The Anna Louise Inn, a History

By A. Mann

The proven grounds given of decidedly preserving the communally beneficent landmark, addressed as The Anna Louise Inn.

In re-approaching the Anna Louise Inn at 300 Lytle Place, a few steps from the Taft Museum of Art, there is renewed consideration of the omission of a state historic notice that stands by the gifted house where from it was deeded. For if the main house which fronted the expansion is of a rightful honor in preserving as a monument that continues to serve the Greater Cincinnati area, is it not a misdeed of marked degree that the dedicated outbuilding remains equitably unsigned-and thus fairly unguarded- by appointed authority? Resounding insistently upon this oversight – upon this pertinent point- there is cause to appeal that any member of local city council is authorized to begin a designation study to initiate the protection of a historic site.

Accordingly-from past sources-there is a pending review by a state historic preservation officer toward determining a verdict to the Anna Louise Inn upon the National Register of Historic Places, whereof this process is judged of four factors hereby related as tenable evidence. Even as only one such requirement is cause for this rewarded license, the leading agency considered indisputably fulfills all.

Criterion A, states a major event placing such-in this case- an agency into a pattern of American History. Through the development of Cincinnati Union Bethel – or CUB as it is fondly referred- of a early formation in 1830 to official record from 1839 into the turn of the century, by 1901 director Reverend James O. White oversaw the first free kindergarten in the expansion along Front Street. Of the formative year the continuing influx of young women promised or seeking employment in the city were faced with limited options as to affordable housing, often forced to live in unsafe conditions or overextending a feasible income to improve their accommodations. Recognizing this growing need, White applied to several financial contributors, mainly calling upon the couple who aided other civic endeavors: Anna Stinton and Charles P. Taft. Through these principal backers is supplied the sustaining conditions stated as Criterion B; wherein the building is connected with significant persons

From this endowment beget the cornerstone corroborating the groundwork of the Anna Louise Inn for Girls set at Third and Lytle Street as a extension of the Taft family’s designated property in 1901- named in honor of their daughter Anna Louise Semple- arising of a five-story building to accommodate 120 women in individual rooms. The completed housing contracted of the architecture firm of Garber & Woodward opened on May 31st, 1909 with full occupancy. The increasing need compiled a waiting list of 100 women, prompting added donation of Mr. and Mrs. Taft of their personal grounds along Pike Street towards an attached wing completed in 1920. Thereafter the Anna Louise Inn continued to aid the workingwomen, providing affordable housing and family services, standing on a stated mission “To help people help themselves”.

By this chosen framework is the substantiation set of Criterion C; built of a prominent architecture or leading organization. As the aforesaid firm was nationally recognized with their local constructions, some relatable notables as completing the Taft home conversion to the Taft Museum, the nearby Phelps Building, with a comparably central conductive structure being the Dixie Terminal on 4th Street.

Of Criterion D, relating information important to history or pre-history, Cincinnati Union Bethel was a foremost social service agency west of the Alleghenies, arising in 1839 from the Western Seamen’s Friends Society providing religious services and education to the families arriving in Cincinnati. Initial services were at an established location on Front Street, wherein sailor’s families were offered a Sunday school that by 1870 was of the largest in the nation. In 1853 there was an outfitted barge conducting religious services on the Ohio River called “The Boatmen’s- or Floating- Bethel”. In furthering children’s education the Bethel Ladies Society-formed in 1860-combined with CUB in their outreach along Front Street of a second building constructed in 1871, providing a men’s dormitory with dining hall, temporary shelter, and separate sleeping quarters for women.

Anna Stinton- daughter of David Stinton- resided in the Belmont House, a boarding house for women prior to Nicholas Longworth’s purchase in 1830 of the mansion for his personal residence. Anna- who no doubt recalled the history of her childhood domicile- became centrally involved with CUB; evident in her philanthropic pursuit with husband Charles to place a similar offering of neighboring accommodations for women as a vital home nearby the renamed Taft House that Anna inherited in 1873, after her father’s passing. Both Anna and her husband maintained a close residence to the Anna Louise Inn from 1909 to the expansion in 1920, unto their physical parting; willing their house and private art collection to the people of Cincinnati in 1927.

The main housing has been historically enshrined as the Taft Museum, yet what of the proven shelter conveyed as a caring offspring given to applicable women in need? Why does it suffer to be so unshielded to capital divests over humane interests? Who is to answer for this allowed contravention upon this needful home named in memorial honor to extend partial exclusion to all those fairly applying to the empowering wings of the Anna Louise Inn?

Placed into your hands are the counter forms, along with other access to the Cincinnati Union Bethel website regarding the Anna Louise Inn at or contact by phone at (513) 421- 5211.

In terms of reaching Cincinnati City Council members the broader email is with connection by phone given at (513) 352-1576.

In determining a state representative to address, the number for the Ohio House of Representatives is 1-800-282-0253 or indexed at