I always knew Powel Crosley, Jr.
My family had been members of the YMCA that bears his name in Springfield Township along Winton Road – across the street from the neighborhood where my grandma lives – for as long as I can remember. There was a big painted portrait of the famous Cincinnatian, radio pioneer and inventor of putting shelves in the door of your refrigerator right behind the front desk where we used to show our membership cards.
So, I was pretty excited to learn that Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory and Vice Mayor Jim Tarbell were going to tour Crosley’s Mount Airy Mansion. And even better, they were there to tout restoring the old house into a museum and quasi-conference center.
I think next it would be worthwhile to turn the old Crosley factory in Camp Washington (visible from Interstate 75, it’s the big, yellowish approximately 5-story building with the billboard/for-sale sign on top that has been graffiti’d to hell and back). That’s WLW-AM’s original broadcasting studio and where many notable entertainers would go to broadcast on the 500,000-watt behemoth known as the “nation’s station.”
In this photo, Mallory and Tarbell share a laugh with Dave (I lost his last name), the facilities director for Mercy Hosptial Mount Airy. They were in Crosley’s spacious home office, where Tarbell had come across a secret closet that apparently was designed as a gun rack. The Crosley home is on the grounds of the hospital.
Also, the photo that accompanies this story (which I also shot) is inside the bathroom off this office, just a few feet away. Besides the stunning Rookwood Pottery, the bath’s shower had body jets, those nozzles that spray water on the body below the top nozzle. It also had leg-level air heaters built into the pottery. Amazing for a place built in 1927 and 1928.