Cincinnati and Suburban Telephone Company Building by Harry Hake

Cincinnati and Suburban Telephone Company Building by Harry Hake

The Cincinnati and Suburban Telephone Company Building, located on the corner of West 7th and Elm Sts. in downtown Cincinnati, was designed by Harry Hake and opened its doors in 1931.

At the time of its opening, the building housed the world’s longest straight switchboard, with 88 operator positions. It was designed to protect the city’s phone network; with a push of a button, heavy steel doors could lock and metal covers could spring up over the windows on the lower floors.

Note the relief sculptures of telephones carved into the limestone frieze:

Cincinnati and Suburban Telephone Company Building by Harry Hake

And also these random hotties:

Cincinnati and Suburban Telephone Company Building by Harry Hake

Cincinnati and Suburban Telephone Company Building by Harry Hake

Cincinnati and Suburban Telephone Company Building by Harry Hake

Cincinnati and Suburban Telephone Company Building by Harry Hake

Cincinnati and Suburban Telephone Company Building by Harry Hake

Cincinnati and Suburban Telephone Company Building by Harry Hake

Over all, the 14-story building is very imposing, but a close look reveals decorative details that add levity to the fa├žade. It’s not quite as ornate as its more famous Art Deco neighbor, Carew Tower, but it’s lovely nonetheless:

Cincinnati and Suburban Telephone Company Building by Harry Hake

Cincinnati and Suburban Telephone Company Building by Harry Hake

Cincinnati and Suburban Telephone Company Building by Harry Hake

Harry Hake designed several other prominent downtown Cincinnati buildings, including the Queen City Club, Western & Southern Life Insurance Building, Power Building, and what is now McFarland Lofts.

5 thoughts on “Cincinnati and Suburban Telephone Company Building by Harry Hake

  1. You know, for what it is, the architecture is quite monumental. I love that people took such pride and care in the buildings back then, and that this is still standing so that we can appreciate it.

  2. Pingback: Fire Museum of Greater Cincinnati | Visualingual

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