Cincinnati Music Hall by Hannaford & Procter

Cincinnati Music Hall by Hannaford & Procter

Designed by Hannaford & Procter and completed in 1878, Music Hall is located at 1241 Elm St. and acts as the home for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Opera, May Festival Chorus, and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra. It has just been named one of the most endangered historic places by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Because it was built over a paupers’ cemetery, some consider this grand dame to be one of the most haunted places in the US. The beautifully ornate Rose Window looks over the northern portion of Washington Park:

Cincinnati Music Hall by Hannaford & Procter

The main lobby is white and red with gilded accents and crystal chandeliers:

Cincinnati Music Hall by Hannaford & Procter

Cincinnati Music Hall by Hannaford & Procter

Cincinnati Music Hall by Hannaford & Procter

Even the secondary chandeliers are grand:

Cincinnati Music Hall by Hannaford & Procter

In Springer Auditorium, the main performance hall, gilded details decorate the balcony:

Cincinnati Music Hall by Hannaford & Procter

A grand Czechoslovakian crystal chandelier hangs from the decorative central panel on the ceiling, entitled Allegory of the Arts:

Cincinnati Music Hall by Hannaford & Procter

Cincinnati Music Hall by Hannaford & Procter

A surprisingly Space Age-looking light fixture in the stairwell leading down to the ballroom:

Cincinnati Music Hall by Hannaford & Procter

Gilded ornamental panel in the ballroom:

Cincinnati Music Hall by Hannaford & Procter

Ahh, and the mighty Wurlitzer on display:

Cincinnati Music Hall by Hannaford & Procter

This building is an absolute gem, and I don’t mean “for a city the size of Cincinnati.” I mean, anywhere. In my opinion, it’s a must-see for any visitor. I’m a big fan of the symphony, whose tickets start at only $12. I enjoy the music, but a concert is also a great excuse to get dressed up and spend a few hours in this glorious building.

12 thoughts on “Cincinnati Music Hall by Hannaford & Procter

  1. It might have been the first time I went to the place – no that was Johnny Cash. My friend said he knew right where Music Hall was. We then showed up at a fairly abandoned Union Terminal…
    Anyway, I saw The Kinks there once & their backdrop on the stage was a big torn, burned, filthy curtain or something. It was humorous walking through the beautiful building & seeing that on the stage.
    Dunno if it belonged to the band or if somebody at Music Hall dug it up.

  2. I’ve seen a number of rock, pop jazz people there. Lou Reed, Stanley Clarke & George Duke, Miles Davis…
    I know nothing about booking those kinds of acts but I really think Music Hall is shooting itself in the foot by removing so much seating that, I would think, pop acts would want.
    FWIW, there’s a decent bootleg of Derek & the Dominos @ Music Hall 1969/70
    They used to get a lot of pop music there.

  3. Wow, that’s pretty cool. I tend to agree with you — why can’t the venue close the top balcony for smaller events but keep the over all capacity for larger ones?

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