May 10 2013

Digging Deeper: The Ultimate Queen City Underground Tour

American Legacy Tours – located at 1218 Vine Street in Cincinnati’s historic Over the Rhine (OTR) – has continued to gain popularity, media attention and distinction since their opening in 2008. The company, founded by a small group of friends, offers a diverse range of engaging walking tours through Cincinnati Heritage, legend and folklore. These tours, which are facilitated from well-dressed and well-versed tour guides, indeed “make history engaging and entertaining for everyone,” as their mission statement proudly boasts.

American Legacy Tours

Their newest attraction, the Queen City Ultimate Underground Tour, which opened April 27, 2013, plunges history enthusiasts even deeper into Cincinnati Brewing History. Guided by expert storytelling, this tour explores even more historic locations including the Christian Moerlein bottling plant, the old John Kauffman Brewing Company, St. Paul Church (built 1848) and crypts located under the St. Francis Seraph Roman Catholic Church.

American Legacy Tours

American Legacy Tours

The German Brewing history of Over the Rhine, which once included 23 active breweries in operation, was an “economic engine” that had “an undeniable impact on the city’s economy,” according to local author & historian, Michael D. Morgan. Cincinnati breweries, in addition to their economic impact, would establish deep-rooted social, political and cultural legacies, which in many cases are still visible today if one is able to search in the right places.

American Legacy Tours

Most incredible about the Ultimate Queen City Underground Tour is how it serves a dual purpose – blending history with advocacy at the same time. Tour goers are not only able to walk into old buildings but gain a heightened appreciation for how Historic Preservation and Historic Places in OTR are being reactivated through local efforts from organizations like 3CDC and OTR Adopt.

“Here’s to Cincinnati, the Queen of the West, a dirty old city, yet still nobly blessed. For it’s here that the fine arts and frivolous ‘twine, a veritable Deutschland, just over the Rhine. The warmest greetings from all whom we meet, and a good draught of beer every ten or twelve feet.” – Common 19th/early 20th Century Toast, recited during Ultimate Queen City Underground Tour

How does heritage tourism connect to you and your city? How is it supporting the practice of urban planning and architecture? Please respond with your thoughts.

Credits: Data linked to sources. Photographs by Geoff Bliss.

Geoff Bliss

Geoff Bliss grew up in Woodstock, New York and will soon graduate from the Master of Community Planning program at the University of Cincinnati with a focus in Physical Planning. He holds a B.S. in Applied Arts & Science from the Rochester Institute of Technology where he studied Political Science & Archeology. With broad interests in Urban Planning, Geoff is interested finding relationships between Sustainable Development, Urban Archeology, Public Art, and DIY Urbanism. As a Grid blogger, Geoff reported on a wide range of Urban Planning & Urban Design topics in New York City and Cincinnati, OH.

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This entry was posted on Friday, May 10th, 2013 at 9:17 am and is filed under Architecture, Branding, Community/Economic Development, Content, Engineering, Environmental Design, Government/Politics, History/Preservation, Housing, Infrastructure, Internet Marketing, Land Use, Landscape Architecture, Social/Demographics, Technology, Urban Development/Real Estate, Urban Planning and Design. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


3 Responses to “Digging Deeper: The Ultimate Queen City Underground Tour”

  1. Brad Says:

    Hi Geoff,

    I wanted to send you a quick note. First, thank you for the article on us. Being a small group we appreciate all the good press we can get. The only other thing is minor, but we always want to be accurate. We are not affiliated with the Cincinnati Heritage tours that are run through the Cincinnati Museum Center. They offer their own version of an OTR tour that is very good.

    Thank you for your time.



  2. Geoff Bliss Says:

    Thanks for your input, Brad. I really enjoyed the tour. On my part, I didn’t mean to assume that you were directly affiliated with the Cincinnati Museum Center in any way. I suppose that I simply wanted to provide readers with additional means of learning about Cincinnati Heritage, in addition to the tour itself. Please let me know if that makes more sense. I’d be happy to make any needed corrections.

  3. Geoff Bliss Says:

    Hello Brad! Thanks for commenting. There actually might be a part two, given the recent interest. I was thinking about exploring about another former brewery, which is in the process of being rehabilitated into a multi-use performance venue. I’m really excited about and think that it would help their cause with more press. Do you live locally in Cincinnati? : D

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