Friday, October 11, 2013

My 40th State Capitol, the Nati & a Game

My 40th State Capitol, the Nati & a Game
By Andy Lopusnak,
October 4-6, 2013

My game this past weekend was in Cincinnati; however, with West Virginia’s capitol being one that I haven’t photographed and a few hours away, I flew into Charleston, WV to capture my 40th state capitol. 

Along the bank of the Kanawha River, the West Virginia Capitol Complex was completed from 1932. It was designed by Cass Gilbert, who reused the interior of the WV capitol’s East Wing in his design of the U.S. Supreme Court. Gilbert also designed the Minnesota State Capitol, New York’s Woolworth Building and Cincinnati’s PNC Tower


There’s just ten more capitol buildings I need to complete the Fifty Nifty United States. CLICK HERE TO SEE THE GALLERY OF THE 40. The ten remaining capitols I need are located in: Alaska (Juneau), Hawaii (Honolulu), Idaho (Boise), Iowa (Des Moines), Maine (Augusta), Montana (Helena), North Dakota (Bismarck), South Carolina (Columbia), South Dakota (Pierre) and Vermont (Montpelier). Here’s a look at the US map with the state capitols I’ve photographed in red.

After snapping #40, I had a nice scenic 200+ mile drive to right outside of Cincinnati to the little hamlet of North Bend, Ohio to photograph the grave of William Henry Harrison, the ninth U.S. President. Harrison died just 32 days into office. Harrison was also the grandfather of Benjamin Harrison, who was the 23rd president. This marks my tenth grave site photographed of a U.S. President (CLICK HERE TO SEE MY COLLECTION). Five U.S. Presidents were either born in the greater Cincinnati area or worked in the Nati: William Henry Harrison, Rutherford B. Hayes, Ulysses S. Grant, William Taft and Benjamin Harrison. Only the older Harrison is buried close to Cincy.

Cincinnati is named after the Roman dictator Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus, who gave up ultimate power and returned to farming. He became a model for George Washington after the Revolutionary War. It also helps that Cincy has seven hills just like Rome. Prior to becoming Cincinnati in 1790, the town was called Losantiville and also known as Porkopolis for the huge meat packing industry. There’s a mural on the side of the Brotherhood Building at 1025 Vine Street called the Homage to Cincinnatus, which was created by Richard Haas in 1983 to mark the 100th anniversary of the Kroger Company (a Cincy-based grocery store chain). This thing looks real. It’s likely the best mural I’ve ever seen.

Near the riverfront in Sawyer Point, there’s a statue of Cincinnatus.  A plaque under the sculpture reads:

The legendary Roman is seen here after he defeated the Aequians and rescued the trapped Roman Army. With one hand he returns the fasces, symbol of power as appointed Dictator of Rome, his other hand hold the plow, as he resumes the life of a citizen and farmer. 

There's more connections to Rome for Cincinnati than just Cincinnatus. Like Rome, Cincy is built on seven hills and "The City of Seven Hills" is one of my nicknames for the Nati. So it isn't any surprise that there's a sculpture of the Capitoline Wolf. This bronze sculpture is of a she-wolf sucking twin the infants Romulus and Remus, which is the most famous image associated with the founding of Rome. 

This Venetian Gothic style building was completed in 1878 and serves as the home for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati Opera. It is the third largest concert hall in the U.S. behind only the Met in NYC and the DAR Constitution Hall in D.C. Samuel Hannaford designed the Music Hall along with numerous other landmarks in the Nati, including City Hall, Cincinnati Observatory, the Cincinnatian Hotel (where CBS stays for games) and the Elsinore Arch.

Designed in the Richardsonian Romanesque style, the Cincinnati City Hall has a nine-story clock tower and was created with an optical illusion to make it seem larger than it actually is – the windows get smaller the higher the building goes. It was dedicated in 1893. Other works designed in the Richardsonian style are: the New York State Capitol in Albany and the Buffalo Insane Asylum

Constructed in 1883 for the Cincinnati Water Works and inspired by Elsinore Castle from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The Water Works wanted a structure to house numerous valves to control the flow of water at the base of the steep hill at the base of Mt. Adam’s Eden Park; and also wanted it to be a unique entrance to the park.

