A look back at Findlay Market several decades ago. The photos appear to have been taken at two different times, perhaps in the 1960s and 70s. The following interesting images were found in the University of Cincinnati’s Digital Collections. Hat tip to the Digging Cincinnati History facebook page for sharing one of these photos recently.
Findlay Market celebrated its ninth annual Mardi Gras this weekend. Unlike Mardi Gras on Bourbon Street in New Orleans, Findlay Market’s celebration is a family-friendly affair. If you’re looking for a display of drunken debauchery and licentiousness, look somewhere else (perhaps Bockfest?). Mardi Gras is one of the Market’s busiest days of the year and certainly of the winter season.
Findlay Market is known as “the most diverse spot” in Cincinnati. It is a gathering place for people of every stripe and sensibility. It is a place to shop or meet someone for a date. The latter was the case for the hapless fellow in the photo. This past Friday night the brazen young man asked 30 different ladies to meet him at Findlay Market for a date – all scheduled for the same time. Perhaps sensing his insincerity, the members of the fairer sex did not show up. May this serve as a warning to pranksters everywhere: beware, the joke may end up on you.
The old Crown Furniture Company building has a new lease on life. Now known as Crown OTR, the building at 1739 Elm Street is located on the streetcar line and directly across the street from Findlay Market. Crown OTR’s facebook page describes itself as “One family’s personal journey through their contribution to the revitilization of a historic neighborhood.”
Here is owner Kim Starbuck voicing her support for the streetcar and OTR:
Editor’s note: This post tells the story of a mysterious John Breiner ghost tile found near Findlay Market and was originally published on the always enlightening VisuaLingual blog. VisuaLingual originally posted the photo and by power of the internet was contacted by a descendant of John Breiner. VisuaLingual is a design studio based in Over-the-Rhine with an emphasis on all things place-based – from seed bombs and vintage typography tea towels to street grid coasters and building footprint neck ties. Learn more about VisuaLingual here and shop its Etsy store here.
John Breiner was born in Austria-Hungary in 1880. He was a tailor by trade. With his wife Anna and their young daughter Frances, he came to the US in 1904, settling in Over-the-Rhine. By 1915, the family was living above Breiner’s Dry Goods, their store at 126 Elder St. between Race and Elm, shown here.
Here’s a photo of John Breiner standing in front of his store. According to his grandson, “He sold the first Victrola Record player in Cincinnati and became very wealthy before the Great Depression.”
After Frances, John and Anna had two more children: Gladys and John M. When John passed away in 1941, Anna and Gladys took over the running of the store until it closed in 1957, a year after Anna’s death.
In the words of John Breiner’s grandson, “He helped thousands of immigrants from the Austro-Hungarian empire (Austria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and other Eastern European nations) settle in the Over the Rhine area by speaking 7 different languages fluently. Many children were named after grandpa (John or Johann) in honor of him helping them.”
As evidenced in Gladys’ obituary below, after World War II, she also “worked with her mother, Anna Breiner, to help hundreds of immigrants from the former Austro-Hungarian empire settle in the Over-the-Rhine area [...] Mrs. Deak helped the immigrants by finding shelter, mailing packages to Europe, providing moral and financial support.”
Now you know a little more about the man behind the name in tile. The preservation (or at least cleaning) of Over-the-Rhine’s tile work seems like an arduous and rewarding endeavor for those interested in preservation action… Much as Taste of Belgium did at its Bistro location at 12th and Vine (photos here and here)