Mercantile Library by Joseph G. Steinkamp & Brothers

Mercantile Library by Joseph G. Steinkamp & Brothers

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:

Mercantile Library by Joseph G. Steinkamp & Brothers

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?

Mercantile Library by Joseph G. Steinkamp & Brothers

The library calls itself “the literary center of Cincinnati” and hosts varied lectures, book discussions, concerts, and film screenings.

Mercantile Library by Joseph G. Steinkamp & Brothers

Many of the shelves, desks and chairs date back to previous library buildings which were destroyed by fires.

Mercantile Library by Joseph G. Steinkamp & Brothers

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.

Mercantile Library by Joseph G. Steinkamp & Brothers

Mercantile Library by Joseph G. Steinkamp & Brothers

Mercantile Library by Joseph G. Steinkamp & Brothers

Mercantile Library by Joseph G. Steinkamp & Brothers

Mercantile Library by Joseph G. Steinkamp & Brothers

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.

5 thoughts on “Mercantile Library by Joseph G. Steinkamp & Brothers

  1. It’s a really cool space and hosts interesting readings, lectures, etc. A friend of mine uses it as an informal co-working space — she’s a writer and just likes to get out of the house, so she works there on her laptop.

  2. Pingback: Cincinnati Anthology Book Launch Events | Visualingual

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