10 September 2010

Public Library of Cincinnati, 1874

Interior of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County “Old Main” Building, photographer unknown, 1874.
In 1874 the Public Library of Cincinnati took possession of a small building intended to be an opera house. According to John Fleishman, “the parcel at 629 Vine Street was transformed in two stages into a library building that startled America with its cutting edge design. Its vast Main Hall featured five tiers of cast-iron book alcoves that could house over 200,000 volumes.”
Breathtaking.  From Ohio Memory, via no.


  1. That's an amazing amount of books. I wonder if patrons were actually allowed in the stacks. It would have been quite some trick in a bustle and heels.

  2. It reminds me of the Law Library in the Iowa State Capitol Building. I was lucky enough to get to tour the upper levels, which are normally off-limits except to librarians (though I think they were originally open to patrons). The vertigo made it quite memorable.



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