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Music Hall: 1906

Music Hall: 1906

1906. "Music Hall, Washington Park." Cincinnati Music Hall on Elm Street, completed in 1878. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Photographic Company. View full size.


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It was built in 1878, and is the home of Cincinnati Symphony, Cincinnati Pops, and Cincinnati Opera, as well as the annual May Festival. Until the 1970s it was the city's main convention center, and the 1880 Democratic National Convention was held here.

A major renovation project in 2016-2017 has brought it back to peak condition. Music Hall was built on what was a pauper's cemetery in the early and mid 1800s, and renovation projects 100 years later have dug up numerous bones. It is reputedly one of the most haunted sites in the country...if you believe that sort of thing.


German immigrants brought their culture to Cincinnati and settled in the area north of downtown. They built breweries and the Music Hall, along with hundreds of ornate, Italianate homes. A canal was dug to move commerce between the neighborhood and the Ohio River. There was such a heavy concentration of German-speaking people on the other side of the canal that the locals said, once you crossed it, you were over-the-Rhine.

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