Dr. Know: Addressing Addresses, Cracking a Mosler, and Kenwood Rising


The Cincinnati Enquirer recently published my letter. I proudly sent the online version to my dad in Florida, and he said that when his letter got printed in the ’70s, our home address was included. Now they only show the writer’s neighborhood. When did the Enquirer change their policy, and why? —ADDRESS SUPPRESS

Dear Suppress:
In these times, only a fool would submit clear-eyed opinions to a newspaper that divulges where they live. The Enquirer now keeps this information private. Besides, today’s letter writers rarely express opinions that are clear-eyed.

It was not always so. Home addresses once routinely appeared throughout the paper, such as in this story from 1942: “Arthur Zerges, age 7, 4020 Erie Avenue, fell from a tree yesterday, fracturing his right arm.” This practice slowly faded until only the Letters section included personal data, and even that disappeared after June 8, 1992. Peter Bronson, in one of his first decisions as new editor of the editorial page, made the change.

And we all know the reason: People who poke their heads into today’s public sphere are promptly hounded by an army of crazies. That army goes way back. Long before 1992, citizens who merely wanted to vent about what’s wrong with America/Cincinnati/disco were seeing their lives disrupted soon after seeing their letters printed. Bronson, now a contributing editor at Cincy Magazine (a publication eternally confused with ours), managed to at least reduce such incidents. Perhaps someday, people’s very names will be disguised, too, with monikers like @DocKnowMorThnU…

We watched National Treasure during the holidays, that absurd Nicolas Cage movie about stealing the Declaration of Independence. My boyfriend claimed the vault holding the real Declaration was made in Cincinnati. But he’s absurd too, right? —VETTING THE VAULT

Dear Vet:
Mr. Cage could have lowered his film’s absurdity level by several points had he only uttered your boyfriend’s accurate observation. The National Archives’ vault for the Declaration was built in 1952 by the Mosler Safe Company, a firm born in Cincinnati and later based in Hamilton.

For most of the 20th century, Mosler’s reputation was, well, rock-solid. They built Ft. Knox. The famed robber Willie Sutton once said that his heart sank whenever he would happen upon a Mosler safe. In 1945, after America’s atomic bomb had leveled the city of Hiroshima, a Mosler vault was found in the rubble of a bank—its contents unharmed. These guys were good.

By the time Mr. Cage “stole” the Declaration of Independence in 2004, another company had replaced the Mosler vault with, quite obviously, an inferior product. But hey, that’s how we got an absurd movie and its exponentially more absurd sequel. Mosler, like many other world-famous Cincinnati companies, had long since evaporated into the merger-multinational-mania of our era. Despite the ironclad reputation, it could not protect itself from the sandpapered fingers of time.

I don’t get to Kenwood very often, so I don’t know if that never-finished shopping mall ever got finished. There was a huge rusty skeleton along I-71 for years, and then I saw on-and-off stories about its comeback. If it was open for the holidays, I missed it. Last I looked, there were only about three stores open. What’s its status? —KENWOOD IF I COULD

Dear Could:
Once upon a time, among the thickets of Kenwood Towne Centre and Sycamore Plaza, there arose Kenwood Towne Place, a brand-new retail sprawl that would forever put to rest any thought of available parking spaces for miles around. Sadly, economic and legal issues stopped its construction in 2009. Without itemizing the many dollars, accusations, and indictments involved, let’s just say that a lot of lawyers were kept very busy.

Three stores (Crate & Barrel, the Container Store, and Mitchell’s Salon & Day Spa) held out for five lonely years, and ultimately received their salvation from a knight in shining capital investment. The mall, now known as Kenwood Collection, was not completely up to speed for the 2016 holiday retail season, but several famous-name outlets have opened (see: L.L. Bean), and more will soon. The companion office tower is close to full occupancy. It all looks like a happy ending, though The Doctor has one suggestion—that the mall’s new name should honor today’s trends with a slight change: Kenwoode Collectione.

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