The Mercantile Library is a membership library founded in Cincinnati in 1835 and, since 1908, housed on the 11th and 12th floors of this building at 414 Walnut St.
Relief detail on the façade:
Postcard circa 1907 via the Greater Cincinnati Memory Project. There is apparently a recessed 13th floor that can’t be seen from the street. Is it part of the library?
The library calls itself “the literary center of Cincinnati” and hosts varied lectures, book discussions, concerts, and film screenings.
Many of the shelves, desks and chairs date back to previous library buildings which were destroyed by fires.
The book collection numbers over 200,000 volumes, including a large number pertaining to Cincinnati and Ohio. Many of the books have been donated by members.
Joseph G. Steinkamp & Brothers designed several prominent buildings in Cincinnati, including parts of Xavier University, the Pearl Market Bank Building downtown and the America Building on the edge of Over-the-Rhine. They were active in Cincinnati from approximately 1890 through the 1930s.