A Comparison of Cincinnati Underground Tours

See the fascinating subterranean world  of a subway system that never was beneath the streets of Cincinnati.

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(Photo: Viator.com)

There was once a dream among city planners in Cincinnati to give the citizens of this Ohio city fast, affordable inner city train travel. Towards the end of World War I, work began on construction. By the onset of the Great Depression, a little over a decade later, despite two miles of tunnel already built, the project was canned. Now, those tunnels have the ignominious title of longest abandoned subway in the US, which makes them perfect for exploration. Here are five different styles of underground tour in the Queen City.

Brewers & Barons Trail Tour

Around the time the plans to build a subway in Cincinnati were failing, Prohibition was also failing US society by fueling the rise in organized crime. It also led to plenty of illegal brewing activity. This two-hour walking tour takes guests around the city’s Brewery District, uncovering stories that go way back to the 19 th century’s brewing barons. The guided tour follows the Brewing Heritage Trail, includes some beer tastings, and stops by a number of historic brewing sites to see what’s left of their underground operations. Tours on Sat only. From $39 per person.

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Over & Under the Rhine Tour

One of Cincinnati’s oldest neighborhoods is called Over-the-Rhine, where many landmarks such as Washington Park and Findlay Market are located. This tour combines rides on the streetcar, plus around a mile of walking to explore these and other sites, plus delves below the ground to see remnants of that aborted subway system, as well as delving really deep down into the old cold-storage facility of Gerke Brewery. A pint of beer at a local taproom is also included in this tour. Tours on Sat, plus Wed and Fri in warmer months. From $39 per person.

Ultimate Queen City Underground Tour

The benefit of a good underground tour is that, even for people who think they know Cincinnati well, there’s plenty more going on out of sight. That is what this Queen City underground tour aims to explore: the important moments in history that flew under the radar, the hidden underground world of crypts and tunnels, and more. This walking tour lasts around 150 minutes. Daily tours from April to early September, then on weekends only in colder months. From $45 per person.

tour of cincinnati subway

Hidden Brewery Caverns Tour in Cincinnati with Beer Tasting

Brewery tours are a hugely popular way to explore the suds of Cincinnati while also getting the chance to see underground caverns and tunnels linked to breweries past and present. This hugely popular tour explores the history of at least five breweries, some now defunct – such as Jackson Brewery, where exclusive access to their subterranean tunnels really adds flavor to the history – and some still in operation – such as Northern Row Brewery, where guests over the age of 21 get to take part in a beer tasting. From $49 per person.

Cincinnati Brewing & Distilling Tasting Tour

An alternative type of brewery tour focusses more on the styles of brewing and distilling beers and spirits that have been used in Cincinnati through the years. Taking place largely indoors, this option operated by the Brewing Heritage Trail, runs only on Saturdays and includes both a beer flight tasting and a spirit sampling. Head underground to the old beer fermentation cellar at the now-defunct Jackson Brewery, then see how things are done today in a behind the scenes look at Northern Row Brewery and Distillery. From $49 per person.

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7 unforgettable underground experiences in cincinnati.

Cincinnati’s underground treasures offer a fascinating journey into its rich history and hidden secrets. From the remnants of an abandoned brewery to the mysterious tunnels of the infamous Over-the-Rhine neighborhood , these subterranean wonders promise an unforgettable exploration of the city's past. Uncover the stories of the working-class heroes who helped build Cincinnati's historic beer brewing industry , or step into the shadows of the Prohibition era, where speakeasies thrived beneath the city's surface. As you descend beneath the depths, you'll encounter unique dining destinations, architectural marvels, and unexpected urban legends that will pique your curiosity. 

Underground tours in Cincy

DTN - HI - TTD - American Legacy Tours

American Legacy Tours

American Legacy Tours ' guided experiences provide amazing sights and cool knowledge of what happens below the streets of the Cincinnati region. From hidden crypts in historic churches to unearthing the brewing legacy of our region in the old lagering tunnels, these tours take you to dark places (literally and figuratively!).

Brewing Heritage Trail Tours

Discover the secrets of the region's brewing history with the Brewing Heritage Trail . The trail's guided tours take you deep below the surface where you can explore the subterranean tunnels and cellars where lagers were aged in the era before Prohibition. Back above ground, you can sample the modern craft brews that have once again found a home in the Cincinnati region.

Newport Gangster Tour

Just over the River, explore the underbelly of the new frontier of Newport, Kentucky. Discover stories of NKY’s pioneers, bootleggers, and gamblers of the Cincy Region. Walk the streets of Newport where mobsters made their fortunes and earned their reputations– this tour is a must for history buffs. 

Historic attractions in Cincinnati

National Underground Railroad Freedom center

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

While not literally underground, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center honors the freedom fighters of the Underground Railroad. Hear inspiring stories and harrowing tales of the fight for freedom of the past through current day with interactive exhibits and special events. The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center educates and inspires visitors by remembering and honoring the freedom fighters of the Underground Railroad and sharing the continued fight against modern-day slavery.  

The Cave at Cincinnati Museum Center

Explore 500 feet of cascading waterfalls, stalagmites, and stalactites in the Cincinnati Museum Center 's reproduction of a limestone cave. Shimmy through tight crevices, twists, and turns, or enjoy the view from wheelchair-accessible overlooks. 

Underground dining and drinks in Cincinnati

Private dining room at Sotto (photo: provided by Sotto)

The tantalizing aroma of Sotto 's Italian dishes entices diners down the staircase and below Sixth Street in downtown Cincinnati where a world of deliciousness awaits. Nosh on Cacio e Pepe or fusilli con ragu in this rustic and romantic underground hideaway. End on a sweet note with the ricotta doughnuts or gelati.

Venture four stories below Vine Street to experience the cocktails and music of Ghost Baby , a lounge located in a former brewery's lagering tunnel with a flare for the 1920s. Every night brings a new experience.

If you want to learn more about Cincy’s history, visit award-winning museums in the region . Explore these historic neighborhoods like a local. Find out what to do, eat, and see in Over-the-Rhine and learn more about Newport Kentucky .

