Salt Lake City – September 2022 – Utah State Capitol

The Utah State Capitol sits on the aptly named Capitol Hill above downtown Salt Lake City. Completed in 1916 it’s style is similar to most of the state capitol buildings in the U.S.

As always this posting is not meant to document all the features of the building, rather to reflect on some of the more photogenic views.

The lions guarding the side of the building were originally made out of concrete, but were replaced during a 4 year overall capitol restoration project ending in 2008. They are now made out of Italian marble, and were completed by Nick Fairplay.

This glass window features the ubiquitous Utah beehive. The beehive symbolizes the belief that the community works together as a whole to improve life for all.

One of the two grand marble staircases. Each staircase has a massive mural depicting the mormon settlement of Utah.

The rotunda ceiling. When the building was first completed the rotunda remained unfinished for 20 years until the cyclorama was completed in 1934.

The artwork around the rotunda was completed at the same time.

This bust is of the native Ute hunter and fur trader Unca Sam.

Nearby is a bust of Ute leader John Duncan.

Noted Utah inventor Philo T Farnsworth is also featured on the 4th floor gallery. Among his many discoveries Farnsworth is credited with inventing the first complete television.

Also from the 4th floor many of the details visible.

Provo, Utah – September 2022 – Signs, Signs Everywhere There’s Signs

Like most cities Provo, Utah has a sign ordnance dictating the size and placements of advertising signs. Fortunately the Lakeside Storage Facility is either not in the city of Provo, or has an exemption as they have an amazing collection of petroliana (items relating to the gasoline industry).

We happened upon this place just after they opened their office for the day. The young lady in the office said that we could walk around all we like!

But it is not just signs they have….

There are multiple small airplanes on top of the storage units.

Most of the signs date from the 1940s through the 1970s, in various states of condition.

A few old cars and trucks are included in the collection.

They have another area across the road with more signs, but it was under construction and off limits. Still – who can resist Elvis and Marilyn on a flatbed truck outside the gate.

The Lakeside Storage and Sign Museum on the west side of Provo, Utah is one of those funky places that is a must for me!

Circleville, Utah – September 2022 – Butch Cassidy’s Boyhood Home

The small town of Circleville, Utah has the claim to fame of being the boyhood hometown of Butch Cassidy.

They celebrate this fact by maintaining his boyhood home.

Butch lived here under his birth name of Robert Leroy Parker from the age of 13 until he was 18, when he started working at the nearby Jim Marshall Ranch. It was here he met Mike Cassidy, who taught him (among other things) how to handle horses and guns. The rest, as they say, is history.

The farm has a collection of old implements that post date the time Butch would’ve lived there.

The valley the cabin is located is very scenic.

Butch Cassidy’s boyhood home is not something most people would make a destination, but if you are passing by it is worth the stop to stretch your legs and check out a bit of Utah history.

Rimrock, Arizona – September 2022 – V Bar V Petroglyphs

The Verde Valley has a number of ancient Native America sites including the incorrectly named Montezuma’s Castle and Well. Not far from these is a collection of over 1000 petroglyphs at a site known as V Bar V Heritage Site.

The area was home to the Sinagua (yet another European assignment of a name – in this case it is Spanish for Without Water). While many of the meanings to some of the symbols have been lost to time, today’s Hopi can interpret most, including sun dials to track the seasons, various activities, animals and events.

The Sinagua were both hunter gatherers as well as sustaining an agricultural environment, hence the symbols.

The lichen has taken over many of the petroglyphs, forever changing them. Attempts were made in the past to clean the lichen off but it destroyed the petroglyphs underneath.

This image from 100 years ago shows how much cleared the petroglyphs were.

V Bar V Heritage Site is a great place to see a large collection of petroglyphs, and the staff and volunteers at the site do a great job explaining the meanings of them.

Across North and South America – The Depot Tour Continues

A few years worth of depot and station photos have been added, resulting in a very long posting.

Boise, Idaho – No longer used as a station.

Spokane, Washington – Just the clocktower remains from the Great Northern Station.

Missoula, Montana

Wichita, Kansas – The old passenger terminal and the freight station are side by side.

Kansas City, Missouri

Clifton, Arizona

Tucson – Not only does Amtrak stop in Tucson, it does so at this classic building.

