Samuel Hannaford & Edwin Anderson

The Legacy of Samuel Hannaford Main Page

Copyright © 2006 Betty Ann Smiddy 

The earliest work attributed to Samuel Hannaford is the ventilation tower that stood on the grounds of the Ohio Female College. For a time Roger, Samuel’s father, was a member of the board overseeing the O. F. C. It is thought that Samuel designed the tower while he was a student across the street at Farmers’ College. The tower served to draw in air which was then passed via a brick duct under the buildings. The air was heated by steam pipes in this duct. The warmed air was discharged through flues in every room. Cupolas along the building’s roof line were vents allowing the discharge of “used” air. Every half hour there was a complete change of air. This structure stood for almost 150 years until the Children’s Hospital North Campus occupied the Hamilton Ave. (College Hill) site. Hannaford remained concerned about proper building ventilation throughout his career and wrote about the topic.  

The Marcus Fechheimer house, 22 Garfield Place, (1861-1862) is Renaissance Revival in style and was designed by Anderson & Hannaford. The facade is smooth faced ashlar sandstone while the rest of the building is brick.  Corinthian columns gracefully frame the arched entrance. Isaac Graveson provided the stone and served as general contractor. Fechheimer was a wealthy manufacturer of mens and boys clothing,  Fechheimer, Goldsmith & Co., later known as Marcus & L. S. Fechheimer Co. He was born in Stuttgart, Germany, came to Cincinnati in 1846, founded his business and later served as a director of the German National Bank. The building reminds the author of a London men’s club, especially when the walnut shutters are closed on the facade windows. This National Register building was last used as the Butterfield Senior Center.  Later, Hannaford & Sons would design four stores (1892) for Leopold Fechheimer at 142 Race Street. Advertisement for Fechheimer's.

Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton Railroad Depot (1864) was located at Fifth and Baymiller streets at a time when each railroad had its own depot. It wasn’t until Union Terminal opened that the depots were united for convenience. The C.H. & D. Depot was Romanesque Revival in style, mostly brick, with stonework and construction by Isaac Graveson.  This railroad helped to develop communities along the way by providing a reasonable commute to and from the suburbs. One such community was Hartwell, named for C. H. & D. President, John W. Hartwell. For those purchasing a lot and a house in his community, he offered a free one year ticket to commuters. Isaac Graveson arrived from England in 1849 as a stonecutter. He became noted as a builder, contractor and sometimes architect. His house still stands at the corner of Auburn Ave. and Wellington Place in Mt. Auburn (2343 Auburn Ave).

Hannaford built his house (1865) on Derby Ave. in Winton Place. A modest Victorian frame house with a circular porch, he built another frame house for his son, Charles E., at 730 Derby Ave. in the 1870s. He also built a frame house on Derby Ave, for his son Harvey (no longer standing). Hannaford lived in this house for the rest of his life and it stayed in his family until the 1940's, when it was sold and subdivided into apartments. The current owner has restored it back to a one family. In the gable end facing Derby Ave. are the initials S.H. When the house was new, it had a crystal chandelier and a fireplace mantel panel and woodwork carved by Henry and William Fry - one of the leaders in the Cincinnati art carving movement. The Frys carved in many Hannaford designed houses.  When Hannaford was mayor of Winton Place, the council meetings were held in the study of this house - until Hannaford designed Winton Place’s Town Hall.  Plat map of Winton Hills.

The Cincinnati Workhouse and hospital (1867-1869) was the largest commission of the Anderson & Hannaford partnership. The chairman of the building committee was Robert Allison. It is well remembered by Cincinnati residents as a white Romanesque-Gothic castle like building parallel to I-75. Nicknamed the “Cincinnati Castle,” strangers to this area would sometimes leave the expressway to ask questions about the structure.

The Workhouse was 510 feet long and when originally built it was unpainted brick with limestone trim. It sat on a foundation of cut fieldstone. As the building was constructed, prisoners were housed in tents on the site and helped with its building. Towers and turrets reinforced the impression of a castle fortress. The building was composed of five parts with a Mansard roofed center building with a cupola on top. The central building housed the superintendent and his family.

When built, it was state of the art for prisons. Patterned after the Auburn system of reform, it had interior cells blocks and common rooms. It was laid out following the Kirkwood plan that maximized both light and air in large institutional buildings.

The Workhouse was meant to be seen and admired and was surrounded by a landscaped park containing a lake. It was a source of community pride and appeared in all the Cincinnati guidebooks as a place to visit until about 1900.

Incarceration and rehabilitation were the goals and it was truly a “work house” where prisoners were loaned out to work or did work on the premises. Labor and silence were key to the reformation model at that time. While it stood out in the present day for its style, the House of Refuge stood next to it when built and it too looked like a castle fortress. (The House of Refuge served as a facility for delinquent children or those homeless. It was not built by Samuel Hannaford.)