Queen City Underground Tour (photo: Dan Ledbetter Photography)

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The abandoned Cincinnati subway is perhaps the city's most captivating underground area because of its sheer enormity and restricted access to the public. Construction began in 1920 and failed to finish more than two miles of tunnel before being scrapped 25 years later after the end of World War Two. While tours were offered in the past, it is no longer accessible. / Image: Phil Armstrong, Cincinnati Refined // Published: 6.14.18

A Journey Into the Eerie, Old, & Oft Forgotten Underground World of Cincinnati

The former Jackson Brewery features multiple levels of underground areas used for storing beer when it was still in operation. The building is built at the base the hill at McMicken Ave and Elm Street in Over-the-Rhine. / Image: Phil Armstrong, Cincinnati Refined // Published: 6.14.18

When our Cincinnati forbearers needed something done, they dug.

If they needed to move materials and foment trade, they dug a canal. When they needed to chill their beer, they dug lagering cellars and tunnels to connect them. When they needed to pump the Ohio River for drinking water, they dug down 125 feet into the floodplain and sunk massive steam engines there to do the work. And when the canal became a cesspool, they dug a subway – or, ya know, started to...

And why not dig? Labor in the late-1800s and early-1900s was cheap and plentiful. As a result, industrialists and town officials had local workers dig, and dig, and dig – often for 12 hours per day, six days per week.

All these underground laborers left behind an eclectic patchwork of eerie and exciting attractions, often literally right under our feet. Queen City residents and visitors alike should take the time to explore these underground marvels.

BEER BELOW IN OVER-THE-RHINE

Beer cellars and tunnels abound beneath Over the Rhine. For one, the Christian Moerlein Malthouse Tap Room sits atop cellars and sub-cellars, all dug by German brewers to chill their lager beer through the hot summers. Both the Brewing Heritage Trail and American Legacy Tours offer public tours of several other cellars and tunnels, including the defunct Jackson and Crown breweries.

Two local artists even used a cellar under Union Hall for an immersive comic book experience. The MeSseD Tunnel Tour brings visitors into the cellar to read the eight-foot high comic book panels. Appropriately, the comic follows the exploits of a sewer worker who runs into some unexpected (and unwelcome) company within a city’s underground tunnels.

CINCINNATI TRIPLE STEAM

In the late 1800s, Cincinnati was beset by challenges getting water to its burgeoning population. Attempts at building a variety of pumping systems at the Front Street Station failed — as did a floating pumping station — until the city finally addressed the issue in 1898 by beginning construction of what’s now known as Cincinnati Triple Steam. Deep into the Cincinnati Water Works campus on Kellogg Avenue, the underground facility includes four 1,400-ton, 104-foot triple expansion crank and flywheel steam engines. The facility's steam engines pumped the city’s water from 1906 to 1963 when they were replaced with electric pumps.

Tours run the first Saturday of each month and will take you down to five feet below the bottom of the Ohio River.

THE ILL-FATED SUBWAY

Every resident knows of Cincinnati's eerie subway. Nearly 100 years ago, the city built two miles of tunnel and six stations before initial funding ran out. Due to the triple whammy of World War One, The Great Depression, and World War Two, the project was abandoned in the 1940s.

Currently, there is no public access (we had to work through a number of city officials to get access to just the Race Street station for photos), although local tour operators are petitioning the city with plans to make the space accessible, safe, and — perhaps, finally — open for business.

Head to the gallery above for photos of several of Cincinnati's underground areas, including the abandoned subway at the Race Street station.

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The Underground Tunnel Tour Every Cincinnatian Should Take At Least Once

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Andrea Limke

A Cincinnati native who has lived in Kentucky for over 10 years, Andrea's heart belongs both in the Queen City and the Bluegrass State. After earning an education degree and working in that field for a number of years, Andrea began to pursue her passion for writing over 6 years ago. Since then she has written for a number of print and online publications, as well as published a children's book.

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Cincinnati has a fascinating history that you can easily explore in one of our many museums or even by walking along the city streets and checking out historic buildings, markers, and statues. But there’s more to our past than meets the eye and one local tour company can prove it. American Legacy Tours offers several tours of Cincinnati, but the Ultimate Queen City Underground Tour is the one experience every Cincinnatian should have at least once.

tour of cincinnati subway

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Exploring Cincinnati through this underground tour is definitely a unique Queen City experience! Have you been on this popular tour? Share your experience with us in the comments!

For more information on all of the options offered by American Legacy Tours, visit their website here .

And for a spooky experience, touring the most haunted places in Cincinnati, check out our previous article here .

OnlyInYourState may earn compensation through affiliate links in this article. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

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Secret Ohio: Queen City Underground Tour

Cincinnati has a long history that comes to light once you delve into the secrets of the city’s Over-the-Rhine neighborhood.

