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Honoring History

The Lytle Park Hotel and
Lytle Park

Cincinnati, Ohio

Welcome to
The Lytle Park Hotel

Once an enclave for Cincinnati's elite, Lytle Park served as the social and cultural center of the Queen City. The park is rising to prominence once again with The Lytle Park Hotel. Born within a classic 1909 building, it is artfully intertwined with the park and all that lives outside its front door. The city of Cincinnati, and particularly the area surrounding The Lytle Park Hotel, is rich with history and steeped in the tradition of our bustling river town.
 
We welcome you to our Cincinnati and encourage you to explore the beautiful park and our friendly neighborhood. Few other parts of Cincinnati can match the history that our corner of the city has to offer and, as you stroll around the park, picture yourself back in time.
 
Fort Washington

Fort Washington

To trace the history of Lytle Park and the surrounding historic district is to begin with the founding of Cincinnati itself. Cincinnati was founded in 1788 and originally named Losantiville, meaning "the city opposite the mouth of the (Licking) River." It was home to a village of about 20 cabins and 50 - 100 inhabitants.

 

 

Queen City

Queen City

In 1790, Arthur St. Clair, the governor of the Northwest Territory, renamed the settlement "Cincinnati" in honor of the Society of Cincinnati, of which he was president. In 1811, the introduction of steam navigation on the Ohio River and the completion of the Miami and Erie Canal helped grow the area into an incorporated city in 1819.
 
History Neighborhood

Lytle Park
Neighborhood

The Lytle Park neighborhood comprises just a few square blocks that make up a community of historic heritage. It borders Fourth Street to the north, Lytle Park to the south, Broadway to the west and Pike Street to the east. It is marked with buildings and monuments that tell the tales of the pioneers of old and the modern day. Brick mansions, row houses and an upscale apartment building known as The Phelps were home to some of the city's and the country's elite families, including the Lytle family, the Baums, the Longworths, and the family of William Howard Taft, the 27th President of the United States. The area is on the National Register of Historic Places(8)
 
Iytle Park

Lytle Park

As you step outside the doors of The Lytle Park Hotel, you are greeted by Lytle Park, once known as Lytle Square and named for General William Lytle, first Surveyor-General of the Northwest Territory and the State of Ohio.(6) In the park stands a statue of Abraham Lincoln, a gift from Charles Phelps Taft to commemorate the centenary of Lincoln's birth. The statue, which is one of only a few to feature a beardless young Lincoln, was unveiled by William Howard Taft in 1917 but was not initially well received by Cincinnatians due to the statue's weary portrayal of the man. Lytle Park features many displays depicting historic events that have occurred on this site. The Corporal Merrill Laws Ricketts Marine Corps Memorial is a monument dedicated to the Marines of Hamilton County.
Genera l William Haines Lytle

General William
Haines Lytle

In 1809, a large mansion was built in Lytle Square by General William Henry Lytle, and it became the home of the general and four generations of his descendants.(9) He was the first Surveyor-General of the Northwest Territory and the State of Ohio. The home became a focal point for social gatherings of many prominent visitors.
Taft Museum William Howard Taft

Taft Museum
William Howard Taft

The Taft Museum (316 Pike St.), once the Baum-Longworth-Sinton-Taft Mansion, was originally built around 1820 for Martin Baum, Cincinnati's first banker and manufacturer. This National Historic Landmark is the oldest domestic wooden structure locally, and is considered one of the finest examples of Federal architecture in the Palladian style in the country.
The Phelps Building Charles Phelps Taft

The Phelps Building Charles Phelps Taft

Charles Phelps Taft was educated at Yale and the University of Heidelberg. Though he followed in the Taft family footsteps in law and public service, he also developed the family's involvement in journalism and business. He served one term in Congress and then returned to Cincinnati to manage the newspaper business and the family's vast real estate investments.
Mount Adams