Phoenix – Unfortunately there is no passenger rail service in Phoenix, so the building is locked away.

Abilene, Texas

Brooklyn, New York – Brighton Beach Station on the historic car day

San Isidro, Argentina – There are two stations here, one is on the more touristy Coastal Route

The main San Isidro station is on the Tigre-Retiro Line.

Tigre, Argentina

Buenos Aires

Retiro Train Station

Concepcion Train Station

Once Train Station

A Sampling of Subway Stations

For more detailed looks check out these postings.

Toronto – Streetcars

Depot in rail museum

Hamilton, Ontario – GO Station

Brooklyn, New York – MTA Museum. A former subway station (Court Street) is now the MTA Museum with a number of historic cars. The coolest subway platform in town.

Galveston, Texas – Santa Fe Railroad Station and Office Buildings. Now a rail museum.

New Orleans – The St Charles Streetcar

Washington – Union Station

Chicago – Union Station

Chicago El Stations

Howard El Station – Vintage Train waiting to take us to the Skokie CTA Shops

Washington/Wabash

Quincy – Dating from 1897, the Quincy Station has been left fairly intact to original.

Pittsburgh – Penn Station

Manhattan – City Hall Station, Built 1904, Abandoned 1946.

Manhattan – PATH station in the World Trade Center Oculus.

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The train to Hoboken

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Hoboken Terminal

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Jersey City – New Jersey Transit Light Rail – Newport Station

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Urbana, Ohio

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Columbus – near German Village – The High Street Streetcar Line Car House. Very nicely restored as a banquet facility.

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On this Sunday morning they were setting up for something – so the door was open 🙂

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Berea, Ohio Depot – Now a restaurant and tavern.

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The Berea Depot sits along two major rail lines, and the parking lot had a number of die hard Railfans hanging out to watch the freight trains go blowing by.  Apparently this spot in the best spot east of Chicago for those type of activities.

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While in nearby Olmstead Falls is a small depot that was also once located next door in Berea.

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It is part of a railroad themed shopping and entertainment complex.

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Elyria, Ohio is a medium sized city, so they had a larger station. It too has recently been restored.

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The Elyria station features some nice architectural touches.

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Amherst, Ohio Depot.

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As with many others it too is a community center.

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Oberlin, Ohio is home to to Oberlin College – the oldest co-educational college in America, and second oldest in the world.  It continues to be one of the highest ranked liberal arts colleges in America – in this tiny little northern Ohio town!

Their train depot is located in a small park.

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It is nice to see how many towns have retained these historic buildings.

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Just down the road in Wellington is the Lorain and West Virginia Railway Museum. While situated along the tracks, this depot was moved to the site.

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The museum offers rail excursions.

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The little town of New London, Ohio has a tiny little depot that has been moved to a local park.

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Our last stop of the day was in Galion, Ohio. We came upon this great Queen Anne style station that was open for a ‘Doors Open’ event.

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The station’s interior needs some work,  but it is standing and seemingly solid.

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The stone and brick building still features much of the canopy for waiting passengers.

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This station was home to the ‘Big Four’ railroad – that connected Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus & St Louis (they must have skipped Indiana).

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Outville, Ohio

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Johnstown, Ohio.

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On our Labor Day weekend throughout the Midwest we visit a few stations that were along the way.

Battle Creek, Michigan

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Three Oaks, Michigan – It is now an upscale clothing store in a tiny little tourist town.

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Ada, Ohio

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Forest, Ohio

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Chicago – Union Station (Interiors)

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Buffalo Central Terminal – There is a dedicated posting for this amazing station

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Jersey City – This station is at the dock for the ferries to the Statue of Liberty. Currently unused, it appears to be being restored as part of Liberty State Park

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Portland, Oregon

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St Louis – Union Station. Now a hotel and a shopping mall

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Philadelphia – 30th Street Station

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Boston – South Station

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Denver – Union Station. I understand it has been restored since this photo was taken.

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New York – Grand Central Terminal. I have amazingly few photos of this great terminal despite having been in and out of there numerous times.

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Pittsburgh – Pennsylvania Station. Now luxury apartments.

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The Amtrak station is connected, but in an ugly little building near the lower level

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Greensburg, Pennsylvania

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Latrobe, Pennsylvania

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Dennison, Ohio – This nice little station has been restored into a museum.