BY Linda Feagler | Photo courtesy of American Legacy Tours

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Known for the Italianate, Greek Revival and Queen Anne architecture that was common in 19th century and early 20th century urban America, Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine neighborhood has been compared to historic districts in Louisiana, South Carolina and Georgia. Revitalized over the last decade, it’s now an entertainment destination filled with restaurants, bars and boutique shops. “It would have been a lot cheaper to tear all the historic buildings down, but the fact they’ve all been preserved is incredible,” says Craig Maness, director of business operations for Cincinnati’s American Legacy Tours, which conducts more than a dozen walking excursions throughout the city. Settled by German immigrants, the neighborhood quickly became known for its breweries — with 1,841 registered drinking establishments within 7 square miles in 1890. That heritage, which ended with Prohibition, is the focal point of the Queen City Underground Tour. Since it was launched in 2010, 30,000 tourists have signed up each year, eager to wander the subterranean tunnels that were once the lager cellar of the John Kauffman Brewing Co. The tour also includes stops at buildings above ground that have earned a place in history, including the theater where Ohio native Annie Oakley performed and a burial crypt containing the final resting place of a Revolutionary War soldier.  Tunnel Vision: Although the tunnels underneath what was the John Kauffman Brewing Co. from 1860 to 1919 remained intact, they weren’t discovered until the 1990s when the building was being renovated to become the Guild Haus apartment complex. The arched passageways flanked by vaulted stone walls 20 feet high once held barrels of lager, the drink of choice among Cincinnatians more than a century ago. “The temperature down here is 58 degrees throughout the year,” Maness says, “so it’s always comfortable no matter the weather.” Political Machine: Opened in 1873, Wielert’s Beer Gardens quickly became known as Cincinnati’s “Second City Hall.” City councilman and political boss George Cox held court there, as did associates that included August Herrmann, who served as president of the Cincinnati Reds from 1902 to 1927. “Herrmann is known as the Father of the World Series,” Maness says. “He talked about it on this spot, created it and brought the first one to Cincinnati. The building is vacant now, but plans are underway to turn it into a restaurant and bar.” A Star is Born: The building that is now the Venice on Vine pizza shop was once the People’s Theatre, where famous sharpshooter Annie Oakley performed in the mid-1800s. The original entrance and box office are still there. “She was born Phoebe Ann Moses,” says Maness. “But [showman] Buffalo Bill Cody told her to change her name. She was living nearby in Oakley at the time, and he thought it was more marketable.” Hero’s Welcome: Built in 1859, St. Francis Seraph Church contains a burial crypt under the altar with 41 graves, including that of Joel Green, who served in the Revolutionary War. Born in 1757, he moved to Ohio with his family in 1809 and died a decade later. In 2014, the Sons of the American Revolution dedicated a grave marker in his honor. “There was a full funeral procession,” Maness says. “Participants wore kilts and Revolutionary War uniforms and played bagpipes. It was a fitting tribute.” The Queen City Underground Tour is conducted year-round. Visit americanlegacytours.com  or call 859/951-8560 for tour options.

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The Hidden History of Cincinnati’s Abandoned Subway

Cincinnatis abandoned subway often attracts urban explorers and adventurous photographers

Almost a century ago, Cincinnati city planners designed an intricate subway system that was ultimately left abandoned. Today, the tunnels still stand unused beneath the city, and urban explorers and adventurous photographers often frequent the haunting site.

Few Cincinnatians know about the vast intersecting web of tunnels beneath their feet. But Cincinnati’s underground railway system was once a grand plan designed to alleviate the city’s notorious traffic.

By the early 1900s, traffic in Cincinnati was already daunting, and the infrastructure provided by the then-defunct Erie Canal presented a potential solution.

Urban planners decided to drain the canal and build a 16-mile (25.7-kilometer) loop that would allow travelers to get off at Over-the-Rhine, Downtown, Walnut Hills, Oakley, and Evanston, among other stops both above and below ground. The project was dreamed up in 1916, and its construction began in 1920, at the intersection of Central Parkway and Walnut Street.

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Six underground stations and around six miles (9.6 kilometers) of the original project were constructed along Central Parkway before it was eventually abandoned. The project’s original cost estimate was $6 million, but that number rose over time due to construction troubles and a shift in the city’s politics. Cincinnati ’s economy suffered due to Prohibition, among other factors. And as the Great Depression waged on and World War II approached, supply costs rose, and access to resources lessened, making the project seem even less feasible.

The Queen City’s proposed rail system was ultimately abandoned in 1929. Despite a few attempts at revival, the tunnels remain as they were, with no track laid. Many Cincinnatians attribute the city’s continued problems with loss of industry, a failing economy, and some of the country’s worst traffic to the poor public transportation system and the failure of the attempted subway system .

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Today, 2.2 miles (3.5 kilometers) of the original subway loop remain, resulting in a cavernous, catacomb-like network of dark tunnels. They’re still in fairly good shape, and various potential uses have been proposed over the years. For now, they’re mostly a temporary haven for drifters, hikers, explorers, and artists, particularly photographers, with a hankering for the abandoned and decaying.

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The city hosts infrequent tours of the dark, abandoned subway tunnels beneath Cincinnati . If you’re willing to venture off the beaten path, you can also find some “unofficial” tours to take photographs and experience the disturbing beauty of the lost subway’s remains.

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Cincinnati Tours

From underground tunnels to a living art museum

Cincinnati is a city with no shortage of history, architecture, public art, worldly cuisine, and an unmatched beer and bourbon scene. If you want to see it all, a tour is the way to go!

tour cincinnati's udnerground tunnels

Much like current day Cincinnati, Cincinnati in the 1800s was brimming with German Heritage and breweries. In fact, Cincinnatians were known to consume 40 gallons of beer per person every single year! To keep the beverage cold, beer brewers created and utilized subterranean tunnels to bottle and store it all. Years of technological innovation left those tunnels forgotten, until recently when they were rediscovered in Cincy’s Over-The-Rhine neighborhood! Go underground into the historic lagering tunnels on the Queen City Underground Tour , one of the top five underground tours in the country, and learn all about Cincinnati’s hidden history and early residents!

Fascinated by Cincinnati’s brewing history? Discover the official Brewing Heritage Trail marked by embedded trail markers all around Cincinnati’s downtown. Book a tour to follow a Brewing Heritage storyteller along the trail (and underground). Or download the Brewing Heritage Trail app for a self-guided tour at your own pace!

tour of cincinnati subway

Right across the river from Cincinnati is Kentucky, the birthplace of bourbon. So it’s only fitting that here in Northern Kentucky you’ll find the gateway to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail: The B-Line, a collection of distilleries, bourbon bars, and bourbon centric restaurants that allows you to sip your way through the epicenter of bourbon culture and history at your own pace. Download The B-Line passport , or pick one up at any of the participating establishments, and find out why The Bourbon Review called Northern Kentucky the best bourbon weekend trip of 2019 .

there can be a cincinnati tour of any of your favorite foods like ice cream

Celebrity chef, Simon Majumdar once said that Cincinnati’s food scene was one of the most fun food scenes in the country , and he definitely wasn’t wrong. If you want to try a little bit of everything, these tours and trails are the perfect places to start.

The Findlay Market Food Tour will give you the opportunity to see the city’s entrepreneurial spirit, and eclectic taste. Get to know vendors that have been around the historic market for generations, sample foods from around the world, and try a Cincinnati delicacy: goetta!

