Friday, November 21, 2014

Origins of UC - Cincinnati College

I came across this picture today which led me to wonder just where this building once stood.
Cincinnati College Edifice.
Doolittle & Munson. Woodcut. 3&13/16 x 5 in (9.68 x 12.70 cm). Youth's Magazine 2, no. 23 (September 2, 1836), p. [353]. Cincinnati Historical Society Library.
This building was located on the east side of Walnut Street, just north of Fourth Street, according to this map from 1838, by Joseph Gest and William Haviland.

Here are pages from the Cincinnati Directory Advertiser from 1836-37 describing the college:

In 1918, Cincinnati College merged with the University of Cincinnati, which was chartered by the Ohio legislature in 1870. In 1893, the university moved to its present location, which was originally part of Burnet Woods.


  1. A good summary. The history of the building - or, rather, the building site, because there have been four buildings, is quite interesting. The building pictured was not built for the Cincinnati College. It was built in 1815 for a school called the Lancastrian Seminary. This was a sort of grade school/high school that was largely defunct by 1819 when Cincinnati College was founded and took over half (and later most) of the building. What was left was used by the Western Museum, which is today known as the Cincinnati Museum of Natural History. The building you picture here burned in 1845. (The college was largely defunct by then; only the Law School was operational.) The building was rebuilt with a $10,000 investment by the Young Men's Mercantile Library Association in exchange for a nearly perpetual (10,000 year) lease. The 1845 building burned in 1869, and was again rebuilt by the Mercantile Library. In 1903, the Mercantile Library demolished the 1869 building, evicted the Law School (which moved to 9th Street) and built the present building - the fourth on that site. (More here: ) I am a great fan of your blog!

    1. Good Heavens, Mr. Hand. I want you (and Ann has helped me in my research..) on my 'where are those buildings?' when I do even more research on the 1843 Cincinnati hand-written journal I own. I recently had an article in the Enquirer about it. Yes, the building of topic in Ann's post is in the journal, if College Hall is what it was I believe called. The teachers and board members are also mentioned as house guests in the journal. Thank you very much for this complete history of the roots of Cincinnati College, and the most interesting Western Museum. Thank you.