Music Hall Timeline Text

The Music Hall Timeline display is presented on 4' by 8' panels lining the sides of the Central Parkway corridor, covering the history of the building and the musical organizations performing therein, from the origin of the building in 1878 to 1999. A large mural of Music Hall as originally conceived in 1878 is displayed on the east end of the corridor, and is visible to concertgoers as they enter the corridor from the Central Parkway end.

Online, the Timeline is divided into four pages, with each page depicting the subject matter defined in the table below.

  #1: City, Nation & World
  #2: General Music Hall History
  #3: Notable (First) Appearances
  #4: Musical Organization History


Media Coverage of the Opening of the Music Hall Timeline

Cincinnati Enquirer Editorial
September 20, 1999

Music Hall's blah entranceway from Central Parkway finally makes a first impression befitting Cincinnati's elegant music palace. Thanks to a generous grant from the L.& L. Nippert Charitable Foundation, the once pedestrian corridor has been trans formed into a brilliant entrance gallery.

A 125-foot-long color illustrated mural celebrates the historic events and great artists who have appeared at Music Hall. The corridor is now a space where music-lovers and history buffs will want to linger.

It's another example of what makes Cincinnati exceptional. Many volunteers put three years into making it happen, most notably Ashley Ford, who led the project for the Society for the Preservation of Music Hall. Northern Kentucky University historian Suzanne De Luca helped research the images, and Catt Lyon Design, Inc. designed the finished mural. Many sources contributed historic photographs and images: Cincinnati Historical Society, the Public Library, The Cincinnati Enquirer and the archives of Cincinnati's performing arts organizations.

The handsome new entranceway further enhances a one-of-a-kind architectural treasure, added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1975. This latest addition reassures that Cincinnatians generation after generation continue to preserve and update Reuben Springer's 1878 gift to the city. Cincinnati architect Samuel Hannaford's original design is again celebrated and renewed.

Even some veteran music-goers may be surprised by the number of previous renovations, the gifted performers who appeared there or non-musical events held there.

In 1880, the Democrats held their national convention in Music Hall. Cincinnati Tennis Club opened on indoor courts in the South Wing. Thomas Alva Edison was honored at Music Hall in 1929. In 1931, the Society of American Florists held their national flower and garden show there. In the mid-1940s, University of Cincinnati basketball, wrestling and boxing performed in the North Wing.

Performance greats are too numerous to list: from Lily Pons in 1931 and Ezio Pinza in 1933 to Janis Joplin in 1968 and Luciano Pavarotti in 1978 from Richard Strauss in 1904 to Mikhail Baryshnikov in 1987.

Music history is embodied in every inch of the place. The TIMELINE mural just makes it entertainingly explicit.

Cincinnati Enquirer
September 15, 1999

Members of the Society for the Preservation of Music Hall (SPMH) unveiled a 125-foot timeline mural tracing the concert hall's history Tuesday in the renovated Central Parkway entrance gallery. The work is a collage of photographs, graphic designs and materials from the archives of Cincinnati arts organizations, the Cincinnati Historical Society and Music Hall. Dedication honoree Louise Nippert cut the ribbon.

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