Mount Adams

Perched high above Lytle Park sits a hilltop known as Mount Adams, named after U.S. President John Quincy Adams. Land in the Mount Adams area was owned by Nicholas Longworth during the 1830s and 1840s, and it was used to cultivate the Catawba grapes needed to make Adams' Golden Wedding champagne. Rookwood Pottery, located in Mount Adams, was opened by his granddaughter, Maria, in 1880.
Anna Louise Inn

Anna Louise Inn

In Lytle Park, The Lytle Park Hotel, formerly the Anna Louise Inn (311 Pike St.), is the latest redevelopment in the neighborhood. In the early 1900s, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Phelps Taft donated the site on the corner of Third and Lytle streets and helped provide funding to erect a five-story building with single rooms to accommodate 120 women from rural areas who were coming to Cincinnati to work. The Anna Louise Inn, named after the Tafts' daughter, Anna Louise Taft Semple, opened on Memorial Day 1909. The demand for the rooms was so great that the Tafts donated additional property along Pike Street, and an addition to the inn was completed in 1920.(4) The Earls building located beside the Anna Louise Inn was designed by Dittoe Fahnestock and Ferber and built in 1919 as residences for the rector of Christ Church and the director of the Anna Louise Inn. The two-story neo-Tudor family building was remodeled into office space in 1954 and served as home to the Cincinnati Bar Association at the time. 
 

The American Book Building

Located across the street from The Lytle Park Hotel (300 Pike Street) is The American Book Building. The building was once home to the American Book Company Plant, which most notably served as the printing press for McGuffey Readers children's textbooks. The first McGuffey Reader was published in 1836. In 1901 when the last edition was published, it was estimated that more than 100 million copies of the McGuffey books had been printed. Its sales placed it in the category of the Bible and Webster's Dictionary. The building was placed on the Historical Register in 1974 and was later converted into office space.
The American Book Building

Park Place at Lytle

Next to the Taft Museum on Pike Street is the 10-story Park Place at Lytle (400 Pike St.), formerly the R.L. Polk building that housed the Pugh Printing Company, founded in 1803. When Pugh published the abolitionist journal, The Philanthropist, mobs wrecked the press and dumped his materials into the Ohio River(6) A marker on the Pike Street side of the building commemorates the printer's fight against slavery. In 2004, the building was converted into prestigious condominiums and renamed Park Place at Lytle.
Park Place at Lytle

Procter & Gamble Company

Fifth Street is the site of the global headquarters of the Procter & Gamble Company. P&G was founded in 1837 by two men who met by marrying sisters. Their father-in-law encouraged them to become business partners because they were both competing for the same raw materials. William Procter emigrated from England and was a candle maker in Cincinnati. He took advantage of the fat and oil by-products from Cincinnati's large meat packing industry. He began as a one-man operation, making, selling and delivering his candles. James Gamble was from Ireland and was headed for Illinois when he took ill and came ashore in Cincinnati. Once he recovered, the family decided to stay, and he eventually became a soap maker. The company grew into the global consumer goods business known for its in-depth research, innovative products and equally innovative marketing techniques, which included radio and "soap operas." In 1985, Procter & Gamble opened the General Office Towers on Fifth Street, an expansion of its world headquarters. Today, the company has almost 140,000 employees working in more than 80 countries worldwide. Its brands touch the lives of more than 3 billion people each day.(15)
Procter & Gamble Company
 
Guilford Building Stephen Foster

Guilford Building Stephen Foster

Walk a few steps from Lytle Park along Fourth Street and you will arrive at the Guilford Building (421 East Fourth St.), which was originally the site of a regional hospital located just beyond the north wall of Fort Washington from 1789-1808. A cartouche of George Washington is on the north façade.
University Club