The Butler County Donut Trail is an 80 mile, passport-style trail through the Cincinnati suburbs. This self-guided tour covers 12 donut shops, including the original Holtman’s Donuts , a Cincinnati staple. Download the passport, or pick one up at one of the participating shops. Each donut you try gets you one step closer to a free Donut Trail t-shirt!

Tour Cincinnati's many art museums

Cincinnati has an amazing public art program, which means that walking around downtown can feel like walking through an art museum. In fact, there are more than 50 murals that exist in Cincinnati’s downtown, and you can usually find one or two more in progress! All of this is because of ArtWorks, a local nonprofit that believes that art has the power to better our community. From May through October, you can join one of ArtWork’s public walking tours and have a guide talk you through a variety of the city’s murals, or you can download ArtWork’s map of murals and take a more self-guided approach to our living art museum.

Music Hall in downtown Cincinnati

Cincinnati is home to some incredible Art Deco and Italianate architecture. In fact, here you’ll find the prototype of the Empire State Building, the Brooklynn Bridge, and the largest half dome in the Western Hemisphere! Check out one of the best examples of Victorian Gothic Revival by taking an outdoor tour of Cincinnati Music Hall ! Tours run April-November and are packed full about the building’s intricate details, and stories about this iconic location, and the people who built it.

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We Have Trails and Tours For Just About Everything

Hit the road for beer, bourbon, bikes, and donuts—not necessarily in that order—on one of these mini Cincinnati region excursions.

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Tour of Cincinnati Abandoned Subway

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Re: Tour of Cincinnati Abandoned Subway

mtuandrew wrote: I was just thinking about this, and why Cincinnati didn’t acquire some London Tube-sized stock (or NYC Subway, if large enough) to finish the system. IIRC one of the reasons it was never completed was that the tunnels didn’t properly fit the large interurbans in use in Cincinnati, and instead of re-equipping, the affected companies bought buses instead.

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mtuandrew wrote: why Cincinnati didn’t acquire some London Tube-sized stock (or NYC Subway, if large enough) to finish the system.
Joke Insurance wrote: mtuandrew wrote: why Cincinnati didn’t acquire some London Tube-sized stock (or NYC Subway, if large enough) to finish the system.

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Could this have saved the Cincinnati Streetcar

Re: could this have saved the cincinnati streetcar.

Myrtone wrote: ↑ Thu Aug 20, 2020 5:18 am Does anyone here think that this tunnel, if put to use would have meant that some lines remained to this day?
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tour of cincinnati subway

A tour of the Cincinnati Subway: an entire subway network abandoned since 1928

tour of cincinnati subway

In almost all the metro networks of large cities there are ghost stations that were abandoned for various reasons.

The beautiful ghost station of the New York Subway that was designed by a Spaniard Church Hill: A railway tunnel in which two men and a train are buried

In the city of Cincinnati (Ohio, USA), currently with about 300,000 inhabitants, they have something more surprising than an abandoned subway station. In 1910, this city had more than 360,000 inhabitants and was experiencing rapid growth (it reached half a million inhabitants in the 1950s). It was then that plans began to build an underground metro network that would have a total length of 36 kilometres . The idea excited the neighbors, the merchants and the media, and had a majority support in a popular vote held on April 17, 1917, a few days after the entry of the United States into the World War I.

The Great War, as it was known then, altered the construction plans for this metro network. Costs skyrocketed, but despite the lack of funds, work on the metro began in January 1920. Other problems were added to the economic problems: the construction of the metro began to cause damage to the nearby buildings, creating cracks and giving rise to numerous lawsuits. In 1927, 11 kilometers of tunnels had already been dug, but the funds dried up. The local media, which had previously been favorable to the idea, turned against it. Finally, the subway was canceled in 1928 .

In the following years it was even proposed to take advantage of the tunnels for car traffic, but the idea did not prosper. During World War II it was also proposed to use the subway as an anti-aircraft shelter , but the proposal was rejected. The construction was only used in the 1950s to pass a large water pipeline, and in 1960 a shelter for a possible nuclear war was installed at Liberty Station . There were also proposals to create an underground shopping center and even as a set for shooting movies, but without success. In recent years there have been some proposals to resume the construction of the metro, but none of them have prospered. So today, the Cincinnati Subway is the largest abandoned underground facility in the United States .

A group of US urban explorers, The Proper People , entered a few years ago in the tunnels of the Cincinnati Subway and recorded an interesting video showing its current state:

You can see some screenshots of the video below. Here we see one of the tunnels of the old Cincinnati Subway.

tour of cincinnati subway

The old metro network was abandoned without the tracks being installed. No train ever ran through here.

tour of cincinnati subway

Stairs to nowhere, which must have led to one of the stations.

tour of cincinnati subway

One of the abandoned Cincinnati Subway stations.

tour of cincinnati subway

The water pipe installed in the tunnels in the 1950s.

tour of cincinnati subway

A fork in the old metro network.

tour of cincinnati subway

Abandoned beds in the old atomic shelter installed in Liberty Station.

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OKI Wanna Know: What lies beneath downtown Cincinnati?

A view down a dark, empty subway tunnel, with concrete pillars flanking where the tracks should be.

Beneath your feet, there's a world many of us may not think about: water lines, sewers, electrical lines. But there are bigger spaces that may have been forgotten. We take a look at what lies below Downtown in our regular feature, OKI Wanna Know . This week, WVXU's Bill Rinehart tries to answer three questions about Cincinnati's underground.

Kate Whitaker says she's heard of an abandoned railway tunnel near Lytle Park, in the southeastern corner of Downtown. She says it's not the Lytle Tunnel. It's a little further south and east, beneath the old American Book Building on Pike Street.

A multi-story brick building sits on a corner. The architecture is from the very early 20th century.

There were a lot of railroad tracks around downtown Cincinnati at one point. Historical Sanborn maps, digitized by the public library , show rail yards along the riverfront, and there was one where the casino now sits. But they don't show railroad tracks leading to the block where the American Book Building sits at Pike and Third.

