Author Topic: Cincy Parks: Vol. 7: Mount Storm Park  (Read 8353 times)

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Offline ink

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Cincy Parks: Vol. 7: Mount Storm Park
« on: October 18, 2008, 12:27:41 AM »
From the city's website:

Mt. Storm is located on the western slope of Clifton's northern heights off Lafayette Avenue. Long before the Mill Creek Valley became industrial or before the village of Clifton became an "in town" suburb, the land was the palatial private estate of Robert Bonner Bowler, a dry goods magnate and once Mayor of Clifton.

Lafayette Avenue, which branches off Clifton Avenue, with its winding road and old street lamps only hints at the grandeur that once was the estate. Here on this high hill once stood one of the finest homes in America, complete with marble floors and fireplaces, wrought iron curving staircases, French cut-glass doors, and hand-carved wood inlaid with gold.

Somewhat of a world traveler, Mr. Bowler met in Austria Mr. Adolph Strauch of the Vienna Imperial Gardens and invited him to visit if he came over to America. Later, while visiting Mr. Bowler during a scheduled train layover, Mr. Strauch stayed on to develop the Bowler Estate. In fact, he remained in the Cincinnati area for the rest of his life.

Mr. Strauch designed the Temple of Love in 1845, which still stands as an outstanding landmark to Mt. Storm today. The white columns of this Corinthian style pergola, which can be seen on the east lawn, was once the cover for a reservoir that supplied water to Mr. Bowler's seventeen greenhouses, gardens, orchards, and a waterfall and swan lake on which seven black swans swam.

At one time, Mt. Storm contained a greater variety of plant material than at any other location in Cincinnati. There was a greenhouse for palms, one for orchids, one for banana trees, as well as greenhouses for`for many exotic flowers and herbs from all over both hemispheres. While the greenhouses are gone, a few of these plants can still be seen in the park, which descends the hills in a series of landscaped lawns.

The only other evidence of the grand life that once was is a small cave-like mound which was the wine cellar of the estate.

Mr. Strauch went on to develop other estates in the Cincinnati area and in 1864 he became the superintendent of Spring Grove Cemetery in which position he attained the reputation of genius in developing cemeteries in the "lawn-plan" type of layout. He served as Superintendent of Cincinnati Parks in the early 1870's and died in 1883.

Actually, much of the early glamour of the estate had disappeared by the time it became a city park in 1911. During its golden era, fifty years or so earlier, Edward, Prince of Wales, later King of England, was a guest in the house, as was Charles Dickens.

In 1917, the old homestead was razed and the site used as a parking lot.

In 1938, the Clifton Garden Club donated bulbs and plantings and restored the "Temple of Love." The club again raised funds for its restoration in 1985 and in 1987 funds for daffodil displays at the park entrance. Today, the Temple of Love stands as a testimony to the life of splendor that once was Mt. Storm in its golden years.

Overlooking the Mill Creek Valley, Mt. Storm Park's stone pavilion consists of a central loggia flanked by lower, setback enclosed wings. Completed in 1935, the pavilion is characterized by the lack of ornament and the use of flat, planar surfaces and geometric massing, which are typical of "Depression Modern". The building was designed by Samuel Hannaford & Sons, one of Cincinnati's most prolific architectural firms.




Looks stormy enough




Wine cellar


Temple of Love




















Is that joke old yet?







Some nearby Clifton






Cincy Parks: Photo Index
« Last Edit: October 18, 2008, 12:30:56 AM by ink »

Offline Mystic Timbers

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Re: Cincy Parks: Vol. 7: Mount Storm Park
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2008, 12:36:00 AM »
Not bad.
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Offline FerrariEnzo

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Re: Cincy Parks: Vol. 7: Mount Storm Park
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2008, 09:22:52 AM »
is the picture of chicagos millineum park intentional?  nice pictures though
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Offline UncleRando

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Re: Cincy Parks: Vol. 7: Mount Storm Park
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2008, 09:27:44 AM »
Nice quiet spot to take a lady (or guy) friend to.  Or if you're a cow, on the run, it's a great spot to find sanctuary.

