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The Old Giddings-Jenny Face.jpg
GO: 10 W. 4th Street, Downtown Cincinnati (45202) / KNOW: The Rookwood Pottery Company added this face to the “Great Wall of Rookwood” on the old Gidding-Jenny building in 1907. (It was restored in 2003, but at the time of this writing, the building sits empty.) // IMAGE: Phil Armstrong

Refined Rewind: Finding Sculpted Faces in Cincy Places

Ever wanted to do a free scavenger hunt whenever you want, while simultaneously exploring Downtown and its surrounding neighborhoods? Here's an idea: get your quarantine partner if you have one, and go searching for old faces!

For decades, architects routinely added human figures to their blueprints, amplifying the artistry of their work. And Cincinnati, the treasure trove of architectural riches it is, is brimful of examples of beautifully sculpted faces.

The proof? Hit up the photo gallery above for a sample of faces embedded within (and popping out of) buildings in the Queen City's urban core.


  • This is by no means a comprehensive list.
  • Murals and stand-alone statues, for instance, were not included. (Sorry, Tyler-Davidson Fountain)
  • Buildings and public works with human faces integrated into their design, as well as statues affixed to their exteriors, were included in the gallery.
  • The gallery highlights only one face per building, though, in many cases those buildings play host to many more faces and figures. (We're looking at you—and you're definitely looking back—former Times-Star building.)

Step out onto the sidewalks, explore your city, and, you know, get your 10,000 steps in for the day! Our ancestors meticulously built these architectural faces to last, so let's enjoy them.

Let the hunt begin whenever you choose...

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Refined Rewind is a series in which we revisit evergreen pieces we've published in the past for a current audience. These pieces have been updated for the republication. This story was first published in July 2016 and re-edited in April 2020.