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Cincinnati's Eden Park: 186 Acres of Art, Theater and Nature

Updated on March 4, 2015
Gazebo at Mirror Lake in Eden Park
Gazebo at Mirror Lake in Eden Park

Eden Park is one of many city parks owned and operated by the Cincinnati Park Board. Three major cultural landmarks are located on the park’s 186 acres; Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park and Krohn Conservatory. The park also features MirrorLake, a gazebo, gardens, and scenic overlooks of the Ohio River valley.

EdenPark is located in the Mt.Adams community of Cincinnati.  The park was purchased in 1859 and began as the designation for the city’s water supply. Early on the city identified that the area could also be used as a city park.  Much of the land was given to the city by Nicholas Longworth, who was once the wealthiest man in Cincinnati.  

museum interior
museum interior

Cincinnati Art Museum

The Cincinnati Art Museum is one of the oldest art museums in the United States and is the largest Art Museum in Ohio, with an extensive collection of over 60,000 objects.  In addition to displaying its own collections, the museum hosts national and international exhibitions.  General admission is free.        

Following the success of the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia in 1876, the Women’s Art Museum Association was formed with the intention of bringing an art institution to the Cincinnati area.  By 1881 the Cincinnati Museum Association was incorporated.  Construction of the museum building was completed in 1886.

At that time, public art museums were a new trend in the eastern United States.  The trend had not yet reached as far west as Cincinnati.  When the museum building was completed in EdenPark, it became known throughout the world as “The Art Palace of the West.”

Cincinnati Art Museum
Cincinnati Art Museum
Source
Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park
Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park | Source
Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park
Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park
Interwoven with gospel music, Gees Bend, a heartwarming and powerful play by Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder, celebrates the human spirit. The inspiring story of the women of Gees Bend, Alabama, who sew quilts that turn out to be magnificent works of art, a
Interwoven with gospel music, Gees Bend, a heartwarming and powerful play by Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder, celebrates the human spirit. The inspiring story of the women of Gees Bend, Alabama, who sew quilts that turn out to be magnificent works of art, a | Source

Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park

The Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park was founded in 1959 by a college student, Gerald Covell, who had an artistic vision for a professional theatre in Cincinnati.  He worked with community leaders to create the Playhouse, which originally was held in the park’s shelter house.  In 1960, the shelter house was converted to a 166 seat theater.  Opening night of Meyer Levin’s Compulsion was held at the Playhouse’s opening night on October 10, 1960.

John Hillerman was in the cast of Compulsion , and went on to a successful film and television career.  He was among the first of many actors who have appeared at the Playhouse, to include:  Scott Bakula, Roscoe Lee Browne, David Canary, Kristin Davis, Patty Duke, Raúl Esparza, Bonnie Franklin, Swoosie Kurtz, Cleavon Little, Donna McKechnie, Estelle Parsons, Anthony Perkins, Charlotte Rae, Lee Roy Reams, Lynn Redgrave, Mercedes Ruehl, Gary Sandy, Susan Stroman, Daniel J. Travanti, Cicely Tyson, Sam Waterston and Henry Winkler. 

With sell out crowds, the Playhouse quickly outgrew the shelter house, and an addition to the shelter house.  In 1968, the Robert S. Marx Theater, named after a Cincinnati philanthropist, opened with Camino Real by Tennessee Williams.  The Marx Theater won architectural awards for its design and flexibility.  The theater has been extensively renovated since then due to record attendance and a successful capital campaign.  In 2004, the Playhouse was recognized with the Regional Theater Tony Award, for its artistic achievements and contributions to the growth of theater nationally.

Year round acting classes for all ages are held at the theater, and in school touring performances are held in area schools.  The Theater hosts internships for young actors who participate in the Playhouse Touring Company.

Krohn Conservatory

Source

Krohn Conservatory was built in 1933 during the art deco era, and houses more than 3500 plant species from around the world. EdenPark’s first greenhouses were built in the 1880s, and were used for growing plants.  In 1902, a new greenhouse designed for public displays was opened. The first year a chrysanthemum show was held, and more than 300,000 people visited the greenhouse in the first two years.

