On a Corporate Downtown

Downtown Cincinnati from Devou Park (Covington, Kentucky)

Downtown Cincinnati from Devou Park (Covington, Kentucky)

That’s downtown Cincinnati from a park on top of a hill from the Kentucky side of the river.  My city is like other cities because each city has a distinctive skyline of corporate identities.

Cincinnati has the old and the new …

Old and the New

I’m not sure the identity of these two

… but there are some unexpected corporate headquarters that many may not identify with this small city along the Ohio River.

Macy’s is a very well-known department store. Although its flagship store is in New York City, corporate headquarters resides in Cincinnati.

Macy's HQ


Procter & Gamble is an unquestionable global leader regarding consumer products. With brand names as Tide, Charmin, Gillette, Downey, Swiffer, DuraCell, Dawn, Ivory, Crest, Clairol, Bounty, Pampers, and many more, P&G’s Cincinnati roots go back to their origins making candles and soap. (Brands here). P&G also has research facilities throughout the city.

P&G image from University of Cincinnati

P&G image from University of Cincinnati


Barney Kroger started a grocery store in 1883 from his savings of $372. Today, with 2,400 stores in 31 states, Kroger is the largest grocery retailer in the United States. Besides Kroger, other store brands include Ralphs, Fred Meyer, Dillon’s, Smiths, Fry’s, Smith’s, King Soopers, Harris Teeter, Scott’s, Gerbes, Baker’s, Owen’s, City Market, Jay C Pay Less, and QFC.


Kroger HQ


Powell Crosley was an inventor, industrialist, and entrepreneur. From Crosley automobiles to Crosley radios, which was the largest producer of radios in the world … from starting a powerful radio station to transitioning into television … from building household appliances to owning the local professional  baseball team … Crosley is a well-known name in Cincinnati. Below is the building known as Crosley Square, which at one time housed the Crosley radio and television stations.

Crosley Square

Crosley Square


The Great American Insurance Company may not have the name recognition as the previous companies, but its name is not only associated with our baseball stadium (home of the Reds), it’s also responsible for the newest (and now tallest) building in the city, which is also topped with a tiara.

Great American Insurance Building

The Great American Tower


Cincinnati has others, such below. With all the bank mergers in recent years, I’m not sure whose name is upon it now, but it’s still a prominent building in the skyline … but no longer a major HQ. Hope you enjoyed my brief tour of a few of Cincinnati’s corporate identities.

Old Central Trust Tower


53 thoughts on “On a Corporate Downtown

  1. It’s obvious I was post-partum when we moved to Cincinnati for a year, because I don’t think I realized any of that. Well, except maybe for Kroger’s. But I had a new baby, and I was working evening and weekend shifts, so I’ll use that as an excuse. :)

    It’s actually a very pretty skyline, isn’t it?

    • Carrie,
      That’ OK because calling your stay a whirlwind is probably an understatement … and the riverfront has greatly changed (for the better) on both sides of the river since then.

  2. It is fascinating to see the old and the new. I wonder if these newer buildings have the sort of construction that will endure centuries. They seem cleaner, more streamlined, but in some ways more cheaply constructed, even though they far exceed code standards by comparison.

  3. There are quite a few impressive buildings, Frank! I’m familiar with Kroger’s. I’ve seen those stores somewhere, although I’m not sure where. Thanks for the tour!

    • Amy,
      Being on the west coast, you may be more familiar with two other Kroger brands: Ralphs and Fred Meyer. I’ve updated the post to include Kroger’s brands.

  4. I was once in Cincinnati, back in August of 1990, on a writing assignment for American Cinematographer magazine. Jodie Foster was filming interior scenes for directorial debut, Little Man Tate, in a warehouse (converted to a sound stage) across the river in Newport, Kentucky. I wrote a story about her Director of Photography, Mike Southon. Mike was great and so was Jodie. Her unit publicist later told me that I was the only journalist she allowed to sit in on dailies, even rejecting Jonathan Van Meter, a real deal reporter on assignment for the New York Times. I also remember that it was sweltering and I was staying in a hotel in Cincinnati. Maybe a Hyatt or a Hilton. When I’d return to my hotel in the evenings I’d see the Reds’ stadium. You were having a phenomenal season that year.

