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

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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

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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

Kroger HQ

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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

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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

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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

 

On City Centers

This view of downtown Cincinnati is from Devou Park in Covington, Kentucky. Although the view has long been known to be one of the best of the city, in the fall of 2010 we made our first trip to this location – and I’ve came to the area in 1976!

I love cities. Whenever I’m in any city center, I appreciate the hustle and bustle, the buildings, the history, and more. I think of the times from the past when the central district was a true center of activity. It was there one would find the main stores to shop, the grand and glorious theaters, vibrant churches, and frequent people activity. City centers were the hub of community life and a place I would have thoroughly enjoyed.

Although a few cities are lucky enough to have the community vibrancy of the past, today, most cities are Monday-through-Friday commerce centers. From Devou Park, I think about the businesses headquartered in Cincinnati: among them consumer product giant Proctor and Gamble, Fifth-Third Bank (a large regional bank), Kroger’s (nation’s largest grocery chain), Macy’s (yes, its HQ is here, not NYC), and believe it or not, Chiquita Brands.

The latest census numbers tells us the populations of many cities continue to fall. Meanwhile, city centers remain to act as centers of commerce, welcome conventions, and treat visitors who appreciate a sense of time that once was.