Merchantile Library and Traction Building

Downtown Cincinnati - Anne D. Steinert

Merchantile Library and Traction Building

Cincinnati, Ohio 45202, United States

Created By: Anne Steinert


The Mercantile Library formed in 1835 as a men's lending library. The library was originally located on Pearl Street, but moved to this location in 1845. The original building on this site was the Cincinnati College Building which had granted the Mercantile Library a 10,000 year lease (yes you read that correctly) negotiated by Alfonso Taft when the Library helped the Cincinnati College rebuild its home which had been destroyed by fire. The lease extended into this new building built in1902 in which the 11th and 12th floors were custom built and dedicated to the Mercantile Library. The building you see today was designed by local architect Joseph Steinkamp who kept his offices in the building.

The Traction Building was the second of Burnham's four Cincinnati skyscrapers. It was built in 1902.

This point of interest is part of the tour: Downtown Cincinnati - Anne D. Steinert


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