In a previous edition of OKI Wanna Know , a member of the Cincinnati Railroad Club talked about some of the rail lines on the east side of Downtown. Roy Hord told us in a 2021 interview a railroad tunnel was discovered, but closer to the casino.

"There was a scheme, back probably in the 1870s, to dig a tunnel from the street level, at the bottom of the hill, on the Court Street level, that started the tunnel there straight up to Walnut Hills," Hord says. "It would be underground the whole way. And they actually started to build that, and when they were building Interstate 71, they broke through the roof of that tunnel in one spot."

RELATED: What's with that blue bridge to nowhere in Walnut Hills?

That tunnel was filled in and construction of I-71 was completed. Of course, I-71 continues underground, through the Lytle Tunnel, which is close to Pike and Third, but that's not what we're talking about.

Now, about that supposed tunnel under the American Book Building: the current tenants, the David J. Joseph Company, confirm it's a myth. There's nothing like that in their basement. They went down and looked to be sure. And a spokeswoman for the Taft Museum says they don't have a tunnel in their basement either.

Sorry, Kate Whitaker. It's just an urban legend.

What's going on with the Riverfront Transit Center?

Chris White wants to know what's going to happen with the underground transit center beneath Second Street. The Riverfront Transit Center was built at the same time Fort Washington Way was reconstructed. It was dedicated in 2003, with the capability to serve as a light rail and bus station. It's owned by the city of Cincinnati and leased by SORTA. And according to Metro spokeswoman Brandy Jones, two bus routes — 90 the Metro Plus, and Route 85 — run through the RTC.

 A car drives through a cavernous underground space.

"Additionally we are in the process right now of preparing and designing Bus Rapid Transit, or BRT ," Jones says. "Those two corridors, which will begin actually inside the Riverfront Transit Center, will travel all the way up from Downtown to Hamilton Avenue and Reading Road."

In the meantime, the RTC is also used for charter bus parking during Reds and Bengals games. There's commuter parking down there too, and it's been used during events like BLINK , when Government Square is closed off.

RELATED: What happened to Northern Kentucky's streetcars?

"There's even been some concerts down there," Jones says. "A few years back I know there was a group that wanted to come in and held a big concert. We're always looking for opportunities to not only use it for transit, but how do we activate it for the community?"

What happened to tours of Cincinnati's subway?

Speaking of underground transportation, Matt Jacob wants to know why tours of the abandoned subway were discontinued.

Cincinnati started building a subway after the end of the first World War. The Downtown segment is where old Miami and Erie Canal ran, with what is now Central Parkway built on top of it. Two miles of underground tunnels were finished in 1923, but the money ran out, and the project was abandoned.

Light from an opening in the roof, and flashlights illuminate an otherwise dark subway tunnel. Graffiti decorates a concrete pillar in the center.

Janice Porter Forte coordinates tours with Cincinnati Heritage Programs .

"We've put people through the Suspension Bridge. We were the first people to do brewery tours," she says. "We've talked about and taken people up and down the steps that were closed to the inclines. We've taken people to the tower of City Hall."

She first proposed taking tours into the abandoned subway. From 2003 to 2017, volunteers led tour groups of up to 50 people underground.

"It was dark. There were never any lights put in," she says. "And so everybody would be carrying flashlights, and we would walk from that Race Street area around the bend where the YMCA is."

RELATED: Why does Cincinnati have so many public stairways?

A Cincinnati spokeswoman says the tours ended because there were safety issues that created a liability for the city. Specifically, there's no permanent lighting, there's no safety railing, and there's a high pressure water main in the tunnel.

Porter Forte says it was tough for her when they ended.

"Because everything in this city has a story, an important story to each and every one of us. And that's what we as docents try to get across."

Have a query of your own you'd like answered by Bill Rinehart? Submit it by filling out the form below and he may answer it in a future episode!

tour of cincinnati subway

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I got a history tour of the Cincinnati Observatory before the great solar eclipse of 2024

T he total solar eclipse coming April 8 is drawing everyone’s attention to the sky with renewed interest in astronomy. Count me among them.

A recent visit to the Cincinnati Observatory in Mount Lookout reminded me why it is one of the city’s most precious treasures. The observatory, designed by renowned Cincinnati architect Samuel Hannaford in 1873, is described as “a picturesque jewel-box of a building capped by a silver dome.” But it’s the historic telescopes, once among the largest in the country, that are the true gems.

John Ventre, the observatory historian, led my family on a tour of the facility and a peek through the extraordinary telescopes to view the universe. It was an awesome experience, a lesson in history and the marvel of ideas.

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Ventre told us the history of the observatory as we went along. He is the co-author, along with Stella Cottam, of a new book, “Cincinnati Observatory: Its Critical Role in the Birth and Evolution of Astronomy in America.” It is presented as a textbook, but it’s an engaging read about some fascinating Cincinnati history.

Our History: 1800s Cincinnati comes to life in this collection of rare photos

Cincinnati built America’s first major observatory

In the 1840s, there were about 130 operating observatories in Europe, but only a dozen or so in America, all of them small, private or associated with a school rather than being professional, said Ventre.

Everything changed due to the efforts of one man: Ormsby MacKnight Mitchel.

Mitchel was born about 1809 in Union County, Kentucky, and was raised in Lebanon, Ohio. Educated at West Point, he returned to the area and in 1836 was offered a position at Cincinnati College to teach mathematics, civil engineering and mechanics. With a keen interest in astronomy, he added lectures on that as well. They were so popular that students started bringing their families along to hear him.

“He was a dynamic lecturer, not common for the day,” Ventre said.

Mitchel also used some clever visual aids. A woman in the audience recalled: “Mr. Mitchel used to prepare his own illustrations by picking out the constellation in thin paper with a large pin; he would nail the paper to a frame and put a candle behind it, and then explain the heavens to us.”

In 1842, Mitchel gave a lecture on the solar system. The overflowing crowds led to it moving to Wesley Chapel on Fifth Street, then the largest venue in the West, seating 1,200.

At the lecture, Mitchel proposed the construction of an observatory in Cincinnati. He hoped to raise $7,500 ( about $240,000 today ) by selling shares in the Cincinnati Astronomical Society for $25 each ( $800 now ).

