Let’s be honest, who doesn’t love the library? The nostalgia of younger days, peace and quiet, and did I mention free books, magazines, CDs, and movies? The Cincinnati and Hamilton County Public Library goes beyond every bookworm’s expectation by offering 41 locations in the Greater Cincinnati area and a large assortment of resources readily available to all community members.
One branch stands out from the rest, that’s Parkview Manor, home of the Clifton Branch, located at 3400 Brookline Ave. The manor was donated in 2010 by Michael L. Dever to become the new Clifton Branch Library. Built in 1895 by Samuel Hannaford and his firm, to be the home of the well-known Politian, George “Boss” Cox. Samuel Hannaford also designed over 1,000 buildings in the Cincinnati area. Two of the most renowned being Cincinnati’s Music Hall and City Hall.
Extremely well-preserved and spanning over 10,000 square feet, Parkview Manor has become the perfect home for the Clifton Library. It has been open to the public since May 2015 and it has truly become a jewel in the community. Along with the vast history the building provides, there is so much to love and celebrate about the Cincinnati Public Library’s Clifton Branch.
1. The Architectural Style and Details
The exterior of the manor is covered in a beautifully laid Indiana limestone masonry, accompanied by deep recessed openings, a three-story turret, and a conical tower roof, that gives the building a charming mix of Romanesque and Chateauesque styles. The beauty of the building alone makes me want to spend all day there with my nose in a book.
As you walk through the library house, you will notice some breathtaking key pieces of architecture that make this library extra unique. The original staircase still stands in the center of the library. It is marked with hand carved newel posts imported from Europe and leads up to a painted glass window that is also an original statement piece in the home.
As you’re browsing through the media, don’t forget to look around! You will notice the detailed ceiling moldings and mosaic tile fireplaces in almost every room. The one of a kind and charismatic design treasures of this home have survived and been maintained for over 100 years.
2. Downloadable Media & Curbside Service
Some people love reading a physical copy of a book, taking in the crisp wooden smell of each page they turn. While some people love reading on their tablet, having the convenience of hauling thousands of books around that combined weigh less than 5 lbs. Luckily, Cincinnatians have the luxury of choosing how they want to use their library. With the CHPL free app, you can download all of your desired content. Supplying eBooks, eAudiobooks, eLearning, music, and movies, available to borrow through any of the free apps and browsers provided to you by the library. As well, through the CHPL app you can search your library’s catalog and checkout or renew your books from home. If you want the physical copy of your content, select curbside pickup or your branch’s pickup locker when checking out on the app. Both of these services are available at Parkview Manor, Clifton Branch.
3. Meeting Rooms
One of the many advantages to having a library card is the free meeting and study rooms available at almost all locations for reservation on their website or app. The Clifton branch offers 1 meeting room and 3 study rooms located up the stairs at the library. Meeting rooms are equipped with everything you need for a successful meeting: table, chairs, a dry erase board, and a flat panel TV to display your presentations. Parkview manor is home to a beautiful quiet reading room on the first floor that was originally the home’s porte-cochere (carriage gate). Now enclosed with magnificent radius windows that provides the perfect amount of light and comfort as you dive into a good read.
Every Cincinnati Public Library offers free computer services. You can reserve one before coming in or hop on one after you check out some books! They provide free wifi, printing, and faxing services. They also provide support and information for furthering education, old newspaper articles, genealogy, small business start-ups, registering to vote, tax assistance, and so much more, supplying more than 200 online and library-based research databases to locate information on a broad range of subjects. How amazing is that! Feel free to ask a Librarian for help when using their technology and research services.
5. Community Events
The Clifton Branch offers so many unique events and programs: Friday Morning Book Club, Plant Club, Walking the Winter, an in person ESOL Conversation Group, and children’s story time! The library offers classes on local history, technology, cooking, crafts, homework help, and so much more! Combing their multiple locations with a virtual option and wide variety of events and clubs, you’ll be sure to find something just right for you. Check out the Cincinnati Public Library website for a full list of events.
With all of their resources available for free and a desire to build up the community around them, the Cincinnati and Hamilton County Public Library is a huge asset to our city. Of course, I’m especially partial to the Parkview Manor Clifton Branch. The historic building brings a special story to the Clifton area and is loved deeply by its community.
Now that you know more about the Cincinnati and Hamilton County Public Libraries, it’s time to get your library card and check out the location closest to you! If you’re looking for more things to do around the Cincinnati, here’s a full list of local events to check out.