#ThursdayDoors | Finding A Whimsical Building About Local History In A Park

Today I’m joining Thursday Doors, hosted by Norm Frampton, by sharing photos of a fun + unique building that we stumbled upon in a Cincinnati suburban park.    

I’ve not seen anything like this before, both the building and the doors on the building that have doors painted on them.  It’s a double door, double door extravaganza.  Or something like that. 

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On a whim we stopped at a new-to-us park called Home of The Brave Park.  This 54-acre park, established in 2012, is located in Symmes Township, Hamilton County, OH.

Along with sports fields, playgrounds, a shelter, and a veterans plaza, this park has a building unlike any other I’ve seen around here.  It’s painted on all four sides to explain the history of the township, one side focusing on the man who founded the township.

A fast Google search lead me to the life story of John Cleves Symmes, the man featured on one side of the building.  In a nutshell he was a rich NY/NJ Revolutionary War dude who came west to Ohio to make his fortune by selling land that he did, and did not, own to settlers moving this way.

He’s credited for naming many places around here, and is also the father-in-law of President William Henry Harrison [#9] and grandfather of President Benjamin Harrison [#23].

And with that, here are the photos of the exterior of the building.

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DOUBLE DOORS on the front of the building.

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The side of the building where the image of John Cleves Symmes dominates.

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The back of the building showing a melange of images that apparently summarize this township.

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The fourth side of the building.

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A closer look at the FRONT DOOR DOUBLE DOORS on which a FRONT DOOR and a GARAGE DOOR are painted, hence creating a double door, double door extravaganza.

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Published by

Ally Bean

Observant. Humorous. Adaptable. Charmingly cynical. Midwestern by chance. Kindhearted by choice. Fond of words.

127 thoughts on “#ThursdayDoors | Finding A Whimsical Building About Local History In A Park”

  1. What a fun building, and very well done. I like the bright colors, and the obvious humor of the person or group that did the painting. The woman walking the dog in the last photo looks like she’s wearing a bath towel.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. shoreacres, I was charmed by this building which to me seemed to just appear out of nowhere. Laughing at your observation about the woman in the bath towel. Especially considering she’s walking above “Est. 1824” which makes no sense to me, but *hey* it’s whimsy.

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  2. It is a fun and colorful building, not the typical American memorial style. Reminds me a little of the bright South African murals another blogger photographs.

    I swear, only in the U.S. do we forgive and venerate con men.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. AutumnAshbough, it does look a little like some of the photos I’ve seen of South African murals. Excellent point.

      Yes, about the con men. I read about this dude’s life and thought it could be a story from today. 🙄

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is a cool little building. Lots to see. Love the colors and scenes. I had not heard of Symmes. Interesting. I wonder if his family discussed politics at family gatherings. How could they not?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ernie, I have to believe all they discussed was politics– and business as it related to politics– and real estate as it related to politics. He was significant in this region’s growth and connected to U.S. Presidents, obviously.

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    1. River, I couldn’t believe what we’d found in this park, yet once I started snapping photos I wondered why there aren’t more whimsical building like this in parks. So cheerful.

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  4. That’s a fascinating and beautiful place. I’ve been to several cities where murals on buildings are prevalent (Seward, Montreal, etc.) but never seen a whole building as a work of art.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Margaret, I’ve never seen anything like this building either. If one side had been painted it’d have been cute, but to have the whole building covered in murals is definitely a work of art.

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    1. Ellen D, thanks for doing this research. I didn’t even think to figure out who the artist was, being overly focused on Mr. Symmes. This artist is wonderful. I love her work and am happy to know she has art elsewhere.

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    1. Suz, I thought the building was amazing, too. Especially since it’s just sitting between ball fields and parking lots in a normal suburban park. I agree that ‘double door, double door’ is a tongue twister, yet that’s what it is.

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  5. Great historic images on this building, but done in a modern way. I like it! Slowly came back last week to blog land after a few months of no wifi (hubby had a job in a no-wifi-area at 4000 feet till Aug. 20, and then we moved to Austin, Texas). If you commented in June or after, I apologized, but that was the reason:) Hope you are doing well? Jesh

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dr. Junieper, I like your description of this building: history presented in a modern way. It was a great find in a lovely, but ordinary, suburban park.

      Happy to know you’re back to blogging. I figure everyone makes their own rules when it comes to blogging so if someone doesn’t respond to my comments, I just shrug and try again. [Until it’s clear that they’ve no interest in moi.]

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  6. I don’t really have anything to say that hasn’t already been said. I just want to be a cool kid. And to spend my afternoon playing with watercolors instead of working.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Judy, I didn’t see the doors at first either. While Z-D sat in the car I walked around the building taking photos. When I saw the doors on the doors I knew I’d hit the holy grail of Thursday Door pics.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. evilsquirrel13, yes it is. On the back of the building I especially like the persimmons beside the barn + silo. The fruit is about the same size as the buildings. Kind of wacko, kind of fun.

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    1. Dan, the building is very noticeable in the park. The park is lovely, well kept, but normal– then there is this bright and fun building that seems to appear out of nowhere. Just sitting there, looking cheerful.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Symmes of Symmes Township sounds like an interesting person – I wonder what he would have thought of all those bright colors on the building honoring his memory… The artwork is beautiful and I agree with Deb, it does look very much like a Charles Wysocki puzzle.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Barbara, from what I can tell about Mr. Symmes if there was an angle he could exploit he was all for it. Thus I’d say that he’d like building! About him. 🙄

      I wasn’t aware of Wysocki’s work but when I looked at it, I realized Deb was right. Very similar.

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  8. What a fun colorful discovery. The doors are perfect but I love the way they wrapped the whole building with the artwork; usually it’s just one face.
    “Rich revolutionary war dude” is a phrase we should all use more often 😀
    I wonder if Mr. Symmes put together the seed capital for his Ohio venture by selling bridges he didn’t own back in NY/NJ.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Norm, the building is cheerful and unique. It stopped us as we drove by because it was totally unexpected and then to find the double doors with double doors on them was great. As for where or how Mr. Symmes got his funds I could not say, but my brief research about him suggests that he wasn’t above bending the truth.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Laurie, exactly. I loved this unusual building and the artwork was perfect. The double door, double doors was fun to discover. When we pulled into this park to explore we had no idea.

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  9. The whole building is one big series of interrelated murals. I love the bright, cheerful colors. Did you go inside?

    It’s funny. When you get into local history, many of the founders and town fathers are rogues.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nicki, the building is a maintenance building for the park, so no look inside. But the outside was amazing, obviously. You’re right about local history. Not really surprised that Mr. Symmes was perhaps not always ethical but I was surprised by his direct connection to 2 early presidents. Not sure what to make of that.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I suppose it was a smaller community in those days. Maybe it sometimes seemed that everyone was related to everyone. That’s all I can think of.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Jean, I only knew where the doors were because of the overhang. Then when I walked up close and saw the double doors with doors painted on them, I was tickled. I knew this would be a good contribution to Norm’s Thursday Doors.

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    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hi ally
    I think street art has come a long way and this art you stated for a Ford post was colorful and well done
    And this is timely for me – I just watched a documentary about “Banksy” and it showed the evolution of street art from
    NYC in the 80s to
    Now having the public appreciate street art – like
    Your post shows

    Liked by 1 person

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