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Welcome to Cincinnati, “the best city in the world” according to an old friend (Mike, are you there?). I can’t really speak to it being the best, as our visit was only a few hours, but this, the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, was pretty snazzy. As our dumb luck would have it, as we were neither looking for cool or interesting, just eager for lunch, we found one special place, and quite important historically, with the majority of the buildings of Italianate Architecture, magnificently intact, and easy on the eyes.

Not the best idea I’ve ever had, but I couldn’t resist the temptation of the Holtman’s doughnut sign. BEFORE lunch. They were still warm!

The hubster going big at Pontiac (no website, sadly). Most excellent barbeque and a super friendly server, always a great combination. In keeping with my healthful doughnut before lunch choice, I noshed on pimento cheese. It was awesome. I do not regret it!

This neighborhood is chockablock with fabulous murals. Wowie!

He thought I was shopping…

Narrow. Very narrow.

Thanks for a terrific afternoon, Cincinnati!

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Friendship Way, 1998

Cork Marcheschi, Neon Sculptor

Zaharakos, largely unchanged since 1900, with stunning woodwork and marble, is the coolest ice cream parlor I have ever visited. Not only do they have delicious treats, a cherry float and hot fudge sundae for us, but they are also a museum dedicated to the mostly lost art of ice cream parlors. Utterly unique and wonderful with super friendly staff, this place is fun for the entire family.

Bartholomew County Courthouse, 1874

Isaac Hodgson, Architect

The Commons pictured in the foreground, 2011

Koetter Kim & Associates, Architects

Bartholomew County Memorial for Veterans, 1997

Thompson and Rose, Architects

Bring a tissue, friends. The monument has excerpts and entire letters written by fallen personnel carved into the stone.

Republic Newspaper, 1971

Myron Goldsmith, Architect

Columbus City Hall, 1981

Edward Charles Bassett, Architect

Bartholomew County Jail, 1990

Don M. Hisaka, Architect

Miller House, 1957

Eero Saarinen, Architect

Dan Kiley, Landscape Architect

Here we are. This is the house that gleefully sent me down the Columbus, Indiana architecture rabbit hole. Beautiful. The only way to see it is to take a tour, and, rather unfortunately, they do not allow any photographs of the interior, so if you would like a glimpse and don’t have time for a journey to Columbus, watch this short video. If you’re still intrigued and would like a more comprehensive look at the house, J. Irwin Miller, and the history of Columbus in regards to its marvelous buildings, here’s another video. As for the house, believe me when I say that it is an awe to behold and well worth the price of admission.

St. Bartholomew Catholic Church, 2002

William Browne, Jr. and Steven R. Ristling, Architects

North Christian Church, 1964

Eero Saarinen

Parkside Elementary School, 1962

Norman Fletcher, Architect

First Baptist Church, 1965

Harry Weese, Architect

After a long day of walking and photographing, and walking and photographing some more, our reward was a beyond delicious meal at the Henry Social Club. Everything was superb. We chatted it up with our neighbors; they shared their bread with us; and we discovered how small the world is when we realized we’d lived near each other decades apart.

Next up, Cincinnati!

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I don’t remember when I fell in love with buildings, the first time I recognized them as objects of beauty and more than places of shelter. However, had I the great privilege of growing up in Columbus, Indiana, I could very likely say, always, for this humble city of 44,000 inhabitants is rather special, architecturally.  For that, I can thank J. Irwin Miller, former president (now deceased) of Cummins Engine. At the ripe old age of twenty-four, he returned to his home town to run the family business. Educated, not in business nor engineering but philosophy, politics, and economics, he had a love for the arts.

It turns out to be a marvelous combination, as he was able to turn the company into a profitable organization and begin hiring some of the best young architects around to design every manner of exquisite building for the town, making it, according to the American Institute of Architects, the sixth most architecturally significant city in America.

I have been wanting to visit for years! So, of course it would be a destination on our first Pittsburgh based road trip. Absolutely. I am thrilled to report that it didn’t disappoint, not in the slightest. If anything, it was more than I could have hoped for. Let me show you…

Red Brick – Cummins Cerealine Building, 1867 now part of

Cummins World Headquarters, 1984

Kevin Roche, Architect

Jack Curtis, Landscape Architect

Our digs at the Hotel Indigo. Napping on the chair is the super sweet and adorable resident pup, Miles. He’s lived at the hotel since he was eight weeks old. Wielding a wacky pillow is the super fun and game for anything hubster.

First Christian Church, 1942

Eliel Saarinen, Architect

Cleo Rogers Memorial Library, 1969

I.M. Pei, Architect

Large Arch Sculpture, 1971

Henry Moore

Original Irwin Home, 1864

St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, 1988

Gunnar Birkerts, Architect

Central Middle School, 2007

Ralph Johnson, Architect

A T & T  Switching Station, 1978

Paul Kennon, Architect

Fire Station No. 1, 1941

Leighton Bowers, Architect

Robert N. Stewart Bridge, 1999

J. Muller International

Chaos I, 1974

Jean Tinguely, Sculptor

Hoping you are as dazzled as I was. More on Friday!

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On our way to Columbus (Indiana, not Ohio) I spied a sign for Bloomington and went into paroxysms of glee. For, though I don’t recall if I have ever mentioned it here, the fine fil-um Breaking Away is among our favorites of all time, and was made in and around Bloomington. So seeing that sign, and taking that 45 minute diversion, was like winning a lottery I never even entered.

We tooled around, looking for places we remembered with fondness and finding other cool sights, too. Bloomington is a great town. We wandered the Indiana University Campus, admiring the beautiful buildings, many of which are made of limestone quarried locally (go Cutters!). We were mistaken for parents, which was fine by us, especially since we’d be super proud of our fictional son or daughter attending such a fine institution. They have an observatory! Any school equipped for serious star-gazing gets the Colleen Sohn stamp of approval. Yessiree.

Oh, and the yummy cupcakes, strawberry and chocolate, were from a most excellent bakery, The Scholars Inn. Do stop in if ever you find yourself in the neighborhood!


Cave Hill Cemetery

The hubster’s Grandparents used to live here.

Hound Dog Press – inky, papery goodness and super nice people!

Let’s disco, y’all!

The Ohio River (which starts in Pittsburgh!)

York, the badass unsung hero of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, though, rather sadly, not actually considered part of the Corps of Discovery because he was a slave. I think it is pretty awesome and quite apropos that his gaze is squarely on the Muhammad Ali Center.

Elvis gave this robe to Ali. The photo in the corner shows him tying the sash. Fantastic!

Shirley Chisholm, painted by Robert Shetterly

One of my favorite women in history! Unbought and Unbossed. She was the first black woman elected to Congress and the first major-party black candidate for President. You betcha!

The Ali Center follows the life of Cassius Clay on his path to becoming Muhammed Ali. It’s also a place of inspiration for young people, honoring civil rights leaders, artists, and boxers, alike, with a focus on personal development. Be great and do great things!

Afternoon snack at Atlantic No. 5

Reading is fundamental…

Gina Phillips

Norbert Brunner

Anne Peabody

Virgil Marti

Jose Toirac

Ned Kahn

The Gina Phillips piece to this one by Ned Kahn are all on display at the 21c Museum Hotel in downtown Louisville. It’s a marvelous space!

So long, Kentucky, we’re off to Indiana…


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