The 300 stockholders included a cross-section of Cincinnatians: attorneys, doctors, carpenters, teachers, blacksmiths, clerks and a steamboat captain.

John Quincy Adams laid the cornerstone in 1843

The Cincinnati Astronomical Society, with Judge Jacob Burnet as president, sent Mitchel to Europe with $1,000 ( $32,000 now ) to purchase a telescope.

He found an 11-inch Merz and Mahler lens in Munich, Bavaria, that had been ground but not installed. Mitchel had it fitted into a brass and mahogany telescope, then shipped it back to Cincinnati. Wealthy landowner Nicholas Longworth donated 4 acres on Mount Ida (now known as Mount Adams) to place the observatory on a high spot.

Mitchel invited former President John Quincy Adams, who had advocated for a national observatory, to come to Cincinnati to lay the cornerstone . The 76-year-old took a 1,000-mile journey by canal boat and carriage to Cincinnati for the occasion.

On Nov. 9, 1843, a parade marched up the hill in a torrential downpour to place the cornerstone, but it was too wet for Adams’ speech. He gave it the next day at Wesley Chapel. Ventre and Cottam’s book reprints the entire text of what was the former president’s last public speech, filling up 36 pages. In gratitude to Adams’ visit, the citizens renamed Mount Ida in his honor – Mount Adams .

“The telescope (Mitchel) acquired matched or surpassed all the other telescopes in Europe except one,” Ventre said.

On April 14, 1845, when the Merz and Mahler telescope saw “first light,” an astronomy term for its first view, it was the largest telescope in the Western Hemisphere.

Cincinnati Observatory is the oldest operating professional observatory in the U.S.

Relocating the observatory to Mount Lookout

Within a few decades, the Cincinnati air was foul with soot and smoke from the growing city. So plans were made to move the observatory. First the then-new University of Cincinnati, which was organized in 1871 , acquired it. With UC taking ownership of the observatory, telescope and records, the Cincinnati Astronomical Society ceased to exist.

John Kilgour, a banker whose father was a charter member of the society, donated 4 acres of land near Hyde Park for the observatory. The area was then dubbed Mount Lookout. He also gave $10,000 ( $259,000 today ) to build a new observatory, a Greek Revival design by Hannaford.

Construction of the new observatory began in 1873 and it opened in 1875. The original cornerstone laid by Adams was set into the corner of the new building, where it is today.

A second, larger telescope with a 16-inch Alvan Clark and Son refractor, was bought in 1904 and installed in the observatory. A second building, named after Mitchel, was built for the original microscope.

Travel back in time: What was it like to live in Cincinnati in the 1870s?

Saving the historic observatory for the future

In the 1990s, the Cincinnati Observatory was nearly history.

The observatory buildings were in deplorable shape, Ventre said. There were rumors UC wanted to close the observatory, sell the land and put up condos. Concerned neighbors and citizens, including Ventre, formed a Save the Observatory group. UC decided to keep the observatory and offered to pony up money for waterproofing, the costliest part of the $2.5 million restoration.

“The general goal was to make it a working, functional late-1800 astronomical observatory and restore everything as close as practicable to its working condition,” Ventre said.

Today you can learn about the history of the observatory at a small museum and go up to look through the eyepiece of the telescopes for yourself.

What’s remarkable is both telescopes are virtually the same as they were originally. There is no electricity needed. The aluminum shudders of the dome are opened for viewing by pulling a rope. Everything is carefully balanced and turns on gears.

Ventre explained one feature of the large Alvin Clark telescope that much impressed me for its ingenuity.

“There’s about a 400-pound weight in the pier of the telescope,” he said. “By cranking up the weight and letting gravity pull down or drop the weight, that’s kinetic energy. That energy, via various series of chains and gears, moves the telescope at the rate of one revolution per day in the opposite direction that the Earth rotates. Therefore, the byproduct of that, as you point the telescope at a celestial object, the telescope will mechanically track and stay on that target as the Earth turns on its axis in rotation.”

“Even today, it’s a precision machine,” Ventre added. “It’s awesome.”

When my family and I had the opportunity to observe the universe through the telescopes – the same way Ormsby MacKnight Mitchel did more than 175 years ago – we saw the moon, crystal clear, with perfect circles cratering the surface. We saw caramel-colored Jupiter and four of its moons, approximately 400 million miles away.

Looking through the past to see the future.

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: I got a history tour of the Cincinnati Observatory before the great solar eclipse of 2024

The 11-inch Merz and Mahler telescope that saw first light in 1845, then the largest telescope in the Western Hemisphere, is still in operation at the Cincinnati Observatory.

Pink cancels concert due to health issue: 'Unable to continue with the show'

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More than a year into her Summer Carnival Tour , Pink is hitting pause due to an unspecified health issue .

The Grammy-winning pop star announced Tuesday that her show scheduled show in Bern, Switzerland, is canceled due to doctor's orders.

"I am so sorry that I have had to cancel my show in Bern this Wednesday," she wrote in an Instagram caption . "I do everything I can to ensure I can perform for you every night, but after consultation with my doctor and exploring all options available, I’ve been advised that I'm unable to continue with the show tomorrow.

"I was looking forward to being with you and making memories with you and sharing our show with you and am so disappointed that we have to cancel," she added. "Sending love and health to you all, and I really hope to see you again soon."

All purchased tickets will be refunded, Pink said.

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She did not reveal details about her next show in Copenhagen, scheduled for Saturday. Her tour will head to Amsterdam, Brussels and Stockholm, as well as several German cities, through the end of the month.

USA TODAY has reached out to the singer's representatives for comment.

On her Summer Carnival Tour, in support of her ninth studio album, "Trustfall," Pink performs hits from across her two-decade musical career and fills stadiums with impressive visuals, from aerial acrobatics to over-the-top costumes.

To think about: Pink's undisclosed health issue and the need for medical privacy

The tour launched in Europe last June and circled North America from July through early October 2023, and in February, Pink embarked on a new leg of the tour in Australia and New Zealand.

After wrapping up in Europe, Pink is slated to launch the second North American leg of the tour in St. Louis, Missouri, on Aug. 10.

