Another Sunday, another Ohio city on an art and architecture tour. Today’s tour in Cincinnati emphasizes not only the art, but the setting as well.
The city of Dayton, as with most American cities, have a decent number of murals.
In Dayton it seems they are grouped together by themes.
The riverbank has a large concrete flood wall that has a mural it’s entire length.
Another large collection celebrates Dayton’s history in Funk Music., an R & B mainstay in the 1970s and 1980s.
Not far away is a freeway retaining wall with the history of the Dayton Fire Department.
Todays Drone Tour starts out along the Ohio River at Portsmouth. The first view shows the flood wall covered in murals (later posting revisiting the murals).
The sun was just rising in the east, giving the U.S. Grant Bridge and the Ohio River some interesting lighting.
The Carl Perkins Bridge across the Ohio River, where the Scioto River enters.
The hills in Kentucky with the clouds reflected in the river.
Spartan Stadium was home to the NFL’s Portsmouth Spartans from 1928 until 1933, when the NFL had teams in relatively small cities. The Spartans moved to Detroit and live on to this day as the Detroit Lions.
An overview of the city of Portsmouth. The town has for decades lost population, dropping from a high of 43,000 in 1930 to the current population of 20,000.
The view east
Norfolk Southern Railroad has a large yard along the river in east Portsmouth.
Lake White State Park near Waverly.
The next stop was the city of Chillicothe. This view is of a large paper mill.
The same neighborhood has this large grain elevator. Unfortunately at this time the rain came and the drone became grounded.
Portsmouth easily has one of the best collection of murals in the country. They have taken a massive, ugly concrete flood wall and created almost 1/2 mile of murals celebrating the towns history.
The drone view give an idea of how large they are – this is just a small portion.
The theme of the walls was 2000 years of history in 2000 feet of flood walls. They were created by a team lead by Robert Dafford, a famed mural painter.
Most sections of the wall are 40′ wide x 20′ high. Some, such as the view of Portsmouth in 1903, take up multiple sections.
Some aren’t even on the flood wall, including this mural on the side of the local Kroger Grocery store.
The floodwall not only runs along the river but in places goes inland. One of the inland sections celebrates sports, including the ‘Tour of the Scioto River Valley’, an annual bicycling event that goes the 100 miles from Columbus to Portsmouth, then back.
Another section of the inland wall includes a tribute to the local labor unions.
Another includes Portsmouth’s rich baseball history.
The original U.S Grant bridge is featured on this panel.
For a short time there was an amusement park located in Portsmouth, but it was badly damaged in the 1913 flood.
The shoe industry was one of the major employers in Portsmouth.
Streetcars provided transportation from the late 1800s until 1939.
Government Square was the center of the city in the early 1900s.
The murals are done with fantastic depth.
One of the original NFL teams, the Portsmouth Spartans.
Portsmouth has had a few devastating floods, including 1937.
Chillicothe Street has always been the main commercial street in town.
Industry in Portsmouth.
A close up of the detail of the right panel for industry.
A 3 panel education mural shows various periods.
Situated in southernmost Ohio, the railroads have always been an important part of Portsmouth’s industry.
The Portsmouth Motorcycle Club is the oldest in the world, having been founded in 1893. Obviously it had to be founded as a bicycle club first since the first motorcycle was not invented until 1898.
It was known as the Portsmouth Cycling Club from 1893 until 1913.
This western view would be the actual view if the flood wall was not in the way.
Much like the European settlers later, the Native Americans utilized trails that went through the area. One originated on Lake Erie near Sandusky and went south along the Scioto River to Portsmouth.
The original village was known as Alexandria, but was abandoned due to frequent flooding.
The first European settlers arrived in larger numbers in the early 1800s.
The completion of the Ohio and Erie Canal was a boom to the area.
Built in 1901 this rail station served both Norfolk and Western as well as the Baltimore and Ohio Railroads. It was used until 1931 when an art deco station was completed.
A close up of the Chillicothe Street mural.
The Riverfront in 1903.
The Portsmouth Murals are one of the most impressive art installations in Ohio – well worth a trip.
In the 1800s Springfield was known as the City at the End of the Road, since the National Road ended there. Eventually it was extended and most people kept going, bypassing Springfield. Still it grew into a medium sized city with about 100,000 people in the area.
As with most Ohio cities of this size, the buildings tend to be older; built during Springfield’s heyday. This former church is now a community center.
This mural celebrates Springfield’s entertainment history. It covers the entire 6 floors of the back of the Regent Theater.
The side of the YMCA has another great mural.
The former city hall now houses the Clark County Heritage Center. Completed in 1890 the clock at the top must be adjusted manually during the spring and fall time changes.
Ironically despite the fact it was built to house the clock, it was 34 years before they had an actual working one – prior to the it just had a clock face painted on.
