Mt. Lookout, 7 Fun Facts

August 31, 2019

Historic Mt. Lookout Square

Nestled in the Eastern Hills between Hyde Park and Linwood, with Columbia-Tusculum to the south, is one of Cincinnati’s most charming neighborhoods. Here are seven fun facts about Mt. Lookout.

1. It was originally called Delta.

Founded as a farming community, Delta was located in what was known as Spencer Township. In 1870, it was annexed by the city of Cincinnati. 

2. New neighbor, new name

In 1873 the Cincinnati Observatory was moved from Mt. Adams, where it had been since 1843, and placed in Delta. The neighborhood's name was soon changed to Mount Lookout. Today, the Observatory is still active and boasts the oldest working telescope in the U.S.

3. George Washington did NOT survey the area

It has been reported that George Washington surveyed the area that is now Mt. Lookout, but this is erroneous. The first president of the United States did survey land in Ohio while employed by the state of Connecticut, but that was in the northeastern part of the state in an area that became known as the Western Reserve.

4. A Frenchman developed most of the square

In 1901, a Frenchman named Frank Boesch bought four acres of land in the neighborhood and proceeded to develop most of the western side of the square. One of the buildings still bears his name.

5. It has a historic Art Deco landmark

On the south side of the square sits the Redmoor Event House, formerly the Redmoor Theater, part of Frank Boesch’s development efforts. There’s some confusion over when exactly it was built. Some sources say 1928, while county records say 1940. The facility’s current website says the first movie debuted there in 1938, with tickets being taken by ten-year-old Frances Faber, daughter of Frank Boesch, who currently owns the building, as well as the rest of her father’s former property. In any case, it’s a distinct piece of architecture in this historic neighborhood.

6. The oldest business on the square was established in 1919

The Rhode Funeral Home is the oldest business on Mt. Lookout Square. Established by George Rhode and his sons Don and Steve, the latter took over the business in 2002. The second-oldest business on the square is Zip’s Cafe, which opened in 1926. It started as a bookie joint.

7. It’s home to two very popular parks

Alms Park, named for Frederick H. Alms sits on land donated by his widow in 1916 as a memorial to her late husband. Overlooking both the Ohio and Little Miami Rivers, it was once known as Bald Hill, apparently because Native Americans had cleared the trees to keep an eye out for invading Europeans.

On the other side of Mt. Lookout is 224-acre Ault Park, named for Ida May Ault and her husband Levi Addison Ault, who donated the land. Over the years Ault Park has hosted a variety of special events, including an appearance in 2008 by then-presidential candidate Barack Obama. The Ault Park Pavilion, constructed in 1930 and renovated in the 1980s, offers a 360-degree view of the surrounding landscape, including Lunken Airport in the Little Miami River Valley below.




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