Bearcat Winters

By: Kevin Grace

With the first major storm of the winter about to hit us in the next couple of days, it seems appropriate for a campus trip down memory lane.  And, it should be a quintessential Cincinnati weather experience of warm temperatures, rain, driving rain, gale-force winds, sleet, and snow all in the same 24-hour period.  If any ghosts of ancient Mayans visit the Queen City tomorrow or Friday, in all likelihood they will say, “See! Told you so!”

Beecher Hall

Be that as it may, here are some photographs of bygone winter days on the Clifton campus.  The first image is of Beecher Hall, now replaced on that spot by University Pavilion.  Beecher Hall was designed by A. Lincoln Fecheimer and constructed in 1915.  Originally called “The Women’s Building” because it housed classes and services for coeds, by 1920 it had been renamed in honor of Catherine Beecher, though the name would not become official until 1960.  Catherine Esther Beecher was the sister of Harriet Beecher Stowe, and a From Cunningham Hallnotable advocate for the education of women.   In addition to her own writings on “domestic economy,”  Beecher was also involved in assisting William Holmes McGuffey in the publication of his eponymous readers, the widest selling textbooks winter3_vanwormerof the 19th century.  We’re not sure if the horse and buggy shown in the photo carried a parking decal, but you can bet we wouldn’t tolerate its absence today.

The second image is taken from Cunningham Hall with a view of Van Wormer in the foreground and Hughes High School in the distance to the right.  Yes, Cunningham Hall as part of the original McMicken Hall complex on the Academic Ridge.  Before the current McMicken Hall was dedicated in 1950, Memorial Hallthere were three separate buildings instead of the “wings.”  Hanna Hall stood to the north, with McMicken in the middle.  And, as you can see, Van Wormer boasts its original dome.  You know, the one that was architecturally proportional to the building.   Designed by Samuel Hannaford and Sons and constructed in 1899, Van Wormer is now the oldest building on campus. That dome was removed in 1930 when Van Wormer underwent remodeling.  The other Van Wormer photograph shows In front of TUCthe drive in front of the building during the 1950s.

Our fourth view of Bearcat winters is a photograph of Memorial Hall, now part of the CCM Village.  Memorial is one of several beautiful buildings at UC designed by the architectural firm headed by Harry Hake.  Constructed in the early 1920s, it was named in honor of the UC students who died while fighting in World War I, and for its first few decades, it served as a men’s dormitory.  The fifth image is the front of Tangeman University Center, another Hake structure that was built in 1937, with an addition to it built in 1965.  In 2005, TUC underwent a dramatic transformation as part of the Main Street campus plan.

Finally, we have a photograph of the TUC Bridge, for five decades the focal point of students gathering between McMicken and TUC, though there is obviously no lingering in this snowy shot.  Gone from the bridge are the preachers, the credit card vendors, the Greek rush tables, the protesters, and that weird guy who sold alpaca serapes.  Chances are, though, after the snow stopped, a snowman would appear.

TUC Bridge

And so, enjoy tomorrow and Friday to the fullest, taking shelter from the storm and knowing full well that it can just as easily be sunny and in the 60s for Christmas Day.  After all, we live in Cincinnati.