Beautiful, Historic Photos of Cincinnati

The photographs in this post were taken by noted Cincinnati photographer Paul Briol. Read more about Paul Briol here.

Enjoy these great glimpses into the Queen City’s past and please feel free to comment:

Race Street, Philippus Kirche (flickr / annareid86420). Notice the Bellevue Incline in the background

Mount Adams looking at downtown (flickr / annareid86420)

Skyline at night (flickr / annareid86420)

Vine Street (flickr / annareid86420)

Krohn Conservatory (flickr / annareid86420)

Looking out from the Library, Piatt Park (flickr / annareid86420)

Up to Mount Adams (flickr / annareid86420)

Music Hall (flickr / annareid86420)

Anderson Ferry (flickr / annareid86420)

Coney Island (flickr / annareid86420)

Sycamore Street hill (flickr / annareid86420)

Coney Island (flickr / annareid86420)

Roebling Suspension Bridge (flickr / annareid86420)

Plum Street Temple, Saint Peter In Chains Cathedral, and St. Paul Episcopal Cathedral (flickr / annareid86420)

Union Terminal (flickr / annareid86420)

Crosley Field (flickr / annareid86420)

Central Parkway looking west (flickr / annareid86420)

Fountain Square (flickr / annareid86420)

University of Cincinnati (flickr / annareid86420)

Fountain Square (flickr / annareid86420)

Sycamore Street hill (flickr / annareid86420)

Rookwood Pottery (flickr / annareid86420)

Ohio River (flickr / annareid86420)

Lytle Park (flickr / annareid86420)

Ohio River (flickr / annareid86420)

Ohio River steamboat (flickr / annareid86420)

Government Square (flickr / annareid86420)

Union Terminal (flickr / annareid86420)

Lunken Airport, (flickr / annareid86420)

62 Responses to “Beautiful, Historic Photos of Cincinnati”
  1. Brandon Druffel says:

    I think the one labeled as Wash Park is actually Lytle park. Isn’t that the Anna Louise Inne in the left corner?

  2. Jon says:

    Many, if not all, of these are by Paul Briol.

  3. Wonderful. Thanks for posting these photos.

  4. Fleep Tuque says:

    Fantastic photos, thanks for sharing!

  5. Alex says:

    Is the unlabeled photo of the tudor building the former Rookwood Pottery factory?

  6. 5chw4r7z says:

    The picture of Piatt Park confused me for a moment. They haved the statues at some point because Harrison is at the opposite end now at Elm.

  7. Karen says:

    Brings back memories even though the pictures look like the late 30’s. I do remember being in a Model-T and nearly falling out on 4th St. as my mother “took the corner” and the car door flew open! Don’t know why she was driving that old car! kk

  8. Josh says:

    Mt Adams actually did look European then!

  9. jodan436 says:

    Would love to know the dates.

  10. Linda Bremar says:

    Love them. I miss Cincinnati.

  11. wch says:

    I find it interesting that there are very few trees in many of the photographs. Most striking is the view of Mt Adams. From this perspective, Cincinnati is a more beautiful city today than it was in the 20s and 30s.

  12. jennifer k says:

    love old photos

  13. Karyn Robinson says:

    I have always had a passion for history and as a television producer in Cincinnati many years ago I often spent time at Cincinnati’s Historical Society. If you’re looking for a great way to spend an afternoon make plans to visit. I live in Phoenix now and this really made me miss home.…

  14. Antoinette (Ludwig) Keliher says:

    I do miss Cincinnati. Living in Nashville gives me and my family a chance to return to the Queen City for family and baseball. These photos are wonderful. Thanks for giving my memory a jolt.

  15. trippybeth says:

    Gorgeous photos! I am not a native, but i love Cincinnati!

  16. Sgtrdn says:

    The photo of Ohio River looking towards downtown had to have been taken from Mt Echo park

  17. Julie Wetz says:

    These are gorgeous. I love CIncinnati. :)

  18. Wonderful photos! Spent 30 years as a police officer in Cincinnati. I recognized every vista. Surprisingly, many of those buildings are still here.