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Scranton, Pennsylvania – Steamtown National Historic Park has a great roundhouse that serves as the museum.

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Also in Scranton is an old station.

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Canon City, Colorado – The spectacular Royal Gorge Scenic Railroad station.

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Greeley, Colorado – Centennial Village Union Pacific Depot

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Bowling Green, Ohio Depot – now located at Dayton’s Carillon Park

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Glendale, Ohio – Now serves at the Visitor Center

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Dearborn, Michigan – Greenfield Village at the Henry Ford Museum.

A roundhouse

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Thurmond, West Virginia – Located in the New River Gorge National Park.

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Ironwood, Michigan

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Superior, Wisconsin

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Fargo, North Dakota

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Nelsonville, Ohio – Home of the Hocking Valley Scenic Railroad

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Elmore, Ohio – Another visitor center

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Bellville Depot – It has been restored and is now a rest stop along a ‘rails to trails’ path.

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A stylish clock is on the other side of the path, facing a great looking bridge.

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The overall scene of the Bellville depot.

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The town of Mt Vernon has two passenger depots and a former freight building. The first building was a Baltimore & Ohio depot.

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It actually sits along active tracks.

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Used by the local community development organization, it is beautifully restored inside and out.

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The second station, just a few blocks away is restored as well.

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A passenger station for the Pennsylvania Railroad, it closely resembles the B &O station. If you have ever wondered why some towns have ‘Union Stations’ it is because of this, why have 2 stations – have a ‘union’ of railroads and build one.

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The tracks here have been converted to a rails to trails as well.

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The interior is fantastic.

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Even the heating radiators are stylish.

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We arrived at Granville in the pouring down rain, so I took a couple photos out the car window. As with many of the others, it is a stop on a rails to trails.

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Leaving the rain we stopped in the tiny town of Alexandria, where the station has been moved a mile or so from it’s original location to a parking lot of a business.

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The next day we headed to western Ohio to the town of South Charleston. This depot had the best of both worlds, it was on a bike trail going one way and an active track going the other way.

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Across the tracks was a park with a couple of cabooses.

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The small city of London, Ohio was our next stop.

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The station here was along unused tracks, and appears to be owned by a club. The building appears to have been restored, but the area around the building is a bit shabby.

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As with most of the medium size stations there is some character to the architecture.

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I had read that a depot from the southern Ohio town of Bainbridge had been moved to a place called Greene’s Museum Village, but when we found it, the place looked overgrown and someplace I didn’t want to go knock on a door – so a photo from across the corn fields sufficed.

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Finally back in Columbus we unexpectedly passed by some remnants of the streetcar years. This unused building is just north of downtown and was the business offices for the streetcar company.

A streetcar barn had been located across the street but has been torn down years ago.

I can’t believe someone hasn’t restored this great building.

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On the east side of Columbus, near Franklin Park is the Kelton Avenue streetcar barn. Actually this is the repair shop, the storage barns have been torn down here as well.

I have added the rest of the streetcar remnants to my list of places to go see, so stay tuned for more in the future.

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The Brice Station served a small town just east of Columbus, now it is part of an events center on the northwest side of town.

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We were lucky enough to meet a Reverend who was getting ready for his Sunday morning services. He was more than happy to let us look around the nicely restored station.

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In the back they have a dining car, that still functions as a dining car – it just doesn’t move.

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The counter is a work of art.

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Our next stop is owned by the same people, only located across town. It is called the Golf Depot, and serves as the restaurant and clubhouse for the golf course.

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I was immediately impressed with the views. Central Ohio is very flat and I was surprised that we were on a small rise, with a skyline view and a view of the nearby airport.

Where did this hill come from you ask? It was a huge landfill/garbage dump that they have re-purposed into this golf course. As with the last depot, the train never stopped here, since there were never any tracks anywhere close to here.

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They do celebrate their rail history with a mural.

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The depot was moved in tact and placed on the course.

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The restaurant has all of the original wood.

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We were having such good luck finding great little depots we headed 30 miles away to the small town of Sunbury, Ohio. I had read they too had a station, and a model train exhibit inside. Unfortunately the station was covered in some hideous faux shake shingles.

