When Music Hall was constructed, the project was done in two phases.

Cincinnati Music Hall

The center building, containing Springer Auditorium, was opened in 1878. It was built primarily to accommodate music events, such as the May Festival, housing chorus, orchestra, the Hook & Hastings organ, and audience.

Right after Music Hall opened, the two wings were built. The north wing was known as the Mechanics Hall, and sometimes called "Power" hall.

The wing to the south was named the Horticulture or Arts hall.

Each of these names indicated the types of expositions and events that were held in those wings. At the time and for many years to come, the center -- Music Hall -- was also used for expositions when not hosting performances.

Music Hall Floor Plan 1879

Music Hall Floor Plan 1879

Between the main building and each wing, there were carriageways connecting Elm Street with the area that ran along the Miami and Erie Canal. Patrons in carriages would enter and exit Music Hall, somewhat protected from the weather, via each building's side doors.

Until recently, you could stand near the iron gates blocking the passageways on the Elm Street side, and see the sky through one of the gates.

Today, only part of the north carriageway remains. The 2016-2017 renovation made good use of the space for restrooms, event space and storage.

Carriageway, north wing, pre-2016

Carriageway, north wing, pre-2016

Carriageway, south wing, pre-2016

Carriageway, south wing, pre-2016

Music Hall Rose Window Icon 2

The Cost

Not including the Great Hook & Hastings organ, the cost to build Cincinnati Music Hall came to $200,893.16. The construction cost for the north and south wings, which were completed in 1879, came to $296,050.62.