  19. Great Pics! Reminds me of photos my grandmother had. Too bad there were no pictures of the 1937 flood.

  20. richard beziat says:

    Old Coney Island..!! if anyone has a photo of the “Moonlite Gardens” dance hall at old Coney, please enter it..!!

  21. I saw someone jump off the Carew Tower when I was about 12 and waiting for a bus on Fountain Square, when the statue was in the middle of the street. People were pointing up, and everyone watching. They never made it to the street but hit Pogues on their roof. I saw Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis do a stage show at the Albee Theater when I was about four year old. They came out the side door and my father put me on his shoulders, and they both shook my hand. They looked like kids themselves.

  22. Linda Kendall Matus says:

    Cincinnati is my hometown, and I still unabashedly love her, though I’ve lived away for more than three decades. These photos were taken before my time, but the landmarks were still largely there during my childhood, and the sight of them elicits nothing but warm memories. Thank you for sharing.

  23. essyell says:

    i too have lived away from cincinnati for more than 3 decades, but she will always be home to me… the pics of coney island and crosley field bring back sooooo many wonderful childhood memories… i miss cincy!!!

  24. What a JOY to see these photos. I only wish there were more – especially of the Ohio River from Mt. Echo Park – that is the very best view of the river and the City. Thanks to whoever is responsible for putting these on the web.

  25. leschar says:

    Great photos of a time of our history. To bad people don’t appreciate the past and what it has given to us thru their hard work.

  26. FIREKIL says:


  27. FIREKIL says:


  28. Lyndsey says:

    It would be neat to do a side-by-side of them and today from the same view. Probably a little sad too.

  29. Mary Collins says:

    Could the picture of the Ohio River Steamer be the Island Queen that took us to Coney Island every summer? What great memories, these pictures are a gem! Thank you for posting them!

  30. Dennis Minshall says:

    Been gone fo 50 years. Sure does bring back memories. How about some pictures of all the past Ohio Presidents statues in downtown Cinti.
    Dennis Minshall…

  31. Brenda Keller says:

    OMG! Talk about bringing back memories…haven’t lived in Cincy since 1980, but these bring back all the memories. Thank you whoever compiled these pics. Brings back mt childhood.

  32. Margery Griffith says:

    At nearly 82 I can relate to all of these great photos. No longer live in Cinci but it will forever be ‘home’ to me and i’ll always miss being there other than in mid winter! What a mistake tearing down the Albee! Thanks for sharing memories!

  33. Nora Kelly says:

    Thanks for sharing. Wish I had one more photo to complete these photos from the days of the streetcar running up Vine ~~ our great Cincinnati Zoo from that era that housed the Kemper Log Home. The Kempers on my mothers side of the family were my first ancestors that lived in the area ~ on Walnut Hill Farm prior to the small dwelling being moved to the zoo many years later. Will have to dig in old family albums to find some of these!

  34. I was looking for one or possibly both inclines. The one leading to Mt. Adams I rode many a time going to the Art Museum. I lived close to the Price Hill Incline going up from 8th & State. thanks for sharing so many wonderful old photos.

  35. These are beautiful photos – really can’t get enough of them. I miss the buildings and inclines and hate what the widening of Liberty did to the streetscape. These are from the 30’s to those still inquiring about dates. Look at the cars…

  36. Vera says:

    Cincinnati is my hometown, I no longer live there but have fond memories of Coney Island! Thank you for sharing.

  37. Martha Lunken says:

    Loved the American DC-3 at Lunken Airport. Notice the line of trees in the background. This was the course of the Little Miami River before it was “rerouted” to accomodate a new, longer runway in the early ’60’s.

    Grew up in Cincinnati in the ’40’s and ’50’s (after most of these were taken) but sure remember downtown looking this way, Crosley Field, Coney and the Anderson Ferry,

  38. Ann H. Brown says:

    Left Cincy in ’53 when I married. Go “home” as often as I can for class reunions and to see family. I try to explain inclines to friends. While these photos were taken in my lifetime and I remember most of these places I was a bit young at the time. I’m with the person who mentioned the Albee. It was the best of many beautiful theaters in the city. It is a great city. I’m glad I grew up there.
    Ann H. Brown

  39. Bob Schaefer says:

    I love ’em all! In particular, the old AA DC-3 at Lunken reminds me of the times my Mother & Father took me down to Lunken to watch the planes take off & land. The DC-3s were the big attraction! And what a great pic of the Rookwood Pottery Bldg! It looks like a scene out of a Johnny Depp movie!

