When the Cincinnati Gardens was built in 1949, it was the seventh largest arena in the United States at nearly 25,000 square feet. Since, the Gardens has become relatively small in size, but not before hosting many of Cincinnati's most memorable guests and events. From Bob Dylan and basketball great Oscar Robinson to country singer Conway Twitty and Richard Nixon, the building is a mecca for culture that has passed through the city. With the construction of Riverfront Coliseum in 1975, the Gardens had seemingly become obsolete, and the building was destined for destruction. Luckily, real estate developer Jerry Robinson saw the inherit value of the building and purchased it in 1979; keeping one of Cincinnati's most storied venues alive.
In an effort to preserve the Gardens' rich history, the Legends Museum was constructed in 1999 on the east side of the building's second floor. Patrons can bask in the nostalgia of the building's 60-year history with items like Oscar Robinson's NBA jersey and a program guide from the 1965 Beatles tour. Much of the collection was donated by Gardens' bartender David Green, who witnessed decades of venue's history from behind the bar.
Today, the Gardens still hosts a number of sporting events and shows, including Xavier University men's basketball, pro-wrestling events, and indoor football; possibly cultivating future additions to the museum.
- Hours and Admission:
- The Legends Museum is open to the public, free of charge and can be accessed before and during events at the Gardens
- Location: 2250 Seymour Avenue, Cincinnati, OH
- Phone: 513-351-3999
- Website: www.cincygardens.com