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Residence Inn Cincinnati Downtown

506 East 4th Street · Cincinnati, Ohio 45202 USA

History of The Phelps Building & Lytle Park

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Area Historic Attractions

Located in the heart of historic downtown Cincinnati, the Residence Inn Cincinnati, is the perfect place to rest before and after taking in such sites as the famed Lytle Park and The Taft Museum in downtown Cincinnati. Take a moment to review a few of the important historic points of interest in and around our hotel. For detailed information and a walking tour of the area please see the brochure to the right.

Lytle Park

Directly across from the Phelps Building (the Residence Inn) is Lytle Park, once the site of the mansion of General William H. Lytle, first Surveyor-General of the Northwest Territory and the State of Ohio. In the park stands a statue of Abraham Lincoln, a gift from Charles Phelps Taft to commemorate the centenary of Lincoln’s birth. The statue was unveiled by William Howard Taft in 1917 and was not initially well received by Cincinnatians due to the statue’s weary portrayal of the man. The Corporal Merrill Laws Ricketts Marine Corp Memorial was dedicated to the Marines of Hamilton County. The site of this memorial was once the home of the family of President William Howard Taft. A wall displaying 9 historical markers tells the many stories of the neighborhood.

In the 1940s, a national system of highways to connect all cities was approved. As part of the plan for Cincinnati, the Northeast Expressway (I-71) was slated to run through Lytle Park. Many years of dispute over the need to protect the historical neighborhood resulted in a plan to tunnel the highway under the park. Western & Southern used its resources to save the park and paid to cover the highway. Lytle Park became the only park to be built over an interstate road system, one of many firsts for Cincinnati. The area is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Phelps Building

The Residence Inn Cincinnati Downtown is housed in the historic Phelps Apartment building. The building was constructed in 1926 by Charles Phelps Taft, half-brother of President William Howard Taft as a way to encourage his downtown business associates to live downtown instead of migrating to the suburbs. People of money lived on 4th street, and the style of the building reflected their affluent tastes. The buildings tenants were the families of many prominent business people of the city, including President William Howard Taft.

The Taft Museum

Adjacent to the Residence Inn Cincinnati downtown is The Taft Museum, once the Taft Mansion. Built around 1820, the home housed Cincinnati's first banker and Cincinnati's first millionaire before becoming the home of Anna and Charles Taft. In 1908, Charles's half-brother, William Howard Taft, was notified of his nomination for President of the United States under the portico of the house. The Tafts willed their historic home and their private collection of 690 works of art to the people of Cincinnati in 1927. After extensive remodeling, the house opened as The Taft Museum in 1932 and today is regarded as one of the country's finest small art museums.

History of The Phelps Building & Lytle Park