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Growing Up In Greater Cincinnati

Cincinnati In Motion

Public Landing and downtown Cincinnati, Oh

This amazing scene is what you see as you enter the Cincinnati in Motion exhibit.
There is more here to see than one can take in at a glance, much less with a camera.

I had wanted to see the Cincinnati In Motion exhibit for several years since I heard about it, but had not had the time to do it on previous visits home to my family in Northern Kentucky. A visit to this exhibit for me was like taking a trip down memory lane. Come along with me, I will show you around.

Exhibit Features

I would like to start our tour at the public landing because this is the first area that one would encounter as you cross one of the bridges from my home in Northern Kentucky into Cincinnati, Ohio.

With the exception of "The Trains", "Lighting Effects" and the link to the "Cincinnati History Museum", the first three rows of links in the table below are geographically relative to each other.  For example the "Cincinnati Zoo" is the Northern most exhibit and the "Public Landing" is to the south.

The Trains Cincinnati Zoo Lighting Effects
The West Side Downtown The East Side
Cincinnati History Museum Public Landing Up The Ohio River
Cincinnati In motion
The streetcar tour video in neat.
Home Return to S Home

The Public Landing

The Steamboat Island Queen at Cincinnati's public landing
The Steamboat Island Queen at Cincinnati's
public landing

The Public landing was an area that was paved with cobble stone paving bricks that ran from the river's edge up to the first street where the train is in the picture at the lower left.  The area was used as a large parking lot for people who would board the steam boat, Island Queen, for a trip up river to Coney Island or free parking for the shopping district up on Fourth Street.  Sometimes other steamboats such as the Delta Queen or the Avalon (now the Belle of Louisville) would stop at the public landing.

The seeds for the  decline of downtown shopping all across America are well illustrated here.  Basically you had four choices where parking was concerned. 

  1. Catch a street car or bus into the city and avoid the parking problem all together.
  2. Use valet parking at the Carew Tower which was very expensive.
  3. Feed nickels to the parking meter, and watch the clock or pay a hefty parking ticket.  Worse yet your car may be towed away if the meter expired before you returned.
  4. Use free parking at the public landing and hike six to eight blocks all uphill.  In this case you had best have been well rested because you would be tired before you began to shop up on Fourth Street.

Most of the time my family used the first option above and my father would pick us up after work at a prearranged time and location on Forth Street near the department stores.


Roebing Suspension Bridge and the public landing
The public landing is the area at the right edge of the picture between the river's edge and the first street.
The department stores were in or near the Carew Tower, the large buff colored building in the upper left corner of the picture.

The Cincinnati Zoo

The Gate House at the Cincinati Zoo
The Cincinnati Zoo
Gate House
Start of Elephant House construction
The beginning of construction of the Elephant House is shown near the right edge of the picture.
The Monkey House
The Cincinnati Zoo
Monkey House


The Cincinnati Zoo is the second oldest in the country.  It has always been rated as one of the finest.

There is also an amphitheater on the campus.  My earliest memories of visits to the zoo are when my parents took me to see a few operatic performances at the amphitheater.

There is also a miniature sightseeing train that makes a loop around the center of the campus.  The train provides a great way to get an overview of the zoo.

Click this information link for more about the Cincinnati Zoo and its history.