Clifton History in Our Sidewalks, Part II

By Margaret Reich, with Kip Eagen

This article was first published in the Summer 2022 Clifton Chronicle.

Six bronze plaques were imbedded in the sidewalks of the Ludlow Avenue business district in 2010 as part of a larger Ludlow Avenue revitalization project, which also included establishment of the seating area at Ludlow and Telford. The plaques were designed and fabricated by the Andrews/LeFevre Studios in New York City, guided by input from our community. The plaques commemorate the history, buildings and businesses of Clifton.

The Clifton residents who worked with the city on this project included Jinny Berten, Kip Eagen, Phil Herrick, and Steve Schuckman with the support of ArtWorks. The intention was to create visually striking works of art called “Art Carpets.” The content is whimsical in nature with visual puns and “insider” references to local history. These public art works are unique to Clifton within Cincinnati. 

The largest plaque sits in front of Clifton Plaza. Look carefully and the images are self-explanatory, celebrating some of Clifton’s exceptional architecture, like the allegedly haunted house on Cornell Avenue. A favorite true story is remembered, of the cow that escaped a Camp Washington slaughterhouse and evaded capture in Mt. Storm Park for 12 days. Some of the Art Carpets are related to nearby buildings (one at the Esquire Theatre, one in front of Graeter’s Ice Cream). Let me know which plaque you’d next like to know about at cliftonccf@gmail.com.

One of several bronze “art carpets” ne of several bronze “art carpets” embedded in the sidewalk along Ludlow Avenue. The one pictured here is the largest and sits in front of Clifton Plaza. It depicts examples of Clifton’s architectural gems, a fountain, a gas-lit streetlamp, and more.

Chronicle Minute: The Chronicle Chats with Capt. Ron Wilson

Hello, everyone, and welcome to the Chronicle Chats where we interview some- one who makes our neighborhood a special place. We hope that you enjoyed our last Chronicle Chats with Cindy Erwin, who has worked at Clifton Skyline Chili for 40 years. In this issue we interviewed the captain of Cincinnati Fire Department’s Station 34 on Ludlow Avenue, Ron Wilson. Station 34 is an iconic Clifton building and that is where we found Capt. Wilson one snowy Sunday this past January.

Captain Ron Wilson and Lucy Whedon

How long have you been a firefighter?

“I have been a firefighter for about 25 years now.”

Do you like the architecture of the firehouse?

“Yes and a lot of people that come by love it too.”

Do you know what year firehouse 34 was built?

“This firehouse was built in 1896”

What hours do you work here?

“All the firemen work 24-hour shifts from 7 a.m. to 7 a.m. the next day”.

Do the fireman have a favorite spot in Clifton?

“Besides the firehouse probably the park (Burnet Woods) because we do some of our training there.”

Describe your perfect day here?

“My perfect day at the firehouse would  be with my regular team and there really is no perfect day here because everyday is perfect here. Every day is perfect because every day is different and you never know what will happen that day really.”

What is your favorite thing to order at Skyline?

“My favorite order is probably a small Five-Way, I like the beans.”

What is your favorite ice cream flavor from Graeters?

“My  favorite  flavor  would   definitely be butter pecan.”

Clifton is known for its older houses, is that a problem for preventing fires?

“No, not really, but if there is a fire in an older house they are built differently so it can be difficult.”

Bearcats or Musketeers?

“Ooo . . . I would have to say Xavier.”

You put a water bowl out for the dogs, what is the most interesting dog that you have seen?

“Hmm . . . there are a group of three pit bull mixes that come there very often so   I would say them because they can be in- teresting.”

Thank you to Captain Ron Wilson and all the fire fighters there that make Station 34 so great. For any Clifton Chronicle Chat suggestions, please email thewhedons@ gmail.com.  We will see you next time for our Clifton Chronicle Chats.