Friday, September 7, 2007
The House that Radio Built
(Note: Larger photo to come.)
If you start reading summaries of attractions in cities across the United States, you'll find them peppered with millionaires' mansions. That is, mansions that were built back when having a million bucks meant something, from the birth of the nation through the 1960s. Just about every good-sized city has its _____ Mansion or ______ Estate, often more than one.
There are several such in Cincinnati, including the Fleischmann estate, but one in particular went without notice for decades: the Crosley Mansion, Pinecroft. Pinecroft sits on the grounds of Cincinnati's Franciscan Mercy Hospital, outside College Hill. The 73 acres surrounding it and now home to the hospital originally included a working farm (with a house for the tenent famer), Powel Crosley's daughter's home (vacated after he died in 1961), tennis courts, a large swimming pool, gatehouse, and a variety of garages and other outbuildings. Lots of stained glass windows--even in the basement--and a monkey wearing headphones, mounted on the main staircase newel post.
When I began researching CROSLEY: Two Brothers and a Business Empire that Transformed the Nation in earnest in 2000, I had already been on the grounds of the mansion several times, and found it fascinating. I'll talk about the interior in a later post, but here's a photo of the main part of the mansion. Not shown to the left is a small wing that ties into an open, walled outdoor party area with a stone gazebo. To the right is a larger wing that contains an immense kitchen, dining area, two of the many garages, and other rooms. The house boasts two walk-in safes--one for booze, as it was built in 1927 during Prohibition.
Photo © Copyright 2007, Michael A. Banks