Church of the Week: The Citadel, Cincinnati

This week's church of the week is no longer a church, but it was the first church I ever knew. Designed by renowned Cincinnati architect Samuel Hannaford (who also built Cincinnati's Music Hall, City Hall, and many other exceptional buildings, including the historic Shubert Theater, which was demolished in 1976), the Citadel, at 114 E. 8th Street, was built for the Salvation Army's main church (corps) in Cincinnati and as the home of the Ohio and Kentucky divisional headquarters. The upper floors also provided emergency housing at various times in its history. It was probably on the second floor of this building, in children's church led by Mrs. Reed, where I first knelt and prayed for salvation. I also remember the ground-floor entryway a little bit, and the main auditorium and its stage.

The wall behind the platform was graced by the "Gamble window," donated by the Gamble family of Procter & Gamble fame. When a new "citadel" was built on Central Parkway in 1967, the window was left behind, but later reclaimed and installed in the Cincinnati Temple Corps (now Center Hill Corps) in 1981 (it has since been returned to the Cincinnati Citadel and DHQ building on Central Parkway). I also remember that the auditorium (or "hall," in Salvation Army parlance) had a balcony (very cool; I was seldom allowed up there, as it was not used on a regular basis) that was supported by several large posts that obstructed the view of the platform.

Below is a photo of me (the youngest, the one who looks even unhappier than my older brothers, Larry and Don) and the family standing in front of the Citadel, probably on some Sunday sometime around 1965, I'm guessing.

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