Stone Carvings in the Music Hall Façade

stone carving representing music When looking at the imposing red brick facade of Music Hall, it's hard to see the detail work on the structure. In particular, there are stone carvings set into the brick. They appear at the tops of decorative fixtures and offer some relief to an eye weary of red brick.

stone carving representing horticulture When Music Hall was constructed, the center building came first. It was primarily designed to be a ''music hall''. Next, the wings were constructed to accommodate the expositions that were so popular in the late 19th and early 20th century.

To reflect the purposes of the hall, stone mason Isaac Graveson created themed carvings: musical instruments for the center building, flowers and birds for the south -- horticultural -- building and engineering and science tools for the north -- mechanical -- building.

stone carving representing mechanical stone carving representing mechanical stone carving representing horticulture


Isaac Graveson was born in England and arrived in Cincinnati in 1849 as a stonecutter. There are references to him also as a builder, contractor and architect. He built an Italianate mansion for himself and his family at 2343 Auburn Avenue. Today that structure is owned by the Educational Theatre Association and is valued at over $800,000.

Graveson's company also worked on the Marcus Fechheimer House on Garfield Place (once the Butterfield Senior Center and now owned by LPK), the Esplanade and base for the Tyler Davidson Fountain, and many more local structures. His company also supplied stone for structures in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee and Canada.

Press Room       Visitor Information       Contact SPMH       Links & Resources       Terms of Use       Privacy Policy       Site Map