The Betts House, one of Cincinnati’s best kept secrets, has a new exhibit opening this weekend featuring over twenty drawings by the husband and wife team of Barbra and David Day. Vanishing Cincinnati includes drawings that depict Cincinnati’s urban landscape from the mid 1800’s to the mid 1900’s. They feature both very familiar landmarks such as Findlay Market and the Roebling Suspension Bridge as well as landmarks that have been lost as time moved on including the Albee Theater and the Bus Depot.
The Days are design consultants that work in Pendelton, and are fourth and fifth generation Cincinnatians that have taken many projects on around the city. Some of their work around the city has included the architectural restoration of the historic Enquirer building on Vine Street, the Over-the-Rhine Gateway Monument at Liberty Street and Reading Road, and the mosaic in the market house at Findlay Market which was installed to celebrate its 150th year of operation.
In interviews, David Day has said that through the multiple generations of his family there has been a David Day shopping at Findlay Market since the end of the Civil War. Clearly he and his wife have a passion and deep understanding of Cincinnati which should come through loud and clear in their drawings.
The partnership with The Betts House is really a match made in heaven as The Betts House has deep historical connections as well. Not only is it the oldest residential building in the Cincinnati basin, it is also the oldest brick house in the state of Ohio.
Built in 1804 as a part of the Betts Family Farm (a 111 acre piece of land that makes up today’s West End neighborhood), the Betts House is currently used as a gallery hosting various art projects through the year, there were five generations of the Betts family that called the house on Clark Street home and it basically sits unchanged today, after some restoration of course. The house and the exhibits are privatley funded through grants and sponsorships with donations and memberships available for individuals as well.
Vanishing Cincinnati, made possible by a grant from ArtsWave, will open this Friday, February 11 with a reception starting at 5pm and run through April 23. The Betts House is otherwise open Tuesday through Thursday from 11am to 2pm, and on the second and fourth Saturday each month from 12pm to 5pm. Admission for Vanishing Cincinnati is just $2.