Walk the cobblestone streets of the mid-1800s century waterfront starting Nov 17
After a two-and-a-half year closure to accommodate the historic restoration of Union Terminal, the Cincinnati History Museum is reopening with the first phase of permanent exhibits – the Public Landing. The exhibit is a fully immersive experience that transports you back in time to the mid-19th century, to the creak of paddle wheels on the river and the clip-clop of horse hooves on the cobblestones, the calls of dockworkers and street vendors and the clank and slosh of a German beer hall.
Guests can wander into five historic shops and peek into the lives of the men and women who drove the economy of a blossoming Midwestern city. Meet J.P. Ball, a free black portrait photographer who owned a renowned photography studio that has been recreated in the Public Landing, telling his remarkable story and inviting you to take a vintage selfie. Practice the careful task of typesetting in the in the print shop and pick the perfect fabric for a suit or dress in the dressmaker’s shop. Connect with friends and family over a game of checkers in the beer hall, and peruse the wares at Fifth Street Market to learn the culinary history of “Porkopolis.”
Climb aboard the Queen of the West steamboat and learn how steam power drove the city’s economy, transporting goods and travelers up and down the Ohio River. Hunt for cargo in the hold, and read accounts of passengers arriving into Cincinnati for the first time. Stroll down the gangplank onto the Public Landing and take a peek into the trunks and luggage of immigrants who carried their lives in a suitcase to the Western frontier and in turn shaped who we are as a city today. What can you learn from the contents of their luggage? Who were they? What drew them to Cincinnati? What did they bring and what might you bring if you were moving your life to a new place?
While the Public Landing will feel familiar to guests who have come to love it over the years, new shopfronts, a new soundscape and new interactive activities bring it to life in fresh, dynamic new ways. The city comes alive with the calls of merchants and friends, the squeal of a shadow herd of pigs being unloaded from the steamboat and the impassioned rhetoric of politicians speaking out against slavery, advocating for temperance and more in historic speeches drawn from CMC’s History Library and Archives.
The Public Landing is the first of several new exhibits to open in the Cincinnati History Museum. Additional exhibits will open in phases over the next several years.
The Public Landing has been made possible through the generosity and support of the Ohio Humanities Council and the Bill Muster Foundation. The Science Museum of Minnesota, in partnership with CMC, helped develop and fabricate the content for the exhibit.
Learn more at cincymuseum.org/history/public-landing.
About Cincinnati Museum Center
Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC) at Union Terminal is a nationally recognized institution and national historic landmark. Dedicated to sparking community dialogue, insight and inspiration, CMC was awarded the 2009 National Medal for Museum and Library Service from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and received accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums in 2012. CMC is one of a select few museums in the nation with both of these honors, making it a unique asset and a vital community resource. Union Terminal has been voted the nation’s 45th most important building by the American Institute of Architects. Organizations within CMC include the Cincinnati History Museum, Duke Energy Children’s Museum, Museum of Natural History & Science, Robert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX® Theater and Cincinnati History Library & Archives. Recognized by Forbes Traveler Magazine as the 17th most visited museum in the country, CMC welcomes more than one million visitors annually. For more information, visit www.cincymuseum.org.