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          Sacred Spaces of Greater Cincinnati


Voiceover (VO):

THEY’RE TOUCHSTONES, ECHOING CHANGING WAVES OF HISTORY.

THEY’RE SYMBOLS, RISING ABOVE OUR CITY STREETS – TESTAMENTS TO TIME.

THEY’RE EXPRESSIONS OF MASTERY IN ARCHITECTURE, CRAFT AND ART.

SACRED SPACES ARE THE SPIRITUAL HEART OF OUR COMMUNITY, PLACES WHERE PEOPLE COME TOGETHER TO SHARE THE MOST IMPORTANT EVENTS OF THEIR LIVES. 

IN GREATER CINCINNATI, HOUSES OF WORSHIP ARE AMONG OUR OLDEST AND MOST BEAUTIFUL BUILDINGS, REPRESENTING A RICH ARCHITECTURAL LEGACY AND A WEALTH OF RELIGIOUS ART. 

FROM THE SIMPLE CHURCHES OF EARLY CHRISTIAN IMMIGRANTS…

TO THE MODERN DAY MOSQUES OF RECENTLY IMMIGRATED MUSLIMS…

SACRED SPACES STAND AS WITNESSES, TELLING THE STORY OF WHO WE ARE, HOW WE SETTLED, HOW WE’VE CHANGED, AND HOW WE’VE GROWN. 

OVER TWO DOZEN ARE LISTED ON THE NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES; COUNTLESS OTHERS ARE TREASURED LANDMARKS THAT HELP TO SHAPE THE IMAGE AND IDENTITY OF OUR NEIGHBORHOODS. 

JOIN US, AS WE REVEAL THE EXTRAORDINARY BEAUTY OF SOME OF GREATER CINCINNATI’S MOST IMPORTANT SACRED SPACES, AND EXPLORE THEIR HISTORY, THEIR DESIGN, AND THEIR PLACE IN OUR COMMUNITIES.

Music up: PROGRAM TITLE -- Sacred Spaces of Greater Cincinnati

Music up: SEGMENT TITLE -- Early Beginnings

VO: SACRED DOMES AND SPIRES PUNCTUATE THE ROLLING HILLS OF THE OHIO RIVER VALLEY – EVIDENCE THAT RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE HAS LONG BEEN IMPORTANT IN OUR COMMUNITY LIFE.

AMERICAN INDIANS BUILT THE OLDEST SACRED SPACES IN GREATER CINCINNATI BEGINNING ABOUT THREE THOUSAND YEARS AGO. TENS OF THOUSANDS OF ANCIENT CONICAL MOUNDS, HILLTOP ENCLOSURES AND GEOMETRIC EARTHWORKS ONCE DOTTED THE CENTRAL OHIO VALLEY. SOME HAVE BEEN PRESERVED, BUT MOST, LIKE THE MOUNDS ONCE LOCATED IN THE BASIN OF CINCINNATI, HAVE BEEN LOST TO TIME AND DEVELOPMENT.

AS SOON AS THE FIRST EUROPEAN SETTLERS CAME BY FLATBOAT TO THE REGION THEY BEGAN TO BUILD CHURCHES IN SITES OF PROMINENCE. 

PIONEER PARK, NEAR LUNKEN AIRPORT IN THE EAST END, MARKS THE SITE OF THE FIRST SETTLEMENT AND THE FIRST CHURCH.  MAJOR BENJAMIN STITES AND OTHER FIRST SETTLERS BUILT THE COLUMBIA BAPTIST CHURCH IN 1792. 

THAT CHURCH WAS ALSO USED BY PRESBYTERIANS, WHO HAD CONGREGATIONS IN COLUMBIA AND DOWN RIVER IN LOSANTIVILLE, WHICH BECAME CINCINNATI. 

PRESBYTERIANS AND OTHER PROTESTANT CONGREGATIONS IN CINCINNATI BUILT THEIR FIRST CHURCHES ON FOURTH STREET.

Dan Hurley: 
The 19th century urban skyline wasn’t defined by skyscrapers. It was defined by church steeples and a few factory smoke stacks. So, the establishment of churches, particularly along Fourth Street, was very important. Christ Church gets established as the first Episcopal congregation on 4th Street very, very early. 

CHRIST CHURCH EPISCOPALIAN CATHEDRAL, STILL ON FOURTH STREET, TRACES ITS ROOTS TO 1817, AND SOME OF CINCINNATI’S EARLIEST AND MOST INFLUENTIAL RESIDENTS. THE CURRENT CATHEDRAL, BUILT TO REPLACE AN HISTORIC GOTHIC STRUCTURE, INCLUDES TIFFANY WINDOWS FROM THAT OLDER CHURCH. THE CENTENNIAL CHAPEL OFFERS AN INTIMATE SETTING FOR SMALLER SERVICES. 

Transition:

AS OUR CITIES GREW, SO DID OUR CHURCHES.  IN THE MID –19TH CENTURY, CINCINNATI WAS THE FASTEST GROWING CITY IN THE UNITED STATES.

MANY IRISH CAME TO THE AREA, FOLLOWED BY A LARGE INFLUX FROM THE REGION NOW KNOWN AS GERMANY.

Dan Hurley: 
Germany doesn’t exist until 1870. /These are people who are coming from a variety of German-speaking states in Central Europe. They don’t think of themselves as coming from Germany. They don’t think of themselves as German as such/ until they get here. And they find themselves up against the American society that they suddenly find themselves sort of dropped into.
 
THE ARRIVAL OF SO MANY IMMIGRANTS BROUGHT ABOUT WHAT MIGHT BE CONSIDERED THE GOLDEN AGE OF SACRED ARCHITECTURE IN THE REGION. 

A REMARKABLE CLUSTER OF SACRED SPACES WAS FORMED NEAR THE CORNER OF PLUM AND EIGHTH STREETS. 

THE UNITARIAN CHURCH ON THE NORTHEAST CORNER IS GONE, BUT THREE OF OUR MOST MAGNIFICENT SACRED SPACES ARE STILL THERE, METICULOUSLY PRESERVED. 

COVENANT FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH…

SAINT PETER IN CHAINS CATHEDRAL…

AND PLUM STREET TEMPLE …

TOGETHER WITH CINCINNATI’S CITY HALL, THESE STRUCTURES CREATED AN IMPORTANT CIVIC AND SOCIAL CENTER IN THE HEART OF THE CITY.

Dan Hurley: SS-SSTPICT31_2)
So, what you end up with is this wonderful statement / of groups of people trying to figure out what it means to be American and what it means to be church and state in America on this wonderful corner. 
Sacred_Spaces_script_files/Sacred_VOrev12-6%20copy.doc

© Meg Hanrahan                   Email: megrahan@fuse.net                 Phone: 513-604-9581