As usual I was on the lookout for ghost signs, this one on a building with a perfectly symmetrical, but sketchy looking, fire escape.
The Clark County Literacy Coalition is located in the former Warder Public Library building. It’s patron was from local industrialist Benjamin Warder in 1890. Warder made his money with the Champion farm machinery company, later becoming International Harvester.
The building is built of Ohio sandstone with Worcester brownstone trim, and a fantastic red slate roof.
The view across the street of St Raphael Church is framed by the main entrance’s archway.
Situated on a small hill, St Raphael is very prominent on the skyline of the city.
It is 156 steps to reach the top of the 184′ tower, but much easier to send the drone up for a closer view.
We leave Springfield with three great advertising signs – two old signs – one ghost signs, one in perfect condition, along with a great Big Boy!
Part 2 of the Mansfield visit features the murals and signs (current and ghost) of the city.
The post office in the nearby town of Mt Gilead has one of the fantastic murals from the WPA program of the 1930s.
The mural tour continues downtown and in Short North and beyond.
James ‘Buster’ Douglas was a heavyweight boxing champion from Columbus. A restaurant in an alley downtown has him taking down Mike Tyson!
Around the corner is a blues bar with a full back wall of murals.
Graffiti on the walls that seems to have itself been graffitied.
In the Short North area nearly every street corner along High Street has a mural or two.
Sideway Mona Lisa in an alley.
The BLM movement has resulted in numerous additions to the collection, with relevant social commentary.
The artist Daniel Rona has many murals throughout the city feature characters with X’s for eyes.
How true – live every day like it is your last!
A retaining wall along Broadway showing the history of the Clintonville neighborhood.
This drive through carry out on Parsons Avenue had an eclectic collection of people, and the used car lot next door’s collection of cars.
Columbus College of Art and Design (CCAD) has an entire alley of fantastic murals.
Next stop – the Milo Grogan neighborhood, and an artist group’s collection.
This food pantry had a nice mural, with the well placed left over paint bucket.
Our final mural is along a gym in Grandview Heights.
In the continuing effort to find subjects and maintain social distancing I have found that there are at least 600 murals scattered across Ohio. This posting will be the first in a series featuring some of these murals.
We start in the Franklinton neighborhood in Columbus. This neighborhood is home to a number of artist groups, but is going through a significant amount of gentrification, so they may be in danger of being priced out.
A few of the first group is in fact from a new residential building’s exterior walls.
Throughout the neighborhood is a mix of old and new, both celebrating the art.
You are in Wisconsin doncha know. Our state tours are coming to an end but there is plenty to see and do in Wisconsin, and beyond.
1947 1953 1966
Madison is the State Capital. The Capitol building dates from 1917.
State Dance – It seems nearly every state has square dancing as the state dance, but not Wisconsin. Let’s play the Beer Barrel Polka
State Pastry – Kringle
Madison is a pretty city situated between two lakes. The state animal, and nickname for the University of Wisconsin sports teams are the Badgers.
Towns and Cities
1940 1967 1972 1983 1997 2001 2003 2008 2017
Milwaukee – Wisconsin’s largest city is a Lake Michigan port city. There are a number of museums and parks along the lakeshore.
Racine is a smaller port city near the Illinois border.
Ashland is located in northern Wisconsin on the shores of Lake Superior.
1948 1958 1969 1987
The Northern Great Lakes visitor center celebrates life on the Great Lakes.
The German culture thrives throughout the state. Beer, brats and cheeseheads! (photos from the internet)
Wisconsin Roads and Attractions
1970 1971 1973 1976 2006 2010 2011 2012 2013
Wisconsin Dells – A popular tourist attraction in south central Wisconsin. While there is natural scenery there is an abundance of man made attractions. (photos from the internet)
Harley Davidson Museum in Milwaukee
Wingspread – A Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece in Racine.
House on the Rock is located in Spring Green. This amazingly quirky structure was built as a result of a feud between a man named Alex Jordan and Frank Lloyd Wright. When Wright told him he wasn’t qualified to build a crate, Jordan set out to build this home.
Many question if this story is true or not, but regardless this place is like nowhere else. It is filled with automated musical instruments, strange collections, circus features including a massive carousel, and many other collections. The highlight is the ‘Infinity Room’, cantilevered out over the valley below.
A Saturday in Tigre…
Murals of the town.
An old car that is not a Ford Falcon (a rarity in Argentina). A classic Peugeot.
The bamboo store.
You can’t spend any time in Tigre without being along a river.
The tourists are coming back from a night on the islands.
A small market of local crafts.
The river is lined with restaurants in the park.
Jet airplanes in the yard? It is the Argentina Naval Museum.
We looked for, but did not find, the Mate Museum – but did see a giant teapot.
And with that it is time to go back to the stylish train station and head out of town.