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See them in the Cincinnati History Museum
CINCINNATI – Cincinnati Museum Center is pleased to announce that the artifacts from The Banks Project are now on display for public viewing in the Cincinnati History Museum. This display contains many artifacts of local history and gives testimony to the everyday people who lived, worked, and enjoyed the banks of the Ohio River. Now, 200 years later, the riverfront is alive again as people flock to the riverfront to live, to work and to enjoy themselves.
On August 7, 2008 representatives from the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), City of Cincinnati, Hamilton County and the Ohio Historical Preservation office (OHPO) discussed potential impacts to archaeological resources from the relocation of Mehring Way. The use of Federal funds in the project required an environmental assessment on the impact to historical resources.
The OHPO concluded that the relocation of Mehring Way and its associated underground utilities impacted Site 33HA780. Based upon the fact that the extent of effects appeared to be minimal, the OHPO determined that the project would have “no adverse effect” on this resource as long as an appropriate research design was developed and archaeological excavations were conducted prior to construction.
The Mehring Way realignment created additional public space by reclaiming 40 acres for greenspace, event lawn, and water features, and maintaining a major thoroughfare for vehicles and pedestrians along the Ohio River and through the emerging neighborhood.
The Public Parties contracted with Cincinnati preservation consulting firm Gray & Pape, Inc. to conduct an archaeological dig at the former corner of Race and Water Streets, where, at the turn of the century, three-storied buildings with commercial ground floors (a saloon and grocery store) and residential rental units in the upper stories once sat.
The archaeologists at The Banks development site uncovered late 19th century architectural features includingthe remains of foundation walls, brick basement floors, and coal chutes. Over 600 artifacts were collected representing the remains of the items left behind or lost by local residents. The artifacts included: ceramic dishes; drinking glasses; liquor, beer, and mineral water bottles; medicinal bottles; ceramic doll fragments and other toys; and various personal items such as a pocketknife, coins, buttons, and even an eyeglass lens.
On January 19 of this year, representatives of the City of Cincinnati and of Hamilton County signed a deed of gift for these artifacts to become part of Cincinnati Museum Center’s collection at the Geier Collections and Research Center. As a repository of Cincinnati history, the Geier Center houses archaeology collections, invertebrate and vertebrate fossil collections, all zoology collections, history artifacts, and fine arts in a museum-quality environment. Museum Center not only preserves artifacts, but also makes archaeology and priceless artifacts accessible to the community.
Visit Museum Center to see these urban artifacts of Cincinnati’s past. While you’re here, make sure you see another archaeology discovery. The world-famous ancient artifacts of Pompeii are on display right here, right now in Cincinnati through August 12. The A Day in Pompeii exhibition includes more than 250 pieces from room-sized frescos and bronze sculptures to body casts of the volcano’s victims frozen in time. Don’t miss your chance to experience this thriving city’s last 24 hours.
Admission to view the Cincinnati artifacts is included with an All Museums Pass and free for Museum Center Members. A Day in Pompeii tickets are sold separatelyand are $19.50 for adults, $17.50 for seniors (ages 60+) and $12.50 for children ages 3-12. Tickets for Museum Center Members are $12.50 for adults and $8.50 for children. For more information, visit www.cincymuseum.org.