University Club

Next to the Guilford is the University Club (401 East Fourth St.), founded in 1879 as a result of a call for persons interested in forming a club of "college men," meaning graduates or those with at least two years of college experience. William Howard Taft and Charles Phelps Taft were both members. Charles Phelps Taft generously acquired the ownership of the Seeley residence and the Smith residence for the purpose of a clubhouse. He offered the properties to the club, provided they raise the money through "subscriptions" to merge the two buildings.
Taft Museum William Howard Taft

The Western & Southern Life Insurance Company Building

Across from the Guilford Building and the University Club is The Western and Southern Life Insurance Company building (400 Broadway), a four-story structure built with eight massive ionic columns on the Fourth Street façade and four similar ones on the Broadway side. The company, which was founded in 1888, has been on this site since 1901.
the Literar y Club of Cincinnati

The Literary Club of Cincinnati

Adjacent to the Phelps Building stands one of the last reminders of the original Cincinnati homes of the 1800s on Fourth Street. The Literary Club of Cincinnati (500 East Fourth St.) occupies a two-story Greek revival house that was built in 1820. It was originally the home of William Sargent, the secretary of the Northwest Territory. The Literary Club was founded in 1849, making it the oldest organization of its kind in the United States. It has no more than 100 members, all of them men. Many prominent Cincinnati residents have been members, including U.S. Presidents Rutherford B. Hayes and William Howard Taft. Members present papers of a literary nature at club meetings. Noted guest speakers have included Charles Dickens, Oscar Wilde, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Booker T. Washington, Mark Twain and Robert Frost.(19) 

 

 