Speaking to USA TODAY in 2023 about the inspirations behind "Trustfall," Pink revealed making the album "was a three-year process."

'I will not be the villain': Pink explores grief, marriage, the meaning of 'Trustfall'

"With the pandemic and my dad’s passing and then any time your kid is sick,  it distills down what is important . And when a parent passes away, it’s like this suitcase you’re going to be unpacking the rest of your life, which also makes you think about well, who am I and who do I want to be and what’s keeping me from that?"

She continued, "And then, what are my priorities? My priorities are to live an authentic human experience and be completely transparent about it and to love and cuddle with my kids as long as they’ll let me."

Contributing: Melissa Ruggieri

Tours, demos set at historic Joel Hill Sawmill in northern Wayne County, July 13-14

Equinunk Historical Society in northern Wayne County has invited the public to once again step into yesteryear at the water-powered, Civil War-era Joel Hill Sawmill at two open house events the weekend of July 13 and 14. 

Their volunteers will conduct demonstration tours of the sawmill and the Thomas Cleveland Museum, which houses late 19th century vintage tools and industrial machinery. Witness how logs were sawed and lumber manufactured at these vintage sawmills that once were common along our streams and tributaries to the Upper Delaware. 

The events are scheduled Saturday, July 13, at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. and Sunday, July 14, at 1 p.m. The mill and museum are located off Pennsylvania Route 191 at 736 Duck Harbor Road, Equinunk.   

There is no admission charge. 

The Joel Hill Sawmill is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. According to the application that was filed for the National Register, the original sawmill was built in 1873 by William Holbert and John Branning. Other sources are vaguer, saying it was within a few years following the Civil War.

It was one of several sawmills in the region of Lookout, Equinunk and Pine Mill in northern Wayne.  

Wayne County Wanderings: A visit to the Joel Hill Sawmill in Equinunk

In 1898, Joel Gillette Hill (1845-1919) of Damascus Township purchased a tract from the Holbert heirs containing the sawmill, about 1,500 acres of hemlock timber and the 205-acre body of water that's come to be known as Duck Harbor. The Civil War veteran also had a grist mill and pursued dairy farming on the land he cleared. He served six terms as county commissioner, was elected as associate judge of Wayne County and as a Pennsylvania state senator.

The sawmill stayed in operation until the early 1970s. In 1988, the Duck Harbor Company donated the mill to the Equinunk Historical Society. 

The Thomas Cleveland Machinery Museum was built in 2018 as an addition to complement the Joel Hill Sawmill.

The 2024 calendar of events for Equinunk Historical Society also includes dates for Joel Hill Sawmill/Cleveland Museum tours and demonstrations on Aug. 10-11 and Oct. 5-6. The Society's main museum, the Calder House, is located in the village of Equinunk at 1972 Pine Mill Road, at the corner with Route 191. 

For more information visit equinunkhistory.com/events  or call 570-798-2420. 

Peter Becker has worked at the Tri-County Independent or its predecessor publications since 1994. Reach him at [email protected] or 570-253-3055 ext. 1588.

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2024 genesis scottish open prop bet picks and pga tour predictions, share this article.

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In advance of the 152nd Open Championship next week, many of the world’s top players are in Scotland for the 2024 Genesis Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club. It’s a co-sanctioned event between the PGA Tour and DP World Tour, the 3rd year it’s being played as such.

Below, we search for the best value prop bets from BetMGM Sportsbook among the 2024 Genesis Scottish Open odds and make our PGA Tour picks and predictions .

With Scottie Scheffler not in the field, defending champion Rory McIlroy holds the top spot as the betting favorite with +750 odds. The 2022 winner, Xander Schauffele , is also in the field; his odds are +800 to win this event for the 2nd time. Collin Morikawa , Ludvig Aberg and Tommy Fleetwood are some of the other big names teeing it up at The Renaissance Club.

The course is a traditional links-style layout, though it does have a fair amount of trees – very few of which will actually come into play. It’s a par 70 and 7,237 yards with 3 par 5s and 5 par 3s, a unique setup for players this week.

  • Genesis Scottish Open : Best outright winner predictions

Genesis Scottish Open – Top-5 picks

Odds provided by BetMGM Sportsbook ; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated Tuesday at 1:23 p.m. ET.

Xander Schauffele (+188)

Schauffele finished 42nd here last year after winning in 2022 and coming in 10th the year prior, so we’ll assume last season’s result was an outlier. Top-5 odds of +188 seem incredibly short, especially for someone other than Scheffler, but Schauffele has won this event before, won the PGA Championship this season and has 6 top-5 finishes this year already.

Tommy Fleetwood (+350)

Fleetwood has 3 top-6 finishes in his last 4 starts at the Scottish Open, showing just how well he’s played at The Renaissance Club. He has so much experience playing links golf, particularly in windy conditions, and given his recent form, he could be poised to break through and win this week.

WATCH: PGA Tour is live on ESPN+! Get ESPN+

Genesis Scottish Open – Top-10 picks

Tom kim (+225).

Kim has played surprisingly well in this event, finishing 3rd and 6th in his 2 starts since 2022. Ignoring his missed cut in Detroit 2 weeks ago, he’s been in decent form, seemingly getting things back on track with a runner-up at the Travelers Championship.

Wyndham Clark (+333)

Clark has only played the Scottish Open twice, but he’s had success each time: 16th in 2022 and 25th last year. He can flight the ball down to keep it out of the wind and has the short game to make up and down from off the green, making him a good pick this week.

Ludvig Aberg (+150)

Aberg is already pretty course-proof, succeeding no matter where he plays. He missed the cut here last year in his tournament debut, but that was mostly due to some horrendous putting. He gained 1.86 strokes tee-to-green, a fantastic number compared to the 1.92 strokes he lost on the greens.

Genesis Scottish Open – Top-20 picks

Brian harman (+188).

Harman has long had success playing links golf, most recently winning the Open last year by 6 shots at Royal Liverpool. He finished 12th here in 2023 before winning the Open and there’s no reason to think he can’t notch another top-20 in Scotland.

