Carriage House

History of the Carriage House

carriage-01The Carriage House occupies a unique setting opposite the School on what was once the palatial estate of Alexander McDonald, a Scottish native, early Cincinnati coal oil magnate and avid supporter of local arts and culture who served as Vice President of the Cincinnati Art Museum, a Director of the College of Music, and as a Director of the May Festival Association.

Designed by famed Cincinnati architect Samuel Hannaford – whose masterworks include Music Hall and Cincinnati City Hall – the 35-room estate was completed in the 1880s. The Carriage House provided quarters for the horses and the carriages of the estate on its ground level, along with a cistern and laundry for the mansion. The upper floor offered storage of feed and supplies, as well as living quarters for the staff of the estate.

mcdonaldThe mansion was razed in the 1960s to accommodate construction of the former Clifton School south annex, which was itself demolished in 2006 to make way for the new Fairview-Clifton German Language School. Throughout all this change, however, the Carriage House has remained intact, serving as a storage facility for grounds maintenance equipment and supplies belonging to the schools. Its survival is not only a tribute to its remarkable stone construction, but also an asset to the entire Cincinnati region which will benefit from its rebirth.

Floor Plans, Costs & Schedule

The Carriage House will be developed into a seasonal use pavilion retaining the Carriage House’s rustic character and providing approximately 4,000 square feet of learning and studio spaces, seven to eight months of the year, for workshops, art classes, exhibits, events, and artists-in-residence programs. Its location immediately adjacent to the new Fairview-Clifton German Language Elementary School also provides a perfect opportunity for educational partnership programs.

CCAC is working to preserve this historical treasure as a valued community asset by securing investments to fund the renovation of the Carriage House into a seasonal pavilion, estimated to cost $550,000.