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It was located where the tracks were, but are now gone. In it’s place is a very nice rails to trails path. I was disappointed in the depot, but the hike made up for it.

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We continued back toward the city by stopping in the small city of Delaware, Ohio where the list said there were 2 stations very close to each other. The list was correct, there was this small wooden depot.

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Mostly hidden behind barbed wire fence.

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And a larger one across the tracks.

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That had warning signs of the hazardous conditions. So much for our good luck with finding cool little depots this day.

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This small depot is located the Mad River and Nickel Plate Railroad Museum in Bellevue, Ohio.

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The small station serves as a display area for the museum.

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Bucyrus, Ohio is currently restoring their fine brick station.

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We are looking forward to a return visit when it is completed.

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Newark’s is already restored and serves as an office for a local business.

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While a nearby mural celebrates their rail history.

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The small town of Canal Winchester (so named because the Ohio and Erie canal went through the town before the railroads) has two stations – this one if for the Interurbans (regional trains).

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It serves as a community center.

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On the other side of town is a small depot for the mainline trains.

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A small museum resides inside.

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With a couple of restored cars outside.

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The Marion station is one of the nicer ones. The exterior is in great shape, and the interior is not bad. A local rail fan club maintains the building.

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Marion is located near multiple main freight lines and attract numerous rail fans.

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The building has a classic look.

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The nearby control tower oversees the activities.

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In a Lima part there is a small depot called Lincoln Park. This small depot was located in a nearby town and moved to the park as part of the rail display.

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It currently serves as offices for the park.

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The Franklin County Fairgrounds is the home of the Hilliard Depot.

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The National Road is more famous for automobile traffic, but this little depot served interurbans that eventually lost out to the cars.

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Another small depot in the town of Pickerington.

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Our last couple are more impressive stations. The Columbus and Toledo station on the near west side of Columbus is a great building with a pagoda look.

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With the main Columbus station gone, it is fantastic that this one survived.

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It currently serves as a union hall, but they rent it out for weddings and other events.

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Finally – Cincinnati Union Terminal.

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On of the best domes in the world, it is mostly used for a number of museums that make their home there.

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But Amtrak does use a portion of the building.

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Easily one of the best train stations in America, the woodwork is stunning.

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Art deco at it’s finest. My plan is to update this posting as we visit more depots and stations around Ohio.

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Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona – May 2022 – Thousands of Years of History in an Amazing Setting

According to the National Park Service documents the Canyon de Chelly contains over 2500 archeological sites dating from 1500 BC to 1350 AD.

Among these are numerous cliff dwellings dating from 1100, built by the Anasazi.

Today the canyon is located in the Navajo Nation. While you can tour the area from the rim, the best way to see and appreciate the area is to take a guided tour with one of the local Navajo guides, which is what we did.

Our tour guide Sylvia took us on a 3 hour jeep tour of much of the canyon. Having grown up in the canyon, she was a fantastic guide, pointing out not only the historic features of the cliff dwellings and the petroglyphs, she added insight into life in the canyon from a first person perspective (even showing us her cows!)

The White House ruins is one of the more famous, and most complete. While the walls of the canyon rise as high as 1000′ the deeper you go in, the walls here are around 500′ high.

After completing our tour of the canyon floor, we drove around both the north and south rim.

The most noteworthy view is Spider Rock, rising 800′ above the canyon floor. Named for the mythical lair of Spider Woman, it is a sacred Navajo place.

From above the views of the canyon floor is impressive.

Akron – May 2021 – Attention to Architectural Detail

With the invention of the production line for the automobile a few cities grew at a tremendous rate between 1910 and 1920. Akron, home of the rubber companies, was one of those. In 1910 there were less than 70,000 people in the city, by 1920 it had tripled to over 200,000, with an additional increase of 50,000 by the 1930 census.

As a result there is a plethora of architecture from the era.

Our first stop is a great apartment building in the Highland Square neighborhood, dating from 1927. The neighborhood is very eclectic, with a great collection of shops and cafes.

The Polsky Building was one of two major downtown department stores, serving shoppers from 1930 until it closed in 1978. This art deco masterpiece was famous for the Christmas displays in their windows.

Today the University of Akron owns the building, using it for classrooms, with the art students using those same windows for displays.