  1. Fort Washington - Ohio History Central - A product of the Ohio Historical Society
    www.ohiohistorycentral.org/entry.php?rec=719
  2. Knepper 2002: 54
    Knepper, George W. (2002) The Official Ohio Lands Book
    http://ohioauditor.gov/publications/OhioLandsBook.pdf
  3. How Did Cincinnati Become Known as the Queen City http://library.cincymuseum.org/cincifaq.htm
  4. Anna Louise Inn https://www.cubcincy.org/about-us/history/
  5. Architectural Foundation of Cincinnati:
    Garber & Woodward - Garber, Frederick W. https://www.architecturecincy.org/programs/biographical-dictionary-of-cincinnati-architects/g/
  6. The Way We Were A Walk Through History -
    Cincinnati Magazine - May 1988 Lilia Brady https://books.google.com/books?id=bB8DAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA95&lpg=PA95&dq#v=onepage&q&f=false
  7. History of the Interstate Highway System https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/interstate/history.cfm
  8. Preserving a Special Place: The Lytle Park Neighborhood 1948-1976 Jana C. Morford http://library.cincymuseum.org/journals/files/qch/v44/n3/qch-v44-n3-pre-003.pdf
  9. A Brief History of Lytle Square 1789-1964 - Carl Vitz http://library.cincymuseum.org/journals/files/chsbull/v22/n2/chsbull-v22-n2-bri-110.pdf
  10. General William H Lytle - Sons of Union Veterans https://suvcwcincinnati.org/gen-william-h-lytle/
  11. Bound for Glory: Poet-General William H. Lytle https://warfarehistorynetwork.com/2019/01/09/bound-for-glory-poet-general-william-h-lytle/
  12. Taft Museum of Art History https://taftmuseum.org/about/our-history/
  13. Rookwood - Our Story https://www.rookwood.com/about/our-story/
  14. History of Mt. Adams http://cincy.com/home/neighborhoods/parms/1/hood/mount-adams/page/history.html
  15. Procter & Gamble Our History: How it Began https://www.pg.com/en_US/downloads/media/Fact_Sheets_CompanyHistory.pdf P&G - A Company History https://www.pg.com/translations/history_pdf/english_history.pdf
  16. The Guilford Building brochure: Eagle Realty Group
  17. The History of the University Club of Cincinnati https://www.uclubcincinnati.com/story
  18. American Guide: Western Southern Life Insurance Building http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM3Q79_WESTERN_SOUTHERN_LIFE_INSURANCE_BUILDING_Cincinnati_Ohio
  19. Literary Club of Cincinnati http://www.cincylit.org/
Dan Hurley, Historian, Retired
Sandra DeVise, Reference Librarian, Cincinnati Museum Center, Cincinnati History Library & Archives
Todd Mayer, member of Lytle Camp 10, Sons of Union Veterans
Joan C. Hendricks,
Chief Registrar and Collections Manager Taft Museum of Art
Sherrie O'Rear, APR, Corporate Integration Manager Western & Southern Financial Group
Jose' D. Marques, APR,
Advertising and Media Relations Manager Western & Southern Financial Group
Elva Pellochoud, President Epiphany Inc.
Special thanks to Miss Mabel Howatt, now age 105 as of this printing, for sharing her lifetime of memories living in the Phelps Apartment Building and the surrounding Lytle Park neighborhood.
During the redevelopment of the Anna Louise Inn into The Lytle Park Hotel, history was preserved or honored in many facets of the buildings.
  • The original leaded glass windows were restored in the Earls Building.
  • The original doors were restored in the former Anna Louise Inn and the Earls Building.
  • The original roofline was restored with new slate and copper for the Earls Building.
  • The brick, limestone and sandstone were restored for both buildings.
  • The original metal/wood box gutter cornice on the former Anna Louise Inn was duplicated and added to create a second band at the roofline.
  • The exterior wrought iron railings were refurbished and repurposed as planters and new handrails on the interior of the former Anna Louise Inn.
  • Limestone features were incorporated into the rooftop, kitchen, restaurant and exterior patio.
  • Six fireplaces were added while maintaining the original three ornate chimneys now dormant on the Earls Building.
  • New cobblestone paver style driveway and granite style curbs were used in keeping with the original 1900s style of construction.
  • The streetscape was elevated with new streetlights and landscaping along Pike Street.
  • An original Rookwood water fountain off the lobby of the hotel was refurbished and framed with new Rookwood Tile.
  • Rookwood tile was used as the back bar tile on the Vista at Lytle Park rooftop.
  • Paid homage to the past presidents of the United States by designing a hand rail that duplicates the railing on the Truman Balcony of The White House. This hand rail ascends from the lobby to the second floor in the hotel.
Ten US Presidents were from Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana (eight US Presidents were from Ohio, one from Kentucky - Abraham Lincoln and one from Indiana - Benjamin Harrison.)
1866 - The bridge later to be known as the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge opened. At the time it was the longest main span in the world. The design was later advanced to the Brooklyn Bridge in New York.
1869 - First weather bureau.
1869 - First professional baseball team - the Cincinnati Red Stockings.
1870 - First municipal university - the University of Cincinnati.
1875 - Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens opens, making it the second oldest zoo in the country.
It has been the greenest zoo in America since 2010.
1880 - First city in which a woman, Maria Longworth Nichols Storer, began and operated a large manufacturing operation, Rookwood Pottery.
1902 - First reinforced concrete skyscraper - the Ingalls Building.
1905 - Daniel Carter Beard founded the Sons of Daniel Boone, later known as the Boy Scouts of America.
1925 - WLW 700 became the first radio station to broadcast at 500,000 watts, making it the most powerful station in the world. During World War II, the federal government used the station to broadcast the Voice of America all over the world.
1935 - First Major League Baseball night game played at Crosley Field
1952 - First heart-lung machine - making open heart surgery possible - developed at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. 1954 - First licensed public television station - WCET.
1970-1976 - Era of the Big Red Machine - nickname of the Cincinnati Reds, which dominated the National League. They won five National League Western Division titles, four National League pennants and two World Series.
1985 - Pete Rose broke Ty Cobb's record to become the all-time Major League Baseball leader in hits.
2011 - Cincinnati's tallest building Great American Tower and The Phelps hotel open.
2020 - The Lytle Park Hotel opens.
 
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