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John Kiesewetter on the world of local and national TV

Senior Entertainment Reporter John Kiesewetter has been covering TV and media issues for 20 years. After joining the Cincinnati Enquirer in 1975 as a summer intern, he worked as a county government and suburban reporter; assistant city editor and suburban editor; and features editor supervising the Life section. He has a B.S. in journalism from Ohio University.

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Monday, December 17, 2007

Crosley Mansion Open Again For Tours

The last time Mercy Hospital folks opened Powel Crosley Jr.'s Pinecroft mansion for self-guided tours, they were stunned to see more than 2,000 people show up. More than 100 were lined up before the door opened...
So how many will come 6-8:30 p.m. Tuesday for a rare look inside the 1920s English Tudor home built in the 1920s by Crosley, the WLW-AM founder, former Cincinnati Reds owner, and Cincinnati industrialist-inventor? It's at 2366 Kipling Ave., on the grounds of Mercy Hospital Mount Airy.
The hospital is hosting a book signing there for Robert Flischel's "The University of Cincinnati, Architectural Transformation: Tradition and Innovation" (RAF Press; $55). Proceeds from the book will benefit the Pinecroft Preservation Fund to renovate, restore and document the 13,300 square foot home for nomination to the Historic Registry of Places. (You don't have to buy a book to take a self-guided tour.)
I went last year and was surprised to see that it looked so much like the way it was built for Crosley for about $750,000 in 1927. (He died in 1961.) You can still see Crosley's initials and family crest on the front of the two-story house. The original hand-carved oak walls are in excellent shape, as is the dining room mantel with carved acorns. Stained-glass insets of the University of Cincinnati and state of Ohio seals still decorate hall and dining room windows.
Off the basement game room, under the grand oak stairway, is a 1.5-inch thick metal safe door hiding Crosley's Prohibition-era wine cellar. Stained glass windows on the south basement wall depict his interests in fishing, hunting, boating, flying and polo.
Last year's open house was held 3-7 p.m. Many of us took advantage of the daylight to walk around the grounds, tennis court and garages. Opening the house after dark Tuesday won't allow you to visualize the Olympic-sized swimming pool (filled in) and bathhouse, landing strip, formal gardens, short golf course, a stable for the polo ponies and a vineyard described in the book, "Crosley: Two Brothers and a Business Empire That Transformed The Nation" by Rusty McClure, Michael A. Banks and David Stern.
Yeah, it's a week before Christmas… and we're all crazy busy… but this is a great opportunity to see one of the Queen City's elusive hidden gems.
Just try to get there early.


at 12/17/2007 1:25 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Imagine what that place must have been like in the 30's, when there wasn't a UDF and Taco Bell a couple of blocks away.

Perhaps those taking the tour might snoop around in old Powell's desk and see if they can find his manual for running a successful radio station. If you find it, send it to Clear Channel.

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