The Mayflower Hotel was for many years the place to be in downtown Akron. For it’s opening in 1931 roses were dropped from airships (blimps) onto the roof of the Zeppelin Observation on the roof of the hotel.

While the hotel itself was named after the famed ship that brought pilgrims to the new world, the restaurant was Hawaiian themed.

Not long after it opened it was the location of the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous in 1935.

The Rubber Room paid homage to the primary industry of the city by having nearly all the fixtures made out of rubber. Note the ‘tire lights’ in this period photo (found on pintrest). Sadly the great murals were lost during a remodeling in the 1980s.

The hotel has for the last few decades been a senior citizen home. Today it is going through another remodel, but will remain affordable senior housing.

The ATT Building (Ohio Bell) continues the Art Deco trend as Akron boomed in the 1920s and 1930s. Much like the Cincinnati Bell building seen on our visit to the Queen City, this building was designed to support the massive switching equipment needed for the telephone service of a large city.

Examples of this design include enhanced ventilation to keep the equipment cool, and a four foot thick concrete pad as a floating foundation.

The vertical lines of the exterior make this 7 floor building seem much taller, while providing the traditional art deco attention to detail.

The Akron YMCA was founded in 1870, but didn’t have their own building until 1904. When that building was outgrown, they built this 200′ tall, 17 floor building.

It is unique in that is set a few blocks away from the rest of the downtown buildings, and it is in an orange-ish brick instead of the stone art deco look of it’s time, but does retain the art deco styling.

Akron is likely one of the few cities that the tallest building in town dating from the 1930s, the Huntington Tower. Opened in 1931 as the Central Depositors Bank and Trust Company Building, it has been renamed numerous times, always after a bank.

This classic limestone exterior rises 28 floors above the street now named for basketball star LeBron James (King James Way). This height allows it to serve as a falcon nesting space.

The Cleveland based architects of Walker & Weeks also designed Severance Hall and Cleveland Public Hall.

The sculpture that is above the main entrance is known as ‘Security’, emphasizing the banking background.

A look around the South Main Street historic district at a few of the other buildings in the neighborhood. While there are a few taller buildings dating from the 1960s and 1970s, the newest being from 1976, most are from the 1920s and 1930s, including 11 of the 18 buildings at least 100′ tall.

As previously noted Akron has been since the early days of automobiles the home of tire production. One of the four largest tire producers in the world, Goodyear, remains in the city.

One of their primary buildings is Goodyear Hall. Located about 2 miles east of downtown, this massive 7 floor structure takes up an entire block. Constructed over 3 years, it opened in 1920.

At one time this building housed an auditorium with over 1600 seats, gymnasium with 5000 seats, bowling alley, rifle range, and a cafeteria that served over 8000 people a day. Much of the building has been redeveloped into apartments, with the theater still in tact and in use, as well as the gymnasium (albeit with less seats).

Mill Street Bridge connects the main University of Akron campus to downtown. It is lined with some reliefs honoring Akron history, and from this vantage point offers a view of the aforementioned Huntington Tower.

Akron has a nice collection of government buildings including the historic post office, library and county building.

While Goodyear is the center of life on the east end of town, Firestone was the mainstay of the south end. While there is still some Bridgestone/Firetsone facilities in the area, it is a shell of what it once was as the headquarters relocated to Nashville years ago.

The Selle Generator Works building at the south end of downtown is also on the historic registry. One of the few structures dating prior to 1900, it is the remaining building of a much larger complex.

Today it is known as the Haunted Labratory, this great looking art deco building next to Fulton Airport, and the Airdock was the Guggenheim Airship Institute.

Founded in 1929 by Daniel Guggenheim was founded to aid in the study of improving all aspects of airship, including aerodynamics, meteorology, and others. The building also housed a vertical wind tunnel, capable of wind speeds of up to 125 mph.

The last photo is of a relief on the back of the building of an angel holding an airship (photo from Akron Beacon Journal – I failed to go the back of the building, but it is too cool to leave out – next time I will walk around the building!)

This art deco terminal was built for aviation, but not airplanes. This being Akron, it was built in anticipation of the expansion of airship passengers. Today it serves as an office building for a medical equipment company.