A letter from Mayor Bobbie Stern, in Feb. 21, 1979 to the Ohio Historic Preservation Office stated that the Workhouse “has been a negative factor in the history of our City...” and was against the National Register Nomination, which the building was granted in 1980. That designation did not save the Workhouse, a target of prisoner lawsuits, which was demolished in November 1990. The building could not be rehabbed for other uses, in part because of the many years of pigeons that roosted inside the attic and the guano couldn’t be adequately cleaned up. The author was able to tour the Workhouse and take photographs of the cells and prison walkways with the Miami Purchase Association before the Workhouse was demolished.

The three story, five tiered lines of 4x8 ft. cells were small, ill-lit and had no plumbing. Originally the prisoners used slop buckets and emptied them daily into a sewer trough located in the towers at the ends of the buildings. At the time of construction, everyone used slop buckets and outhouses so this was not any different from the sanitary conditions at large. The buildings had a bank of windows to illuminate the cell tiers opposite. Under the huge, arched windows were located six cast iron pipes for heat. Heating was poor and cooling was non-existent. But as bad as these conditions were considered in modern times, they must not have been too odious because the prison was often overcrowded and plenty of prisoners were repeat offenders.

The Workhouse was the result of changing views of society. Before the 1840s, society was thought to be composed of individuals, with personal responsibility and solitary behavior. Then opinion shifted that society was composed of groups who could be “caught up” in social evil and could spread bad behavior to others. Individual character flaws lead to vice, crime, and poverty because the person did not have the strength of character for hard work, temperance, devout religion, etc. They also congregated with others having the same weaknesses. This idea of groups led to segregation - both racial and economic. Hard work and education were the only paths to transcend the lower classes.

In the twenty years between 1840 and 1860 there was a shift in the role of municipal government. Volunteer police and fire departments became paid, and the city water and sewer systems were established - reflecting the attitude that the City should advance the welfare of the City as a whole. Park lands were purchased and donated for the enjoyment of all. The smaller walking city where a person lived, worked, and shopped in the same neighborhood was being expanded by transportation improvements to where a person could live in one area, work and shop in another. The process became politicized with one party claiming that only they had the public welfare at heart.

The Workhouse was seen as a way to combat social evils and to rehabilitate offenders by providing work - a positive character trait to be developed. Solitary confinement was seen as a way, and the place, to develop character via personal reflection. The castle-like architecture of the Workhouse served to inspire, to “lift up” the onlooker.

Into the 1930s it was considered a model prison and was among the best in the country, known for its efficiency, low operating costs, cleanliness, and prisoner reform. It was among the first city jails to have a welfare department with trained social workers, and both educational and vocational training programs available- baking, cooking, laundry, car mechanic and tailoring. To keep costs to tax payers low the prisoners performed a variety of cost saving measures, such as: city vehicles were repaired in the garage, old buildings were demolished by inmates and the materials used for new Workhouse structures, building repairs and maintenance was performed in-house and rock was crushed for use in city road beds. The brick building wasn’t painted white with green trim until 1936 and then it was with prison labor.

The Workhouse site on Colerain Ave. was the old Camp Washington, where Ohio troops readied for the Mexican War. Twenty-six acres of land were purchased from A. W. Riddle for $50,000. To build a jail so large for a city, versus a state prison or county jail, took a large commitment of money - almost half a million dollars. When it opened in 1870 it had 606 cells and by 1904 it received on average 2,500-3,000 prisoners a year. Most were short term incarcerations, three months or less, for prostitution, drunk and disorderly conduct, vagrancy - petty crimes as opposed to murders and violent crimes. The emphasis was on work/training so that once the prisoners were free they could work and support themselves and not lapse into former ways.

The south wing held male prisoners, while the north wing was for women. At the end of the north wing were workrooms for the women who manufactured clothing, both for the inmates and for manufacturers. Woman prisoners also cooked in the kitchens. There was a laundry, bakery, and a chapel. In separate buildings were workrooms, bath houses and a hospital.

One of the contractors for prison labor was the shoemaker J. D. Hearne & Co. Speckerman & Co. operated the Cincinnati Family Laundry from the laundry facilities. Miles Greenwood & Co. hired prisoners for iron casting. Bromwell Brush & Wire Co. had prisoners make brushes. Products made there carried the label “Made by Convict Labor.” But the work became unprofitable for the city and the jail was closed in 1920, when the Hamilton Co. Court House jail opened. Soon overcrowded, the Workhouse was reopened in 1927 as the Community Correctional Institution and stayed open all or in the later years, only partially, until 1988. Over the years what could be renovated, was. 

The Workhouse wasn’t torn down without controversy. Ms. Mary Ann Olding, director of the Miami Purchase Association for Historic Preservation (now Cincinnati Preservation Association) opposed the demolition and was for its re-use. Calling it a rare building and the last city workhouse in Ohio, she was able to save a few items before it was torn down. Most important was the 600 pound bell cast in 1871 by Van Deuzen & Tift of Cincinnati, whose company was located in the vicinity of today’s riverfront stadium. Buckeye Bell Foundry was the actual forging furnace. It cost $168. and was sold to the Workhouse on Jan. 25, 1871. Used to signal mealtimes and make announcements, it hung in the belfry of cupola of the main building.   Other items were two cupolas, and an iron cell block door with a lion’s head medallion. It was also proposed that the cornerstone be saved, if it could be located. Acme Wrecking Company won the bid for the demolition at a cost of $246,200. and planned to sell the metal bars, weather vanes etc. for scrap. The Workhouse was used as a setting for a movie, “Hard Rain” starring Tom Selleck.

