Lost City: The Old Chamber of Commerce

For our February 2017 “Lost City” issue, we remember what time, disasters, and the wrecking ball have taken away.

The old Chamber of Commerce building was absurdly beautiful, looking like it sheltered the entire optimistic future of business within its fortress-like Romanesque Revival walls of cut pink granite and marble detailing. Designed by Henry Hobson Richardson in 1884, it sat at the southwest corner of Fourth and Vine until 1911, when a grease fire on the top floor burned the whole thing down. Pieces of the building lived on elsewhere—notably, the four decorative marble eagles that migrated to the Melan Arch Bridge on Eden Park Drive. One of those eagles took a hit in October when a driver plowed into its pedestal. Like business, the bird is expected to survive.

Cincinnati Museum Center. Cincinnati History Library & Archives. General Photos. Chamber of Commerce (B89-009).

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