Built in 1874 on the site reserved for an opera house, the Old Main Cincinnati Library was a thing of wonder. With five levels of cast iron shelving, a fabulous foyer, checker board marble floors and an atrium lit by a skylight ceiling, the place was breathtaking.
The library was once one of Cincinnati’s most stunning buildings… and one of the country’s most beautiful public libraries. Now it’s a parking garage. (The building, which was located in Downtown Cincinnati at 629 Vine St. — just a few blocks from the current Main Library — was demolished in 1955.) These photos remain, giving us a haunting glimpse into the past.