It was designed by the same person, Michel Konarski, that designed the Guggenheim Airship Institute just up the street.

Our final stop on the way home was in the small city of Wooster for a quick look at the very fine Wayne County Courthouse.

Cincinnati – May 2021 – Architecture

The Cincinnati architecture tour starts with a view of the historic City Hall. This impressive Romanesque building dates from 1893, after taking 5 years to build. The design was intended on reflecting the taste of the German descended majority of the population of the city at the time.

The Cincinnati Fire Museum (back side). Dating from 1907, the building is on the National Register.

The Plum Street Temple (now known as the Isaac Wise Temple), was built in 1865, with construction occurring during the Civil War. As with City Hall, which is caddy-corner from the temple, it is built in a style (Byzantine Moorish) that was popular in Germany at the time.

With World War II, all the temples in Germany in this style were destroyed, leaving only this and one in New York City in this style.

The Cincinnati and Suburban Telephone Company Building – This art deco building was completed in 1930.

Note the frieze – it is a series of rotary phones.

One interesting note, in the 1930s it contained the worlds longest straight switchboard (photo from Cincinnati Enquirer article). The floors were built at an unusually tall for the time 12′ high to support the equipment.

The western end of Garfield Place has a number of interesting structures.

The red brick building is the 1891 Waldo Apartments. The designer, Samuel Hannaford, also designed the Music Hall, nearby City Hall, and the Hooper Building.

The Covenant First Presbyterian Church is another late 1800s religious building. Both the church and the Waldo are on the National Registry.

William Henry Harrison is overlooking the entire scene. The statue’s statement of ‘Ohio’s first President’ is a bit of a controversy, as Harrison was born in Virginia, but elected from Ohio.

The Doctors Building is just down the block, on the south side of Piatt Park. The building has an impressive terracotta façade, while the construction itself is brick and concrete.

The east end of Piatt Park has a wider view of the Doctor’s Building on the left, as well as a statue of James Garfield.

The Garfield statue was commissioned just 2 years after he died, finally being unveiled in 1887.

Tucked in what is essentially an alley, the Cincinnati Gymnasium and Athletic Club dates from 1902. The club claims to be the oldest continuously running athletic club in the country, including Rutherford Hayes once being a member and president of the club.

In a controversial move the club would hold basketball games against other clubs, charging an admission and sharing the proceeds, thus making them ‘professional athletes’ in a time where that was frowned upon.

The Second Renaissance Revival Building was named to the National Registry in 1983.

The former Shillito’s Department Store building is unique in that the front and one side is very Art Deco in style, but the back is a far more traditional look.

TV fans of the 1970s will recognize this building as the home of ‘WKRP in Cincinnati’. In reality it was the home of the Cincinnati Enquirer newspaper.

This limestone building was opened in 1926. Today it is home to a couple of hotels.

Cincinnati was clearly a boom town in the 1920s, as yet another of the classic buildings, the Taft Theater, opened in 1928. This art deco hall seats 2,500, and is used for touring Broadway shows and concerts.

The John Roebling Bridge is one of the highlights of the city. When completed in 1866 it was the longest suspension bridge in the world, at 1057′. This was supplanted by his more famous Brooklyn Bridge in 1883.

A mix of old and new – the St Louis Church. Another 1930s building, it’s location at Walnut and East 8th Street is located along the new Cincinnati Streetcar route. Ironically the streetcars that would’ve been there when the church was built was torn out in the 1950s, only to be replaced by this new system costing $148m.

Just down the street, and a few decades before, streetcars ran everywhere. (photo from Wikipedia – ‘Metro Bus’). If only they had left the tracks.

Easily the best (in my opinion) is Cincinnati Union Terminal. Once a grand train station (still a small Amtrak station), it is now a museum center.

The building is known as the second largest half dome building in the world, after the Sydney Opera House.

Two landmarks for one – Fountain Square and the Carew Tower.

Fountain Square has been the center of the city since it was installed in 1871. The fountain’s name is ‘The Genius of Water’.

The Carew Tower was the tallest building in the city from it’s opening in 1930 until it was surpassed by the Great American Tower in 2010. While the interior is very ornate, the exterior is a very basic approach towards art deco.

Our tour complete it is time to get out of town at the 1937 Lunken Airport Terminal.