  40. Jackie Wetterstroem DeWitt says:

    What a wonderful trip down memory lane. That could have been me on the diving board at Old Coney Sunlite Pool. haha I’ve lived in here all my life (except for 2 years in DC).

  41. carole says:

    I left Cincinnati as a young wife and mother in 1968 and have only returned to visit. These photos brought back fond memories of what will always be my “home” town. Thanks for sharing.

  42. Debbie Zeis says:

    It was great seeing my home town where I had my first job.

  43. BILL says:


  44. Alex says:

    This is actually great as most of these buildings are still standing. We have a rare thing in Cincinnati that must be treasured.

  45. xor says:

    view of garfield place is from site of current library…at time of photo library was in its converted opera house location farther south on vine street. photo predates woody garber library building by 25 years or so

  46. Rod Nicholas Smith says:

    I have just recently had the pleasure of working on the restoration project of Rothenberg school in OTR. which i attended when i was in the 5th and 6th grades. and just recently found out my mother went there back in the 40,s the school was built in 1913. i’d like to say it turned out really nice. its located at main and east clifton avenue.

  47. OTR1950's says:

    My mother and grandmother owned a Beauty Salon in OTR from about 1930 until abt. 1968 when all the old customers could no longer come to get their hair done or they already had gone to the other side. The Shop was the O.K. Beauty Shoppe at the corner of Green and Pleasant St. I spent a lot of time there with my mother since I was the youngest and when there was no babysitter available I had to go to the shop. Many good memories of that place like when it was slow and I was there she would allow me to hook her up to the old time permanent machines that not many have seen unless they are in the profession. We went to lunch at many different places, she also worked for a Funeral Home there also; Riedlinger Lemen Funeral Home. I have some photos of my sisters during WWII as little girls saluting and having their photo taken outside one of the buildings. Mom did her shopping at Findlay Market every Saturday and I shall never forget the young boys shouting, “Shopping bag? Shopping Bag 5cents” never. She would fill those shopping bags from the market with lunch meats, breads, broken pieces of chocolate for me, and all types of food. She would get on the bus and come home or when my older sister married they would pick her up on Saturday and we just had Saturday evening eating all of the goodies from the shopping. We had the lettuce, tomatoes, etc from local farmers. When I had to go there which was kind of boring for a little girl it amazed me because my mom knew all of the outside vendors by name and they knew her always saying hello. I do not know if anyone will have the memories I have from the refurbished version but I hope so. The O.K. Beauty Shoppe was at the corner of Green and Pleasant St so if anyone should have taken a photo of that building years ago before the painting was gone or it became something else I sure would like to know. I have a few of the building after it was all shut up many years later. I was just there awhile ago with my kids and grandchildren who have all heard stories of the Beauty Shop and their wonderful, widowed grandmother who raised four kids standing on her feet all day, working for a funeral home on the side. Not only was that shop a place to work but a place to make memories with our mother. I would pretend I could read to the customers and they would tip me; basically I assume to get me to leave them alone and on the way home that night I always wanted to stop at the Woolworth’s so I could buy coloring books or paper dolls. Those memories are burned into my brain and I smile when I think of that place and my mom; the odor of permanent chemicals always seem like a perfume to me since my mother seemed to have it on all of the time. If anyone from long ago should happen to have a photo of that building while it still had the painting on it please think of me. I have no idea why none of us ever got one before. I always wondered if, when going through that building, any photos of our family may have been found. She also lived there with my dad in the back when they first married and my grandmother lived across the street when the weather was warm and she could work. She lived in Florida for most of the years but while visiting her daughter in the spring and summer months she would work there too. Sorry to go so long. There also was a now famous writer that lived there too and every time she came back for a visit she had to go to the shop even when it was boarded up. OTR and that shop was not just a place to us; it was a part of our mother and father and our lives forever.

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