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Cincinnati City Hall

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Cincinnati City Hall

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Title: Cincinnati City Hall
Author: MacKaron, Erissa, Photographer; Hannaford, Samuel, (1835-1911)
Description: Samuel Hannaford (1835-1911) designed this massive Romanesque-style building after the designs of Henry Hobson Richardson (1838-1886), particularly his Allegheny County Courthouse in Pittsburgh and the Chamber of Commerce Building in Cincinnati (demolished in 1911). The massive quality of the building is seen in its large, rugged dark granite and contrasting light sandstone blocks. Windows in the building are set inward to create the illusion of extremely thick walls. The windows also decrease in size with each ascending floor to give the illusion of height and verticality. The use of the lighter sandstone for the upper floors and slate tile roof enhance this effect. The powerful tower and substantial pyramidal roof structures also lend to the building's expression of height. This illusion contrasts against the immense sprawl of the building that occupies an entire city block and contains two inner courtyards. The overall effect of such a massive, powerful and impressive structure serves as an allegory for the strength of the community. The interior includes a grand marble staircase, stained glass windows depicting Ohio scenes and the Longfellow poem Catawba Wine, and an original mural on the ceiling directly above the main entrance. Charles Pedretti was commissioned to create this and several other murals currently masked by plasterwork.
Bookmark: http://hdl.handle.net/2374.UC/75
Date: 1893

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