On a Grand Hall


With its face towering over a rejuvenated Washington Park in the historic Over the Rhine neighborhood just north of city center, Music Hall is a Cincinnati treasure. Recognized by the US Department of the Interior as a National Historic Landmark (December 1974),

Music Hall is a grand building with a central concert hall, a large ballroom that originally served as an exhibition center for automobile shows, garden shows, and even hosting sporting events. We love ballroom dance events in this venue. I introduced Music Hall in this June 2011 post.

From the first performance on May 14, 1878 (the opera, Alceste, and Beethoven’s Eroica symphony) to serving as the current home to the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestras, Cincinnati Ballet, May Festival, and more, Music Hall remains the city’s cultural heart. Besides being one of America’s grand concert halls, it also has known as place haunted with ghosts – but friendly ghosts.



One can view its majestic nature from across Washington Park. Is there any doubt that Cincinnati Germans love for music? Nonetheless, its highest peak is quirky.

The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO), the fifth oldest orchestra in the America, used a new summer event to welcome its new (13th) conductor, Louis Langrée – who joins the list of CSO Musical Directors as Leopold Stokowski, Max Rudolf, Thomas Shippers, Walter Suskind, Jesús López-Cobos, and Paavo Järvi.

  • The event: LumenoCity 2013
  • The place: Washington Park
  • The background and screen: Music Hall

Enjoy the Fourth Movement of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 from LumenoCity 2013, an event using Music Hall’s exterior as a backdrop for a concert also delivering a visual feast that is worth 10 minutes for those who like this sort of thing. Additional information related to this post is below the video.

Additional Information
For all the LumenoCity videos
More about Music Hall
A recent article from the Huffington Post about Music Hall and LumenoCity 2013
My post about historic Over-the-Rhine neighborhood

On Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 192

On Politics
As Republicans continue their push to stop the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), here’s a good one. I don’t know the exact quote or the actual person in Congress who said it, but this one says a lot to me: (From my recall, but it’s close) We must defund Obamacare before people start to realize its benefits.

While Congress has an approval rating in the teens, I recently saw a poll that over 50% of the people approve of those representing them. Yep – this shows we are getting just what we’ve asked for.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Heroic plastic surgeon gives small-breast starlet a chance at normal life
Dolphin spends amazing vacation swimming with stockbroker
Fans flock to Lollapolooza to see all the biggest brands
Footage of Neil Armstrong playing sax on the moon clearly fake
Two people who went to same college ruin evening for the group
Royal baby spits up on great-grandmother

Interesting Reads
Columnist Kathleen Parker on Congress
Dolphin social memory
Apps ahead of us
Driving the interoceanic highway through Peru
Some classic humor from Archon
The winner’s gallery from National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest 
See Snoring Dog’s painting of Endangered Species

On Potpourri
Congratulations to Tim, a local friend and everything-marching-band enthusiast, for making the 30,000th comment on this blog (yesterday).


Besides Saturday marking the start for Elvis Week and being National Garage Sale Day, Saturday is the day celebrating S ‘mores, the Smithsonian, Skyscrapers Appreciation, and Duran-Duran. Why the latter? Other than because they can, I don’t know.


I’m a baseball fan and one against players using Performance Enhancing Drugs. On the other hand, the latest suspensions by Commission Bud Selig are rooted in his head-in-the-sand stance in the 1990s. He’s pathetic!

Count me in as one looking forward to seeing the movie The Butler. Wow – his eyes personally saw 12 US Presidents, and meet 11. Amazing! Here’s an interesting article about his (Eugene Allen) funeral.

Sorry, no cartoon post this Saturday.

To send you into the weekend, here are two short videos from Cincinnati. Last weekend the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO) held Lumenosity for the first time. Basically, it was a CSO concert held outside in a renovated city park in the shadow of their indoor home, Music Hall – which this time served as a backdrop for a light show.

Enjoy the show and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.


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.