I love the Cincy skyline. I’ve shot it from the Ohio River in Covington, KY; Devou Park, Mount Adams and last year found another great spot in Price Hill. This time, I found another spot near the Price Hill neighborhood in Mt Echo Park. Sadly, the folks over at the Duke Energy Center didn’t turn on the glowing “Cincinnati” sign the entire week.

Founded in 1871 and renovated in 1971 and 2005, the square’s highlight is the Tyler Davidson Fountain - also known as The Genius of Water” as well as “The Lady.” The fountain is the symbol of the city and stands 43 feet high and the main figure is nine-feet high. She pours down the symbolic longed-for rain from her outstretched arms.

DC Comics artist Al Gmuer used the art deco design of Cincy’s Union Terminal (now known at the Cincinnati Museum Center) to create the Hall of Justice for the Super Friends TV show that was on ABC from 1973-86.

The history of baseball has many ties to Cincinnati. In 1869, the first all-professional baseball team began playing and the Red Stocking, as they were called back then, won 130 straight games from 1869-70. Because the Red Stockings were so dominant, it led to the formation of the National League, the first all-professional baseball league in 1890 and became known as the Reds.

Cincinnati was also the first baseball team to have a game broadcast on the road and also host a night game. Both of which were pioneer by eventual team owner Powel Crosley Jr. He’s backstory is pretty great. It’s amazing that he’s not in Cooperstown, but will be enshrined into the National Radio Hall of Fame next month. He got Proctor & Gamble to sponsor his radio dramas and the media called them “soap operas.” Near the Cincinnati Museum Center fountain is a plague depicting the site where the 1869 Red Stockings played their games.  

On the banks of the Ohio River is the home of the Reds, Great American Ball Park. 
The tour was $17 and also included admission to the Reds Hall of Fame. It was pretty informative and they even gave out a 12-inch Johnny Bench statue with the tour. I have shot all but two of the MLB stadiums (Toronto & the Chicago White Sox). You can see my gallery of MLB stadiums by CLICKING HERE

Tom Brady’s streak of 52 straight games with a pass touchdown ended as the Patriots lost for the first time this season 13-6. The 52 consecutive games was the second longest in NFL history to Drew Brees, who had 53. Brady completed just one of his last ten passes, which included an interception with 16 seconds left. It was the first loss by Brady against Cincinnati.

For the Bengals, Andy Dalton completed 74% of his passes (20-of-27) for 212 yards with an interception. The only touchdown was scored on a one-yard plunge by former Pats running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis with 9:21 left in the game.

TIME LAPSE: Inside the CBS Sports Graphics Truck
It was rainy and nasty Sunday morning, so I opted to do a time lapse in the truck since I have four time lapses of Paul Brown Stadium from last year (two from two different games). Of course, was wrong on the forecast. It claimed as of 7am Sunday morning that it was going to 100% chance of rain throughout the game. About five minutes before kickoff, the rain stopped. Damn you So I did another time lapse of the CBS Graphics Truck. 

I've written other blogs about Cincinnati in the past and if you want to read more about the Nati, please click the following links. If you haven't visited my galleries of Cincinnati, please do so since this week I've completely re-done the galleries. 

November 2012 blog
August 2012 blog
December 2011 blog
Cincinnati Photo Galleries

UP NEXT: Tennessee at Seattle
I’m happy to have a semi-home game (two-hour flight) this upcoming week and glad to be back in Seattle. Last time I was here, it was rainy. Well, every time I’ve been to the Pacific Northwest it’s rainy and cloudy. Fingers crossed it will be blue with awesome puffy clouds. I’m going up Friday afternoon to try and get more unique shots of Seattle. CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT MY SEATTLE GALLERIES.

Here’s my top shots from this weekend.

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