot. He came to Cincinnati at age 9, and for his accomplishment, the city named a street in his honor. Interesting, Ezzard Charles Drive is only a mile long, but connects two of Cincinnati’s treasures that are in this image … and this post is about the bookends of Ezzard Charles Drive. The most prominent structures in the image above.

At one end – Music Hall. Built in 1878, Music Hall is one of the grand music venues in the country and home to the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and other professional performing organizations. Actually three buildings in one, Cincinnati’s German heritage and their love for music brought this grand building into reality. Being that my wife and I have engaged in ballroom dancing in recent years, we love Music Hall’s ballroom. Nonetheless, Music Hall is a local treasure with a rich history. To learn more about this gem, click here or scroll through these Google images.

At the other end- Union Terminal. From its Grand Rotunda, art deco design throughout, and beautiful, colorful murals, Union Terminal served as Cincinnati’s railroad station from 1933 to 1972. In 1977 the building was designated a National Historic Landmark, while in 2007, the American Institute of Architects noted the building to be #44 on their list of favorite American architecture.

Although the wrecking ball loomed large at one time, today’s Union Terminal is the home to the Cincinnati Museum Center, which houses the Cincinnati Museum of Natural History, the Cincinnati Historical Society, the Robert D. Linder OMNIMAX Theater, and site for temporary exhibits. My favorite display is Cincinnati in Motion: a room-size model of the city. (Pictured, and here’s a short tour through it on a model train). I adore the building and its offerings, so to learn more about this treasure click here or scroll through these Google images.

Music Hall and Union Terminal are Cincinnati treasures from two different eras. Yet, each serves as a bookend on a street named for a Cincinnatian that many people may not know.

15 thoughts on “On Two Bookends

  1. Hmm. Cincinnati’s Union Station has the city in miniature? Any idea what gauge the model railroad is? (Sorry, you woke the old model railroader in me.) Do they have any full-size locomotives or rolling stock there? Might actually make the long trip across this state a viable concept. Well, that, and getting to annoy you in person, without the protective buffer of the computer! 😀
    And is there any specific German heritage items at the Music Hall, or is it just the style of architecture (and the folk behind it) that gives it a German flavour?
    Finally, if you get the Discovery Science channel, catch tonight’s episode of “Through the Wormhole” with Morgan Freeman. They are exploring the size of the universe, if it truly is infinite, and what happens if it isn’t. Definitely interesting so far!


    • John,
      Now why am I not surprised that you have interest in model railroads! I plan on going to the museum in July, hopefully I can find out about the gauge. I know a person who (as a volunteer) worked on the miniature exhibit, so he may know. (Will ask the next time I see him). As you can tell by the pic or the video, the miniature exhibit is in a large room. I simply love it. Since you enjoy model RR, hope you saw the YouTube video.

      No full-sized locomotives on display at the museum. One can go to the control tower, which is both cool and “occupied” by a knowledgeable volunteer.

      Music Hall is about German architecture and a tribute to their love for music. The concert hall is a grand venue. Actually too large in today’s world – so there are renovation plans. MH is also known has being haunted!

      Thanks for the Discovery Science channel tip. Hopefully I remember to checkout the series. Thanks for your interest in these grand venues. Checkout the links …. you’ll love ’em.


  2. Very nice. They do look like bookends. And I’m so happy the Terminal didn’t get the wrecking ball. I hate it when beautiful architecture and history is pummeled to make something like a strip mall.


    • Spinny,
      In with hopes of saving it from the wrecking ball, it was actually a shopping venue for a brief time. Once the novelty wore off, that idea didn’t last. Heck, people went to see the building, not shop! Fortunately, the Museum Center idea saved the day. We go there several times a year as we try to catch all the Omnimax movies. (Tornado Alley is the current feature). We haven’t see TA yet, but will soon, and couple it with a trip to the traveling Cleopatra exhibit. Thanks for commenting.


    • Nonnie,
      With your artistic eye, you would love Union Terminal. A few years ago we toured some of the areas where the public can’t roam … impressive … art deco everywhere! You may want to see the images if you get time. Thanks for commenting.


  3. Oh my another great post from the great Frank! Trivia for me! Haven’t heard about these before. Perhaps, I really have to visit the great Cincinnati! One day…. one day.

    You have a great day, Frank and thank you for sharing lots of information into my tiny brain. 🙂


    • Maxi,
      Although not quite in Cincinnati’s city center, both are classic local landmarks. Music Hall is known for its concert hall for the symphony, opera, etc …. Such a grand building! Union Terminal is beautiful structure from days gone by. Outside of NE US, travel by trains is not even close to what it is in Europe – thus the reference to days past. Now, a wonderful place for 2 museums! Thanks for visiting … enjoy your short splash of summer. 🙂


    • Hat,
      Music Hall is grand and has great acoustics. I’ve been to my share of CSO concerts, but never opera. We also enjoy theater, but simply haven’t made it to the Ensemble Theater in OTR. Thanks for sharing.


  4. OMGoodness. I was there on Monday afternoon taking in the Cleopatra exhibit and I do remember driving along Ezzard Charles. I think the post office is off that street too. Yes, the Terminal is impressive. My friend noted it was built as a WPA project and there are still trains in back. Great post and perfect picture. I’m about to e-mail this link to my Cinci friend.


    • Georgette,
      Hope you enjoyed the Cleopatra exhibit … which I have yet to see, but will. The PO is in that area, but not on that street. Between the Terminal and Music Hall were projects, but the area has went through a renovation. Remember, next time here … Skyline followed by Graeter’s mint chocolate chip. Thanks for stopping by.


  5. Pingback: On a Grand Hall | A Frank Angle

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