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Mercantile Library Building Granted Local Historic Landmark Designation

mercantile library
Mercantile Library, City of Cincinnati
The Mercantile Library building on Walnut Street circa 1910 (left) and today.

The century-old Mercantile Library building on Walnut Street has been granted local historic landmark status after a vote from Cincinnati City Council Thursday.

The structure was built in 1905 and now houses office space and the private Mercantile Library, one of just a handful of membership libraries left in the U.S. 

According to a city report recommending the designation, the building is an example of early "sky-scrapers" and "was designed by the firm of Joseph G. Steinkamp, who were leading architects of the late 1800s and early 1900s in Cincinnati."

The designation makes the building eligible for certain state and federal historic tax credits, and regulates any renovation to preserve the historic nature of the building.

The Historic Conservation Board and City Planning Commission previously voted to approve the historic landmark request.

Read more about the history of the building in a report from city administrators below: 

Mercantile Library Staff Re... by WVXU News

Becca Costello grew up in Williamsburg and Batavia (in Clermont County) listening to WVXU. Before joining the WVXU newsroom, she worked in public radio & TV journalism in Bloomington, Indiana and Lincoln, Nebraska. Becca has earned numerous awards for her reporting, including from local chapters of the Associated Press and Society of Professional Journalists, and contributed to regional and national Murrow Award winners. Becca has a master's degree in journalism from Indiana University and a bachelor's degree from Cincinnati Christian University. Becca's dog Cincy (named for the city they once again call home) is even more anxious than she is.