    • Lame,
      I remember when Little Man Tate was filmed here … and 1990 was a huge year for the Reds as not only did they win the World Series, but they led the league from day one. Meanwhile, both sides of the river have greatly improved since 1990 … but August is usually a sweltering month!

  5. Some of those corporate entities aren’t as well known on the west coast, but Macy’s, of course! I had no idea corporate headquarters were in Cincinnati. I do love city skylines and this was a really nice introduction for me. Really nice, Frank.

  6. Never been to your beautiful city,aFA. Must give it a serious think to visit. In UK at moment looking at bldgs. Older than any one on US side of ocean . Hoping to find an easy one to draw. Will send with grins and snorts!! Xxoo Raye

    • Raye,
      Cheers to you back in your homeland. I imagine your visit has gone well so far, and I hope you had a wonderful birthday. And yes … those of us on this side of the pond have no idea of old buildings! By the way, there is a Cincinnati connection in Portland as Fred Meyer is a Kroger brand. Hope the rest of your trip goes well.

  7. I love the old buildings more than the new, with a particular fancy for Georgian architecture. It’s a shame so many old buildings are demolished for new buildings with windows that don’t open, a huge beef of mine.

    • Catherine,
      As a whole, older buildings generally capture my attention more than new ones. Plus the help me go back in time when cities were the centers of local life. Then again, I also appreciate the eclectic architecture.

  8. Thank you for naming all these buildings. Now I know when I return in June. I may be returning to this very post then…that would be me clicking away and doing “research.”

  9. I’ve been a skeptic, but your photos this morning moved me from a .5 to a 7 on the 1-10 scale with 1 being “dream on” and 10 being “it’s a done deal” that the GOP will pick Cincinnati for its 2016 Convention.

  10. Kroger has a strong presence here in Colorado, Frank, but the stores are called King Soopers in our larger cities and City Market in the smaller mountain towns. Great tour of the Cincinnati skyline.

  11. Really interesting, Frank. I only knew Kroger was headquartered in Cinci from one of your precious posts, but I had no idea that Macy’s was there, as well. Love your take of this skyline post. Well done. Merry May to you, my friend. Hope your week is going well so far!

    Hugs from Ecuador,

    • Kathy,
      Kroger is numerous brands … and I’ve included others since your comment. Macy’s HQ may be here, but NYC gets the flagship store and the parade.

  12. That was an interesting tour of the city. I kind of consider myself a city girl even though I do love living in the countryside now. The skylines and the range of buildings and businesses are fantastic in all cities, I recognise most of those various brand/company names you gave, but with some I’m not sure if it’s because they’re known over here, or whether it’s from my time living in the states.

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  14. P&G – that is one massive cooperation – everywhere!! Didn’t it had its HQ in Cincinnati – neither with Macy’s – I think Macy’s has lost it a bit. Looked their store in Chicago and on the outside of the store it was falling apart – the entrance roof was in bits with the name damaged .. and the marquesses was ripped. I didn’t go into store, because it was so bad on the outside.
    Very interesting post.

      • Yes, it so truly so poor … a shame, but I will check them out when I go back in September, if it’s not fixed after 2 years I will write to them *smile
        P&J owns nearly every household brand .. so massive.

  15. Oh my, I loved the pictorial tour of your city.. Like a commenter before me, I was most impressed with the P&G building… Nothing so magnificent in our town .. :-) I live on the boarder of a town and do not like big cities.. I find the energy claustrophobic,
    I know when I visited Canada, and went to Toronto and Vancouver those highrise buidings even the hotel I think we on something like the 40th floor.. you could feel the building sway at times.. it was a new and weird yet wonderful experience…
    I guess I am still a country girl at heart.. :-)
    Loved this post.. Its so interesting to see other places .. :-)

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