Conservatory collections include the Bonsai Collection, DesertGarden, Floral Display, Orchid Display, Palm House and Tropical House. Special exhibits and programs are held throughout the year, including the most popular spring butterfly show, where thousands of butterflies are let loose in one of the gardens.

Source

Eden Park

show route and directions
A markerArt Museum -
953 Eden Park Dr, Cincinnati, OH 45206, USA
get directions

B markerPlayhouse in the Park -
962 Mt Adams Cir, Cincinnati, OH 45202, USA
get directions

C markerKrohn Conservatory -
1501 Eden Park Dr, Cincinnati, OH 45202, USA
get directions

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    • Mentalist acer profile image

      Mentalist acer 6 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

      Does WKRP still broadcast in Cincinnati,lol,but really these are awsome and beautiful possessions of the city.;)

    • kimh039 profile image
      Author

      Kim Harris 6 years ago

      I get amazed when I think of how people used to donate land for public enjoyment, and how groups like the Park Board or the Museum Association get started. ... I loved Venus Fly Trap and the long haired, laid back DJ - can't think of his name!

    • Mentalist acer profile image

      Mentalist acer 6 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

      Dr.Johnny Fever,lol.;)

    • kimh039 profile image
      Author

      Kim Harris 6 years ago

      LOL! That's right.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

      Hi,

      A great hub and as armchair travelling is one of my greatest pastimes this one was a treat.

      Take care

      Eiddwen.

    • kimh039 profile image
      Author

      Kim Harris 6 years ago

      Thanks Eiddwen. Glad you enjoyed the trip! We really can go far without going anywhere nowadays.

    • crystolite profile image

      Emma 6 years ago from Houston TX

      That's cool.

    • kimh039 profile image
      Author

      Kim Harris 6 years ago

      thanks crystolite!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      What a wonderful hub about Cincinnati's Eden Park. You can bet that if we ever get up that way, we will visit it. Thanks for writing this hub. Up, useful and beautiful ratings from me...and oh, you also have a new follower.

    • kimh039 profile image
      Author

      Kim Harris 6 years ago

      Thanks Peggy. It's pretty much on your way to anywhere you might go in Ohio! I'm glad you enjoyed, and really appreciate your comments.

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 6 years ago from South Africa

      Lovely, really! I wish I could go there - but I guess will have to be satisfied with your lovely guided tour, thanks.

      Love and peace

      Tony

    • kimh039 profile image
      Author

      Kim Harris 6 years ago

      We are all so well traveled here at HubPages, as Eiddwen points out above! Thanks for stopping in to read and comment tonymac.

    • Mike's Corner profile image

      Mike's Corner 6 years ago from Maryland

      Great hub, Eden Park looks like a terrific park!

    • kimh039 profile image
      Author

      Kim Harris 6 years ago

      Thanks Mike. Yep. It's a treasure:) Thanks for taking the tour.

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 6 years ago

      ....wow - what a wonderful tour and a real eye-opener too!

      You are the consummate tour guide and travelogue writer and it's obvious this hub is truly a labor of love!

      I sincerely hope everything is well in your life and it's always a thrill to hear from you my esteemed and noble colleague - and friend!

    • kimh039 profile image
      Author

      Kim Harris 6 years ago

      Thank you epi-man:) Less formal perhaps but mutual warm regards to you, my esteemed and noble poetry man. Thanks for touring with me.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Ahhh, gazebos and museums. What a great combination of history and art and Eden Park looks so inviting. My childhood family spent many Sundays at the Museum of Art and Natural History in NY. (It was free admission, LOL) This makes me want to visit and check out the Cincinnati artifacts. Quite nicely done.

    • kimh039 profile image
      Author

      Kim Harris 4 years ago

      Thanks PegCole17. I appreciate your taking the time to read and comment. Let me know if you visit:)

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