The “Old” Main Library. The Main Library has occupied a prominent position in downtown Cincinnati since 1874, when a new building was constructed at 629 Vine Street. Considered the most magnificent public library building in the United States at the time, “Old Main” featured one element similar to today’s library: a towering atrium with a skylight ceiling. Of the dramatic atrium,Harpers Weekly said “The first impression made upon the mind on entering this hall is the immense capacity for storing books in its five tiers of alcoves, and then the eye is attracted and gratified by its graceful and carefully studied architecture…” The building closed in 1955, when the “New Main Library,”located at 800 Vine Street, opened. More detailed information about the history of the building can be found in Free & Public: One Hundred and Fifty Years at the Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County by John Fleischman.