Cincinnati City Hall by Samuel Hannaford

Cincinnati City Hall by Samuel Hannaford

Designed by Samuel Hannaford and erected in 1893, Cincinnati City Hall, featuring a tall clock tower and numerous stained glass windows, is that city’s own miniature Hogwarts.

The building was designed in the Richardsonian Romanesque style:

Cincinnati City Hall by Samuel Hannaford

A sweeping central staircase is covered in marble, not unlike the grand stairs inside San Francisco City Hall:

Cincinnati City Hall by Samuel Hannaford

Stained glass windows represent local industry:

Cincinnati City Hall by Samuel Hannaford

Here’s our Roman friend Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus, after whom the city was named:

Cincinnati City Hall by Samuel Hannaford

Peeking into the chambers of City Council:

Cincinnati City Hall by Samuel Hannaford

Cincinnati City Hall by Samuel Hannaford

Cincinnati City Hall by Samuel Hannaford

I pride myself on being an active explorer, but I only got around to checking out City Hall a few days before our move to Indianapolis, when I needed a parking permit to reserve a spot for the moving truck in front of our Over-the-Rhine building. Luckily for me, that office is located at the very end of a long hallway on the top floor, so I got to check out pretty much the entire building.

Hilarious side note: I was asked whether the parking spot in question was metered or not. It was not but, by the time I got home, there was a just-installed meter, like a final “screw you” from the city we had once chosen as our forever home.

And it gets better — I took my permit to District 1, obtained the required “no parking” signs and returned to my site to find just-hung “no parking” signs on behalf of yet another phase of streetcar construction. Either no one at City Hall or District 1 knew, or they didn’t care enough to check. After doing its best to push us out, Cincinnati decided to throw some obstacles in our path, just to see if we would break.

We didn’t break, and the only tears shed were ones of frustration at Cincy’s ongoing contempt for its urban residents. Or frustration about a nasty confluence of coincidences. Who knows? Moving is hard, and moving with a business in tow is the worst.

Oh, but where was I? That’s right: walking through all of City Hall and finding this large stained glass window at the very top:

Cincinnati City Hall by Samuel Hannaford

Samuel Hannaford was a Cincinnati-based architect responsible for many of that city’s high-profile buildings, including Music Hall, Memorial Hall, Times-Star Building, and the Dalton Street Post Office. I’d say that no visit to Cincinnati is complete without checking out at least one of these magnificent buildings.


5 thoughts on “Cincinnati City Hall by Samuel Hannaford

  1. I found out a couple weeks ago the building I work in was designed by Samuel Hannaford. The most boring building he ever penned. At least that’s what the UC architect told me.

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