Over-the-Rhine museum project in the works

Posted at 4:38 PM, Dec 17, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-17 16:59:41-05

CINCINNATI -- A group of 14 archivists, historians, curators, authors and Cincinnati locals are working to create a museum to highlight Cincinnati's Over-the-Rhine neighborhood.

Right now, the Over-the-Rhine Museum organization is working to develop a foundation, financial plan, board members and recently gained 501-C3 nonprofit status, according to project board chair Anne Delano Steinert.

"Over-the-Rhine has gone through a recent transition, so we think this is the exact right time to focus on the neighborhood's rich history," she said. "New people are moving in who probably don't know a lot about Over-the-Rhine. And the buildings, some old and historic, are going through changes as well."

While the end goal is to have a permanent museum space established by 2020, the group is holding outreach events in the meantime.

The Over-the-Rhine Museum Board is halfway through a quarterly lecture series and hosted walking tours through Over-the-Rhine.

In the future, they hope to host "pop-up museum" events to "give people an idea of what the museum would look like," Steinert said. Findlay Market has already offered to host the pop-up museums.

The museum space itself would resemble the Lower East Side Tenement Museum in New York City. The style would be "like walking into someone's home just as they've stepped out to grab the newspaper," Steinert said.

"The idea (of the Tenenment Museum) is that these were not fancy people who lived in this building on the Lower East Side," she said. "But they led important lives and had important stories to tell.

"You're not looking at documents through glass or reading words on a wall. You would really experience everything," she said.

Steinert said members of the board are also working to collect stories for a sort of oral history on Over-the-Rhine, hopefully coming straight from elderly residents who have lived in the neighborhood for most of their lives.

Museum Board members include:

  • John Blatchford, Treasurer - local building developer, co-editor of Kuntz: Built Art magazine, and board member of Cincinnati Preservation Collective.
  • Julie Carpenter - Director of Development, Ensemble Theater of Cincinnati and heritage tourism professional.
  • Carlton Farmer - curatorial and exhibit consultant and post-production specialist at Cedar Fair Entertainment Media.
  • Patricia Feghali, Advisory Board Liaison - lawyer in private practice and commercial real estate agent with Urban Fast Forward.
  • Rob Gioielli - Assistant Professor of History, University of Cincinnati, Blue Ash College.
  • Dan Korman – author, preservationist, and owner of Park + Vine green general store.
  • Alyssa McClanahan - local history consultant, PhD candidate in history, and co-editor of Kuntz: Built Art magazine.
  • Anne Ryckbost – public history professional and archivist, Steely Library special collections and university archive, Northern Kentucky University
  • Derek Scacchetti - freelance graphic designer and board member of Cincinnati Preservation Collective
  • Anne Delano Steinert, Board Chair – preservationist, educator, local history consultant, and PhD candidate in history.
  • Caitlin Tracy-Miller - Youth Coordinator at the Cincinnati Museum Center, Program Director at the Harriet Beecher Stowe House, and Ohio River National Freedom Corridor board member.
  • Brittany Vernon - IMLS-Coca Cola Museum Studies Apprentice at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.
  • Dann Woellert, Resource Czar - author of several books on Cincinnati history and product marketing manager at Combi Ovens and Holding Equipment
  • Nancy Yerian, Board Secretary and Liaison to Museum and Historic Sites of Greater Cincinnati - former Ohio History Corp member, local history consultant, and freelance journalist


The best way to contact the board or learn more is through their Facebook page.