She remembered it being an older building that was remodeled in the 1980's, so I took a look around at some old maps. Let's start from the most recent and work backwards...
|2013 CAGIS Map|
|1950 Sanborn Insurance Map - Source|
|1904-1930 Sanborn Insurance Map - Source|
First some history of the French Bros.-Bauer Company. It was started in 1842 by Thomas French, when dairy farmers were still the in neighborhoods of Walnut Hills, East End and some parts of the West End as well. Thomas and his sons had their dairies in Hyde Park, Oakley, Clifton and Newport. As business expanded, they bought milk from other farmers further and further from the basis area of downtown. The French Brothers were leaders in their industry when germ theory began to prove diseases came from bacteria, they transitioned from open pails of milk to putting milk in closed bottles, more than 10 years before other dairies. Many diseases, such as cholera morbis, commonly called summer complaint back then, began to decline because of the purification of milk. The Frenches dairy laboratory with the first in Cincinnati to test and establish standards in the processing of milk.
|The Cincinnati Enquirer, 1921|
The Cincinnati Enquirer; Sep 18, 1916; pg. 10
|Baseball Milk Caps sealed the bottles of French Bauer Milk|
Business remained good, until 1979, when the company was bought out by H. Meyer & Sons Dairy, which was located in Arlington Heights. The French Bauer named remained, but about 100 employees were left without jobs and the plant was suddenly closed. The building remained empty and was purchased by Robert Chavez of the Parking Company of America. It was initially believed it would become yet another parking lot. However, little did everyone know, that Chavez was an avid fan of architecture and had other plans for the building. He hired top architects of the time, Moore, Grover, Harper, from Connecticut and they came up with a modern design using reflective glass and covered the concrete structure with a plum-colored synthetic material, called Drivet.
|Drawings of the renovated building|
The Cincinnati Enquirer,; December 3, 1983; pg. D5
|1891 Sanborn Insurance Map - Source|
|Maps of 132 W Court Street. Washington Platform Saloon can be seen at the corner of Court and Elm. On the 1887 and 1891 maps, "hops" can be seen.|
The Cincinnati Enquirer; Aug 17, 1913; pg. 14