Two landmark cultural centers on either side of The Ohio work to add meaning and relevance to their offerings.
Harriet Beecher Stowe House
The big white house at the corner of Gilbert and MLK in Walnut Hills looks dramatically different right now, and a little less white. Restoration crews have been working steadily for several months uncovering the original style and architecture of the Harriet Beecher Stowe House. The house’s original Federal architectural style is now clear to see.
Up to 17 layers of paint have been removed from the brick home, revealing infinite details about how the house was constructed in 1832 when it was built as the president’s home for Lane Theological Seminary. The house’s memorable large front porch, added in the early 20th century, has also been removed, uncovering outlines of the smaller portico from the middle of the 19th century. Restoration crews also removed large bay windows on both the first and second floors of the home, taking the house’s footprint back to the early 1800s.
According to Executive Director Christina Hartlieb, this restoration is revealing fascinating new information daily about how the house was put together and how various members of the Beecher family may have used the rooms during their nearly twenty-year residence in Cincinnati. Revealing the original façade helps the site’s visitors get an immediate sense of the Beecher’s time period in ways that had been more difficult when the history was hidden under decades of new additions.
The Harriet Beecher Stowe House remains open for tours by appointment during this restoration project. 2021 book clubs, discussion groups and lectures will begin online in February.
Harriet Beecher Stowe, who moved to Cincinnati with her father at the age of 21, lived in Cincinnati for 18 years and went on to write the influential anti-slavery novel “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” published in 1852. During the 1930s and 1940s the house served as an African American boarding house and tavern listed in the “Green Motorist Book.”
The Harriet Beecher Stowe House, located at 2950 Gilbert Avenue, is an Ohio History Connection historic site and is managed locally by the Friends of Harriet Beecher Stowe House.
513-751-0651 or stowehousecincy.org
Baker Hunt Art and Cultural Center
Baker Hunt Art and Cultural Center recently completed a $1.8M renovation of its historic Scudder House building. Responding to enthusiastic interest from the community in cooking classes, renovations included a state-of-the-art teaching kitchen.
Under the leadership of Chef Alex Noel, Baker Hunt is introducing over 30 new cooking and baking classes during the winter session, which began on Jan. 3. A variety of in-person and virtual classes are available including:
- New Year, New You Series: Ditch fad diets and leave with a sustainable understanding of the basics of nutrition, healthy food preparation and healthful eating. Try your hand at preparing a delicious dish.
- Kids in the Kitchen Series: In this much-requested format, adults and their child experience cooking together. Kids grow their confidence and skills in the kitchen, and everyone leaves with a delicious meal.
- $15 Online Workshops: Designed to be a fun experience in the kitchen for those staying at home. Students join in a “cook along” and end the session with a delicious meal.
Baker Hunt takes COVID-19 precautions very seriously and the large kitchen space allows for students to participate at a safe distance.
A limited number of need-based scholarships are available.
Schedule of classes and registration: bakerhunt.org