Offline atlas

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Re: Cincy Parks: Vol. 7: Mount Storm Park
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2008, 10:13:44 AM »
Nice quiet spot to take a lady (or guy) friend to.  Or if you're a cow, on the run, it's a great spot to find sanctuary.

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Offline Robert Pence

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Re: Cincy Parks: Vol. 7: Mount Storm Park
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2008, 09:47:38 PM »
Neat park. I'm guessing the Temple of Love is a popular venue for weddings.

Dang! Cincinnati has got to stop stealing Chicago's landmarks, though, or there won't be anything left.
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Offline David

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Re: Cincy Parks: Vol. 7: Mount Storm Park
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2008, 01:51:52 AM »
Nice!

Mt. Storm is a fantastic park. I wish it weren't so hidden though. I didn't know it existed until I was 18 lol. Sad. Whatever you do, stay away from "the windings", that place is scary.
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Offline seicer

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Re: Cincy Parks: Vol. 7: Mount Storm Park
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2008, 09:09:48 AM »
I visited the park alone yesterday for the first time and it was quite nice. Thanks for the photo montages Ink!
« Last Edit: October 19, 2008, 09:10:04 AM by seicer »

Offline John S.

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Re: Cincy Parks: Vol. 7: Mount Storm Park
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2008, 11:17:34 AM »
Intriguing place, Ink. Hard to imagine it was once a private estate. Are there any archival photos of Robert Bowler's long demolished home? Judging by the Temple of Love edifice, the Bowler home must have been truly palatial. I find it incredible that it was demolished way back in 1917, before the end of World War I.  Imagine what a tourist draw it would have been if it had been saved as a museum house. I guess a nice public park is a suitable substitute. The scenic views from the old mansion must have been breathtaking. (Gaslight) Clifton is a beautiful area as well-looks like a traditional "old money" neighborhood and well kept.

Offline Eighth and State

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Re: Cincy Parks: Vol. 7: Mount Storm Park
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2008, 01:48:36 PM »
Mt Storm was only one of Clifton's estates. Some of the buildings still exist, but are surrounded by infill development. Can you imagine what Clifton must have looked like when it consisted of grand homes in 100 acre estates?

Offline xumelanie

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Re: Cincy Parks: Vol. 7: Mount Storm Park
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2008, 03:10:21 PM »
Or if you're a cow, on the run, it's a great spot to find sanctuary.

:laugh:
I have to admit that I always think about that escaped cow whenever I hear Mt. Storm Park mentioned.

Offline edale

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Re: Cincy Parks: Vol. 7: Mount Storm Park
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2008, 04:56:05 PM »
Very nice. I had my senior pictures taken in this park.

Offline mrnyc

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Re: Cincy Parks: Vol. 7: Mount Storm Park
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2008, 02:26:22 PM »
pretty funny you went there with what looks like a storm on the way.

nice looking park. i like the views and the gold dome of course, but not the gray brick arch.
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Offline Cincy1

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Re: Cincy Parks: Vol. 7: Mount Storm Park
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2008, 08:00:56 PM »
Thanks for the photos.  This brings back many childhood memories of playing and sledding, as well as high school memories of drinking and doing what high schoolers do.  I have actually taken my kids there a couple of times, and think if they only knew.....glory days.

I also recall seeing a few weddings in the Temple of Love - for some reason it was always a big deal to go into/onto it, and it is nice for a lunch spot.
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Re: Cincy Parks: Vol. 7: Mount Storm Park
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2008, 03:14:14 PM »
I love Cincy's Parks!
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Offline diggingcincihistory

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Re: Cincy Parks: Vol. 7: Mount Storm Park
« Reply #15 on: February 11, 2013, 12:07:54 AM »
Reviving this really old thread to share my recent blog post about Mount Storm Park. The blog contains newspaper photos of the house from 1917.

http://diggingcincinnati.blogspot.com/2013/02/mount-storm-estate-and-park.html

Offline OTR

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Re: Cincy Parks: Vol. 7: Mount Storm Park
« Reply #16 on: February 11, 2013, 07:26:47 AM »
Great post, Ann!

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