Rev. James Egbert, Camp Washington Church of Christ, led a group of local residents wanting to see the building saved and adapted in low and middle income housing. They petitioned and picketed.  State and national architectural pleaded on behalf of keeping the building. The community suggested a retirement community or even a new jail built within the walls of the old facade.  The vast public at large raised no outcry. In a May 19, 1988 article in the ‘Cincinnati Post,’ Mayor Charles Luken was quoted: “In my view, this is not a historical treasure. The saving of the Workhouse is not a high priority on my list.” With official city council opposition and with Hamilton County commissioners agreeing, no serious attempts were made on their level to find another use for the Workhouse and its demolition was sealed. It still had a good foundation, no structural problems, good tight windows and sound roofs. On the site was built another jail.

The Daniel Buell Pierson house (1867) on Hillcrest Road in College Hill originally fronted Hamilton Ave. It was the second house built on this site. The Pierson name has been synonymous with the local lumber and building industry for many years.  Pierson was from LeRoy, New York, and worked for a lumber business that sent him to Michigan to inspect timber land. His trip was extended, and Pierson came down the Ohio River on a log raft in 1850, landing in Cincinnati. He decided to stay and represented his employers Newbold and LeRoy. 

Their lumberyard was first located at 381 Plum St., becoming a landmark at the “elbow of the canal.” With access to the canal, oak and hardwoods came down the Ohio River from the Alleghenies, and pine and poplar woods came from the north. Advertisement for Pierson's business.

Amid a building boom following the Civil War, Pierson opened a lumber company at 12th & Central, eventually buying the business from Newbold and LeRoy. Later the lumberyard relocated to Northside. Pierson built the College Hill house with a long, circular driveway that is still standing. The house eventually passed out of the family, fell into disrepair and became a boarding house. It was then purchased by E. H. Lunken who gutted the interior and restored the property. The entrance was moved to face Hillcrest Road, which hadn’t been laid at the time the house was first built. It was at this time that the imposing pedimented Roman portico was added.

John R. Davey mansion, “Oakwood” (1869) Anderson & Hannaford. John R. Davey built his dark red brick Italianate style house on the grounds that were once part of the experimental farm of Farmers’ College.  Davey was the president of Wilson, Hinkle & Company, and built the new mansion for his bride, Martha Gibson. Wilson, Hinkle & Co. became the American Book Company in 1890, publisher of McGuffey’s Eclectic Education Series. John Davey died in 1907 and is buried in Spring Grove Cemetery. 

The extensive grounds included a 250 ft. grapery and a large lake which extended to today’s Larch Ave. The huge cypress trees on Larch Ave. were on the edge of this lake. While the house sat on Linden, the gardens extended back to Llanfair Ave. About three dozen houses sit on what was Davey’s seven acres. 

The last owner was Dr. Philip Van Ness Myers and it became the residence of several unmarried teachers in the College Hill schools. The house was torn down in 1969 to make room for an apartment building.

Fire Engine Co. #19 (better known as old Zino’s restaurant in Corryville) and Engine Co. # 16 773 McMillan, Walnut Hills, are examples of the Italianate style. Both were built in 1871 and are the oldest fire houses still standing. Hannaford & Anderson also designed Engine Co. #3 (1870), downtown, now demolished. According to Steve Gordon, Ohio Historical Society: “Enoch Gest Megrue, one of Cincinnati’s early fire chiefs, was especially proud of his new Engine House #3, calling it ‘the largest, most substantial, most elegant and most complete edifice in all its details on the American continent.’” There is a question as to whether #19 was part of the Hannaford & Anderson collaboration for it was built about the time their partnership dissolved.

When the two-story Corryville fire house opened, it had six firemen, an Ahrens steam fire engine and three horses. Several months later a horse drawn fire wagon was added with a two man crew. 

The design of this firehouse became the standard to which others were built to conform.  The wagons, steam engines etc. were on the main floor, stables to the rear and the second story was a combined hay loft and sleeping quarters.

Other Anderson & Hannaford Buildings extant (not a complete list):

Miami Medical College (1866) 217 W. 12th Street (Currently used as the Drop In Center) Over-the-Rhine

Christ Episcopal Church Glendale (1868)  Sharon, Erie & Forest Aves. Glendale

Holy Name Church (Zimmerman mansion), ca 1860, 2448 Auburn Ave. Mt. Auburn

West Virginia State Capital (1870) Charleston, West Virginia 

Copyright © 2006 Betty Ann Smiddy 

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