Tuesday, January 28, 2003

Wooly mammoths find new home at research center



By William A. Weathers
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Their old home is gone, and they've been on a whirlwind tour, but Cincinnati's famous wooly mammoths have now settled into their permanent home in Queensgate.

img
The family of four fiberglass woolly mammoths - two adults and two children - now stand in front of the Cincinnati Museum of Natural History & Science's new Geier Collections and Research Center at Gest and West 5th streets.

"They certainly had quite a tour,'' said museum spokesman Rodger Pille, of the 1,000-pound pachyderms.

Once they were a landmark along Gilbert Avenue near Eden Park, just past the Greyhound bus station standing for all to see in front of the old Museum of Natural History.

Now, that site is rubble, recently cleared to make way for the relocation of WCPO-TV. The museum itself had long since relocated to the Museum Center at Union Terminal.

In recent months, the mammoths were on display at Fountain Square, the Cincinnati Zoo, Taste of Cincinnati, Kings Island, Covington's MainStrasse Village and Yeatman's Cove before settling in at the Geier collections facility site.

They should stay there for quite a while.

"As long as we have the collections center there. That's our plan,'' Mr. Pille said.

When the history museum moved to the Museum Center in 1990, the mammoths remained as the old building became the museum's collection facility. They went on tour when the history museum acquired a larger building for its collections facility.

"We realized we had a good opportunity to have a little fun" Mr. Pille said of the tour.

It was a chance to spread the history museum image by taking the mammoths to the people, he said.

"They're our only moveable exhibit."

The response from the public was "great," Mr. Pille said. For many it was the first chance to see the mammoths up close instead of just glancing at them when they drove by on Gilbert.

In October 2002, the museum swapped buildings with the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio. The purchase and upgrading of the Gest Street site was a $8 million project.

The male bull and female cow mammoths were built by artist Neal Deaton in 1980 and became part of the history museum's Ice Age exhibit.

E-mail bweathers@enquirer.com

Got an idea? This periodic Metro feature revisits past newsmakers and local landmarks. If you have a candidate for this feature, call William A. Weathers at 768-8390, or e-mail bweathers@enquirer.com




'GREAT NEIGHBORHOODS' SERIES
Complete guide to Blue Ash

TOP LOCAL HEADLINES
Butler Co., N.Ky. vie for FedEx unit
Krings' contract bypassed auditor
Schools will lose if taxes don't rise
New test of heart risk gains ground

ENQUIRER COLUMNS
PULFER: Guilty by reason of wealth?
RADEL: I'm getting used to the white stuff

AROUND THE TRISTATE
Seeking Tristate connections overseas
Record cold doesn't stop river traffic
Newport man jailed in Clermont slaying
Lawmakers ready to spin Bush speech
WTC searchers to get screening
Tristate A.M. Report
Obituary: Laddie Snyder founded business
Good News: Heroes in war against cancer
Congrats

CINCINNATI-HAMILTON COUNTY
Wooly mammoths find new home
Portune sets deadline for NFL
Sharonville near deal on skating rink
Health care facility part of school plan

BUTLER COUNTY
Police uncover officer's dark side
Judge: Courts not lax on perjury
Middletown tries to stave off budget deficit

CLERMONT COUNTY
Milford schools to cut $1.5M if levy fails

OHIO
Ohio Bicentennial Moment: Inventor celebrated as 'Black Edison'
Bald eagles' numbers grow

KENTUCKY
Fireman accused of murder in wreck
NKU freezes hiring
Election in new district is today
N.Ky. schools to close for rally against cuts
Parents want to keep A.J. Jolly running
I-75 stretch to close overnight
Newport man charged in homicide
Patton's ex-cabinet leader to run
Speeding violation nabs 2 jail escapees
2 suspected of mail theft