Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Temple of Love

Temple of Love, Mt. Storm Park
Mt. Storm Park in Cincinnati, Ohio has a rich history. The Temple of Vesta also known as the Temple of Love is all that is left of a once vibrant estate of Robert Bowler. He employed the well known landscape architect from Vienna, Austria, Adolph Strauch. I'm fascinated by all of this not only because I live in Cincinnati and drive past Lafayette Avenue (the street leading to this beautiful site in Clifton) every day on my way to work, but because what used to exist is so easily lost unless we choose to remember it. Since, Memorial Day has just passed consider this post a different type of Memorial Day. An opportunity to remember a little bit of history from another corner of the world. This is what we do every day on this blog, remember history.

"In the mid-19th century, Mt. Storm's land belonged to former Clifton mayor Robert Bonner Bowler. Bowler's ornate mansion, a wine cellar, 17 greenhouses, a waterfall and a lake with black swans graced the area, but the crowning structure was the Temple of Love, a reservoir cover designed by an Austrian friend in 1845. In 1911, the tall, gazebo-esque Temple was made into decoration and the land into a Cincinnati public park." From A Walk In The Park 
Can you imagine what that must have looked like when it was fresh and new and cared for everyday?

I was amazed to discover that Bowler hosted a number of prominent guests at the estate including Edward, Prince of Wales, later King of England, and Charles Dickens.  I never knew this until I did the research for this post. I can just imagine how magnificent this estate must have been at one time. But now the Temple stands by itself, a symbol of what once was just a small part of a huge mansion and home. Here's a brief video clip of The Temple of Love.

Temple of Love Versailles in Summer
I searched for other Temples of Love and found Marie Antoinette's in Versailles. I'm wondering if this may have been the where Strauch got his original idea for the design?

 I've visited Vienna, Austria where Strauch is from but I didn't remember seeing anything like this. I searched a bit more and still didn't find anything as similar as the temple in Versailles. I thought perhaps that Greece would have something similar but I couldn't find anything and then I found this in England.
The Beacon: One of the remaining follies at Staunton Country Park originally commissioned by George Thomas Staunton and designed by Lewis Vulliamy  

 What do you think? Pretty close?
Temple of Love in Mt. Storm Park
I think this is all very romantic and yes I should have posted this in February for Valentine's Day.  But what can I say, it's spring.  

A Prayer in Spring
Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.
Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.
And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.
For this is love and nothing else is love,
The which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends He will,
But which it only needs that we fulfil.
- Robert Frost

Do you have a place of special historical significance that calls to your heart where you live?

Jillian Kent loves England's Regency era. In 2013 her second book in The Ravensmoore Chronicles, Chameleon, finaled in both the Selah at Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference in romance fiction and in Romance Writers of America's prestigious Daphne du Maurier for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. Jillian is employed as a counselor for nursing students in Cincinnati, Ohio and possesses a masters degree in social work. She is a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors and passionate about mental health, wellness, and stomping out the stigma of mental illness. You can reach her at and explore further at her website can also find her on Twitter @JillKentAuthor and Facebook


  1. I love visiting places like this, although I'd never heard of The Temple of Love. Thank you for sharing. I live in the desert, but love places with green grass and abundant flowers. However, those winters... I also love Robert Frost poems. Very nice.

    1. Thanks, Nancy. This winter was not pretty was it? I don't think any of us want to see that kind of cold, and ice, and snow again. Maybe this post was my unconscious need to enjoy the spring after this harsh winter. No wonder I didn't post it in February. It was too cold. :)

  2. This was very interesting jillian. Would have loved to see the original place. Loved the poem too. Thanks, Maxie Anderson mac262(at)me(dot)com

  3. Jillian, we have a monument near where I live , The San Jacinto Monument for when we won our independence from Mexico. It is real tall and faces an oblong made-made reflection pond. We also have the Battleship Texas parked in the water near there. We used to be able to tour it. But, someone told me you couldn't tour it anymore. Maxie

    1. Hi Maude,
      I looked up the The San Jacinto Monument. What a view from the top! They have a great home page. You can see the battleship too. Thanks for sharing that with us. So glad you stopped by.

  4. Hi Jillian, so glad I stopped in and got to see this little snippet of history in Cincinnati. I was sad to see not much left of it and reminds me of other places that that disappeared because no more TLC. My son and I were talking the other day how the place you live would go back to a forest if it were not kept cut and home would deteriorate if no upkeep was done. we toil or we lose it. thanks for your post today.
    Paula O

    1. Hi Paula,
      I was just thinking of all the toiling I will need to do this summer. :) My day job as a college counselor ends today until I go back for the fall semester. Now I see a million dust bunnies and more that I just didn't have time to look at these past few months. Time for spring cleaning. I wish they had been able to maintain that great estate of Bowlers. You and your son are right. Have great weekend!

  5. Wouldn't it be fun to have a couple get engaged in one of those temples of love? Have you done that in one of your stories? I love to visit Guthrie, OK. It's a small town in Central OK that was birthed as a result of the first OK land run. It has more buildings on the historical registry than any other town west of the Mississippi and really appeals to the historical writer in me.

    1. Hi Vickie,
      We writers think alike. :) I haven't written anything about a couple getting engaged in a temple of love, but that doesn't mean it won't happen someday. :) I'll have to look up Guthrie, OK online. Alas, I've never been to OK.

  6. A special historical place in my heart and memory is Independence, Texas near Brenham, Texas.

    1. Thanks for sharing that site, Patricia. I especially like Mrs. Sam Houston's House on the website. I've never been to that area