50 Minutes-1 Book

By Kevin Grace

The final 50 Minutes – 1 Book lunchtime talk for the academic year will be held Thursday, May 26, in the Archives & Rare Books Library, in the Schott Seminar Room, 814 Blegen Library at 12:00 noon.

April’s presentation was by conservator and bookbinding designer Gabrielle Fox, who spoke about the artist’s binding she did for an edition of Bobbie Ann Mason’s With Jazz. For May, we will turn to a bit of local history about Cincinnati’s ill-fated subway project of the 1920s.  Engineering snafus, property damage, political finagling, low financing, and a changing transportation culture in the United States all led to the project’s demise.  This topic of special public transportation is particularly timely, given Cincinnati’s current controversial issue of a publically-funded streetcar network for the Over-the-Rhine historic district.   So from the Miami-Erie Canal to subway tunnels to Central Parkway, May’s talk will focus on one way Cincinnatians considered moving about from street to street, neighborhood to neighborhood.

The book for this presentation is Murray Seasongood’s 1926 report to Cincinnati City Council on the problems and issues of the subway, ultimately resulting in its termination.  Seasongood was a prominent Cincinnati politician and civic activist, and a member of Council’s Law Committee.  University Archivist and ARB Head Kevin Grace will talk about the report and the events leading up to its publication, as well as explore the parallels between the subway project and the current streetcar debate.  Also featured in the presentation will be a look at rare images of Cincinnati’s subway, the neighborhood streets, and the interiors of homes – all drawn from the thousands of images in ARB’s extensive collection on the Rapid Transit Commission and the City Engineer.

Please join us on May 26 for another casual lunchtime get-together.   Bring your lunch, order in, or just come to listen, look, learn, and converse.  All students, faculty, and staff are very welcome.