I was interviewed recently for an article on ghost signs. (When it's published, I'll let you know where to find it.) One of the questions was "do you have a favorite?" I have several, and the Dennison Hotel sign, as seen from 7th and Main, is among them. (Oddly enough, no-one's written a Yelp review.)
It's one of the first ghost signs that caught my eye Downtown, and one of the first in this blog.
And earlier this year, I was looking at it again. (The good ones always bring me back.) That's when I noticed that the artist, Bill Haas, apparently painted over another ghost sign.
Hard to say what the first sign said, especially because I'm finding conflicting histories of the building. One guy on flickr says it started out as an infirmary at the end of the Civil War, and another site claims it was built in 1890, as an iron foundry. One says it's eight stories, another says nine. And so far, my go-to site for historical Cincinnati hasn't covered it yet.
(Updated again, 2-14-13)
While my focus has been on Mr. Haas' work, there are other ghost sign features on this building.
The awning over the door has the remnants of Dennison, and above that, painted over in red:
We learn that not only did the Hotel Dennison have 105 rooms, but only 60 baths, but it was also air-conditioned.