Cincinnatus Mural Plaza, “From Rome to Cincinnati”

Landscape Architecture & Community Planning - Planning & Analysis Projects

Project Narrative

This plaza brings the existing illusionary mural to life by utilizing “forced perspective” and replica site details depicted. A living green wall and pergola at angles and narrowing granite bands will exaggerate depth perception.

Rome to Cincinnati “bas relief” panels:
• Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus – Legendary Roman general who saved Rome, refused to be named “Caesar” in reward and returned to his meager farm. A timeless story of unselfish public service.
• Society of the Cincinnati – Early American and European roots of the Society.
• George Washington and Generals – “Members Society of the Cincinnati”. All 100+ revolutionaries were members. General Arthur St. Clair renamed Losantiville “Cincinnati”.
• The Cincinnatus Association – Exists today and provides public service.

• Italian tile mural in “faux pool”.
• Pergola with grape vines will evoke ancient Rome. Solar PV panels provide energy.
• Storm water is captured in cisterns under the “Illusionary Pool” and will irrigate arbor and green wall.
• Bas Relief history panels are set into green wall. A digital board provides outdoor education.
• Etched on granite are names of unselfish public service heroes, Cincinnati’s “Hollywood Stars Walk”.
• “Faux Cauldron” with “flames”, lit by LED uplights.
• The world’s first organ – a Hydraulis – invented by Ctesibius of Alexandria during the 3rd Century BC during the Roman Empire and Cincinnatus’s life. A contemporary hydraulis will be created as a participatory musical instrument. It is enclosed and covered by a Roman-style shelter.

The Kroger – Cincinnatus

Speciality Awards

Community Impact

The plaza will be utilized to instruct city-wide students on the subject of "Unselfish Public Service".

Historic Preservation

This unique mural provides a historic reference to the relationship between Cincinnati and Revolutionary War America. Many do not know the story of how Cincinnati was named and the link between Ancient Rome, the early United States, and the frontier along the Ohio River.


The Mural was designed and installed 30+ years ago by the famed Chicago muralist of Richard Haas. Although it was refurbished 3 years ago with Haas office repainting, the plaza design relies upon the genius of the original muralist.

Innovation in Design

The plaza is designed as a net-zero energy and water usage plaza. Rainwater will be recirculated to irrigate the grape vines on the arbor and the green walls. Energy will be provided by arbor-top PV panels for lighting, electronic music, the digital education board, and irrigation pumps. It is envisioned that local artists will be engaged to assist with a mural design in the "Faux reflecting pool" and the Cincinnatus dedication column/rubbing stones with local humanities scholars.

Project Details

Submission Category

Landscape Architecture & Community Planning - Planning & Analysis Projects

Date of Completion

October, 2021