Sunrise 115: Eden Park (Reservoir Ruins, Hotel Alms, Clear Skies)
Twin Lakes. Apparently there used to be a quarry here about 150 years ago.
Looking down from Eden Park’s upper overlook
The ruins of the old water reservoir in Eden Park
I took advantage of the latest sunrise of the entire year, that also happened to be on a beautifully clear morning, and got up extra early on Saturday morning. I left my place at 7:10am and rode, for the first time during this project, to Eden Park in Mt. Adams. Eden Park is known to be one of the most scenic and historic parks in the city. It sits next to the Art Museum, Krohn Conservatory, on top of ruins from the old Cincinnati Water Works Reservoir, and has many memorials and two overlooks. I’ve never visited the park for sunrise and I have to say it was an impressive location. The lower two overlooks (there is a “main” overlook next to the Twin Lakes and a lesser known upper overlook by a turn of the century brick water tower) look directly East over the bend in the Ohio River. The benches on the overlook (and their cherry tree companions) appear to be deliberately aligned with the sunrise. I have wanted to get up to Eden Park for sunrise for the entirety of this project, but I was inspired by the recent 105 year old postcards that I recently found at an Antique Mall featuring Eden Park at the turn of the last century. One of the postcards depicts a peaceful scene at Mirror Lake in 1906, the other depicts the entrance to alms park with the infamous Elsinore Arch (not featured in today’s post) which was constructed as a piece of the Cincinnati water system.
I hopped around through the park and checked out only some of the major attractions. I’d like to spend a few more sunrises at Eden Park to get to know more of the memorials and historic buildings. It’s one of the oldest parks in the city and used to be one of the main vineyards during the mid 1800s that supported the German catholic wine scene. There is enough history surrounding the park to fill several posts so I’m going to keep it mostly brief. Check out this document from Cincinnati Parks that gives some insight into the “Master Plan”.
It’s still dark when I pulled up to Eden Park. This picture looks East and if you follow the river back around to the right, you’ll find the tip of the ridge that Alms Park lives on.
If you’re on the front page, you may as well click to continue. About 50 pictures total.
To the west, we can see down into the edge of downtown Cincinnati.
Capturing the color gradient of a clear sky dawn.
Looking out over the Ohio River
These benches have seen many sunrises.
The sun is just about to show up!
The fruits on these cherry trees that blossomed in the spring are now ripe for the picking.
As always, the sun came up and became bright quickly in the clear low humidity atmosphere…
A vertical picture across one of the Twin Lakes. According to Cincy Park’s homepage, this used to be a quarry. These days there is a nice walking path with gardens and a pedestrian bridge. This also makes for a popular destination for traveling water fowl.
This water tower sits up on the highest point of the park. More on this in a bit.
Down at mirror lake, I realize that I should have tried to come down here a bit sooner. The colors in the sky have faded by this point and I’m sure that about twenty minutes sooner this lake’s reflection would have made for a pretty sight.
Ahh, what do we have here! A Murdock Fountain, of course. I saw several of them scattered throughout the park, actually. This particular model is the original early 1900s model and has probably been in the park for a solid 60-80 years.
The pedal of the fountain. I always try to take a picture of the pedal when I document these pedals because sometimes I find a slightly different one. This pedal is the standard one that does not give the early 1900s patent date.
This maple was so bright, especially in the early sunrise light!
I swung up to the top of the park to check out this water tower. It is a unique building and the masonry is a salmon colored red. Surprisingly there really is not any kind of historic information around the water tower. According to my unofficial internet sources, the tower was built in 1894 and used until 1912. Today it is still used as a communication tower.
The masonry of the top of the tower is ornate and features gargoyles. This is a common theme for the water works structures built in the park around the same time period. Just down the hill there is water works building that is made of the same brick and has a similar design, including the same gargoyles.
Hidden to the left of the blocked off entrance to the tower is a small plaque indicating the historic status of this building. Interestingly it looks like the “name” of the tower has washed off or was never engraved in the center of this plaque. For such a prominent building on the sky line of this eastern piece of Cincinnati, I’m surprised that there is not a plaque or at least that the name is not engraved on this small historic marker.
Across the street from the water tower is the “Presidential Grove”. I’ve never checked it out and I was surprised to find out what it is. The park service has a tree planted for every president that served up until the grove was created in 1882. After ever succeeding president has left office, they are asked to choose a tree that is planted in this grove in their honor..
I am surprised to see how many different species of Oaks are represented here.
The Presidential Grove (taken from the same location as the girl in the first picture)
Continuing on, I reach the upper overlook. There is a barge cruising a long down below. The sky has started to take on a deep shade of blue about 45 minutes after sunrise.
Down below there are the “ruins” of the old water reservoir. This water works building sits next to the ruins and is made of the same brick masonry as the water tower up on the hill.
Close-up on the tower. See the gargoyles up there? They’re the same as on the water tower shown previously.
In the distance we can see the small neighborhood of Mt. Adams
In the distance we see the back wall to the reservoir, and in the foreground the giant thick wall of the “ruins” crumbles down into the green space. It’s a neat little area.
You can walk along the top of the wall or come down below and play basketball or soccer. This stone work dates back to the mid 1800s.
The wall is really thick and obviously did a great job at keeping the water reservoir structurally sound. Check out this absolutely fascinating high resolution map from 1900 of Cincinnati. We can see the reservoir to the east of downtown dominating the landscape. It must have been torn down sometime after 1900.
The arches across the ruins of the wall are huge. I imagine that these stones came from the quarry located up the hill in the location that is now home to the twin lakes.
Mirror Lake is up on top of that back reservoir retaining wall.
In the distance we see the Water Works building. From this angle we can see how wide the reservoir wall is, exactly.
A final autumn-esque picture across mirror lake.
Coming out of Mt. Adams I pass by the Hotel Alms. There are many historic postcards over at Cincinnati Views. It was indeed built by the same Frederick Alms that Alms Park is named after. These days it has been converted for use as an apartment building.
I swung through East Walnut Hills on the way home and explored some of the little neighborhood cubbies. This is the entrance to St. Francis de Sales Church, a historic and beautiful building.
Upon exploring the “No Outlets” that were off of “No Outlets” that branched off from “No Outlets”, I came to a home that had a breathtaking view. Talk about a good location! This little nook was a real pain to get to on my bike and I actually had to walk my bike up hill on the way back because it was so steep.
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