Byeong Hun An (+200)

An finished 3rd in 2023 and though he hasn’t played a full 4-round event since the Memorial in early June, he should be well-rested and recovered from the illness that caused him to withdraw from the Travelers. He’s a terrific ball-striker, he just needs the putter to get hot.

Robert MacIntyre (+175)

MacIntyre nearly took down McIlroy in this event and won on home soil last year but McIlroy’s miraculous 2-iron on the 72nd hole snatched it from his grip. He has 3 top 20s in the last 4 years here.

Other T20 contenders ( in order from longest odds to shortest ):

  • Thomas Detry (+200)
  • Ryan Fox (+250)

Genesis Scottish Open – Matchups

Suggested play is golfer in bold .

Aaron Rai (-105) vs. Sungjae Im (-120)

It’s never a bad idea to fade Im in a links-style event. He’s historically struggled in this tournament, missing the cut in each of the last 2 years. He’s been better in Open Championships than he has the Scottish Open, so I’m taking Rai – a past champion – to finish ahead of Im this week.

Min Woo Lee (-120) vs. Hideki Matsuyama (-105)

Lee is another former champion of this event, whereas Matsuyama missed the cut in his lone start at The Renaissance Club in 2022.

Genesis Scottish Open – Top Frenchman

Matthieu pavon (+200).

Pavon played on the DP World Tour for years, so he’s familiar with tournaments like this one. He missed the cut last year, but finished 12th in 2021 and 36th in 2022. Odds of +200 feel like a great value for this bet.

Genesis Scottish Open – Top Scot

Robert macintyre (+188).

MacIntyre will try to get it done in front of the home crowd again this week as one of 8 Scottish players in the field. He has the shortest odds to be the top Scot finisher.

Genesis Scottish Open – First-round leader

Xander schauffele (+2000).

Schauffele ranks 2nd on tour in Round 1 scoring average and is a past champion of the Scottish Open. That makes him a logical pick, especially with how well he’s played overall this year.

Thomas Detry (+6600)

Detry positioned himself well here last year when he shot 64 in Round 1 and was tied for 3rd. He hasn’t finished worse than 43rd in this tournament in the last 5 years.

More expert prop bet predictions

Group d winner: byeong hun an (+450).

Another opportunity to fade Im with this bet, as he has the best odds (+275) to finish with the lowest score in this group. Rai is also in this group with odds of +300, followed by Sahith Theegala (+350), An and Sepp Straka (+450). An, after his 3rd-place finish last year, is a good bet.

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For more sports betting picks and tips , check out SportsbookWire.com and BetFTW .

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2024 John Deere Classic final-round odds, golfers to watch

Sungjae Im during the final round of the Travelers Championship golf tournament.

2024 John Deere Classic prop bet picks and PGA Tour predictions

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    The city hosts infrequent tours of the dark, abandoned subway tunnels beneath Cincinnati. If you're willing to venture off the beaten path, you can also find some "unofficial" tours to take photographs and experience the disturbing beauty of the lost subway's remains.

  17. Cincinnati Tours

    Tours run April-November and are packed full about the building's intricate details, and stories about this iconic location, and the people who built it. Book a Music Hall Tour. Discover underground tunnels, visit museums, go bourbon tasting, catch a baseball game and much more. Start a Cincinnati tour, with or without a guide.

  18. Cincinnati's Abandoned Subway: MAP

    1914 Edwards & Baldwin map of proposed Cincinnati Subway. Proposed transit loop and stations. Actual route completed.

  19. Is it possible to tour the Cincinnati Subway?

    An active community of residents and others; the official subreddit for Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, and nearby places in the greater Tri-state region.

  20. Tour of Cincinnati Abandoned Subway

    Re: Tour of Cincinnati Abandoned Subway by Disney Guy Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:46 pm They would need to choose whether to build a high platform rail line with the added expense for any and all new surface stations, or rework the existing old subway stations for non-high floor cars.

  21. Anyone wanna help me get into the Cincinnati Subway?

    I'm visiting Cincinnati from the 20th to the 22nd and I was wondering if anyone could help me get into http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cincinnati_Subway and maybe show me around.

  22. A tour of the Cincinnati Subway: an entire subway network abandoned

    A tour of the Cincinnati Subway: an entire subway network abandoned since 1928. In almost all the metro networks of large cities there are ghost stations that were abandoned for various reasons. In the city of Cincinnati (Ohio, USA), currently with about 300,000 inhabitants, they have something more surprising than an abandoned subway station ...

  23. What lies beneath downtown Cincinnati?

    What happened to tours of Cincinnati's subway? Speaking of underground transportation, Matt Jacob wants to know why tours of the abandoned subway were discontinued.

  24. I got a history tour of the Cincinnati Observatory before the ...

    A recent visit to the Cincinnati Observatory and a new book on its role as the birthplace of American astronomy remind us what a treasure it is.

  25. Where to get your train fix in Cincinnati

    EnterTrainment Junction recently announced it will close permanently in January 2025. But Cincinnati still has plenty of fun for train lovers.

  26. Colorado Rockies at Cincinnati Reds odds, picks and predictions

    Analyzing Tuesday's Colorado Rockies at Cincinnati Reds odds and lines, with MLB expert picks, predictions and best bets.

  27. 2024 Tour de France Stage 10: Results, standings, how to watch

    Jasper Philipsen from Belgium rode a sprint finish to victory in stage 10 of the 2024 Tour de France. Slovenian Tadej Pogačar remained the races overall leader.

  28. Pink cancels Summer Carnival Tour concert due to health issue

    More than a year into her Summer Carnival Tour, Pink is hitting pause due to an unspecified health issue. The Grammy-winning pop star announced Tuesday that her show scheduled show in Bern ...

  29. Equinunk Historical Society hosting tours, demos ...

    Tours and demonstrations are set at the historic water-powered Joel Hill Sawmill/Thomas Cleveland Museum in northern Wayne County.

  30. 2024 Genesis Scottish Open prop bet picks and PGA Tour predictions

    Analyzing the odds for the 2024 Genesis Scottish Open with PGA Tour picks and predictions for the top prop bets.