Betts House exhibit to showcase historic homes of prominent families

An exhibit showcasing the historic homes of four well-known Cincinnati families opens at the Betts House Research Center on May 16.

Great Cincinnati Families at Home will feature an intimate look at the private residences of the Taft, Probasco-Rowe, Hauck and Huenefeld families, including historic prints and photographs and recent photographs from Alice Weston.

"Often, architecture exhibits focus strictly on the buildings, removing the human element other than the name and biography of the architect or designer," says Julie Carpenter, executive director of the Betts House.  "This exhibit melds the stories of the home owners with the significance of their homes."

The nearly twenty homes include a range of architectural styles and time periods, from an early 19th century Greek Revival home to a 20th century Late Modern residence, designed by well-known national and local architects such as James K. Wilson, Samuel Hannaford and James W. McLaughlin.

"As an architectural historian particularly interested in architects themselves, I was gratified that we were able to include so many varied and outstanding local practitioners, as well as several well-known out-of-town designers," says Walter E. Langsam, architectural historian and co-curator of the exhibit.

Carpenter says that seeing Great Cincinnati Families at Home can further one's understanding of who built Cincinnati.

"As someone brand new to Cincinnati, I find the exhibit helpful in getting a sense of the neighborhoods I’m exploring," Carpenter says.  "It also provides a good introduction to these families - whose names crop up so frequently in my reading - and how they are interconnected."

The exhibit runs through October 31.

Writer: Kevin LeMaster
Sources: Julie Carpenter, executive director, Betts House Research Center; Walter E. Langsam, co-curator
Photography by Scott Beseler
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