Posted by: Elizabeth | February 27, 2009

Lotsa swastikas

If you lived in the Huber apartment building on 384 Probasco St, this is what you’d come home to every day:

Something about the tiles...

Something about the tiles...

If your monitor is on the fritz, I’ll zoom in for ya:

(does this need a caption?)

(does this need a caption?)

Not only does the entrance to this building carry the design, but so do the five staircase landings above it:

One just can't get away from it.

Yup, there they are.

One should note that the Huber building was built in 1910, when the swastika was mainly known as an Asian religious symbol. Among Westerners, it was as popular as the ying-yang is today. During the First World War, some American soldiers even wore swastika metals and painted swastikas on their planes for good luck. (see the Wikipedia entry)

Today, some residents jokingly call this building “The Eagle’s Nest,” after Hitler’s house.

By the way, this building is open to rent. An agent once showed me the place, but I didn’t go for it — too much pot smoke wafting about.



  1. Wow, I used to live a few streets over from Probasco and my place had leaks, stains, loud noise, bad floors and everything else except swastikas.

    I am SHOCKED about the pot smoke. Never would have happened in my day.

  2. I’ve got a similar example of tile in my queue. It’s odd, but I’m not that shocked. You see that symbol in so many innocent places! Anyway, thanks for pointing out this tile; I’ll have to document it as well one of these days.

  3. One of the most surprising places I’ve found swastika symbols is in St. Monica/St. George church, not far from Probasco St. They’re all over the church.

    Us college kids always go “OMG, why are there Nazi symbols all over this church?” Then the priest would always have to explain that the swastika has had religions meaning and existed long before Nazi Germany was around.

  4. It’s also referred to as a Fylfot Cross.
    And it has occult meanings as a kind of solar thingie as well.

  5. There’s also a tile floor with Swattikas outside the Germania Building on 12th and Walnut in OTR. That shape was borrowed from Hindu and Buddhist artwork and Indian culture originally I thought? (

  6. I can remember watching a documentary on Indian elephants hosted by Goldie Hawn. For a segment she was in a temple with swastikas lining the walls.

    Elephants, swastikas, Goldie Hawn–they never seemed to go together before.

  7. […] back in October, I completely spaced on its tile details. Odd Cincy’s recent post on swastika tile reminded me to post these […]

  8. The Old Friars Club building on McMillan/Ohio has a the same swastika design in terrazzo in what used to be the main workout room. It was always kind of comical that you’d be working out and glance down at the floor to see those symbols.

  9. awwww pot smoke hehehe.

  10. That is NOT a swastika. The swastika has the points going the other direction. It is the broken cross. You can find them in the aisle of several catholic churches in Cincinnati.

  11. Saw your work cited off of an article. I have to say I totally agree that the swastika had many other relegious meanings before Hitler was ever born. However the ones in the pictures here while the resemble swastika’s are infact a different relegious symbole entirely. It’s only because we have such a negative connation of the swastika that anything we see that resembles it closely assumes it’s shape and everyones goingt “wtf mate” “why is there a giant swasitka on this Catholic Church that was built in 1810?” So in short yes the swastika exsisted way before Hitler and has an entirely different effect then what it’s exsistance was ment to have, but the symbols in these particular pictures are not swastikas. It’s like if you asked a 17yr old to give a discription of a blonde women he just saw chances are he’ll probably described Brittany stone. Also lets not forget it was what the Nazi’s became that gave such a bad rap to the swastika the nazi party adopted this symbol because they origianlly were meant to represent a peaceful organization. None the less, very clever article

  12. that’s wonderful but I followed it’s footprint in countries around the world such as India , China ,Tibet , Germany , Japan ,Peru , Guatemala etc for 13 years and finally found it’s original in Iran !!! The main land of Aryans and origin core of Aryan immigration to the four directions of the world !. there is numerous witnesses and many samples from thousands years ago to past centuries.

  13. The 18.May.1961 UC News Record newspaper indicates 384 Probasco was purchased as a temporary women’s dorm. Wondering if this was the same building used during the mid-1970’s by the Psychology department for lab space? Remember being a subject in several required experiments in a building around Probasco, but memory suggests that the entire hallway of at least one floor had swastikas in the tiles. Long time ago, but I thought the building was narrower than this picture. Remembered the chilling feeling walking down the hallway.

  14. Same statement about predating Hitler. On Hamilton Ave/Northside there is a building just north of KFC’s parking lot that was originally a theater of some sort. Now a used appliance store in the late 80’s is was a Grote bakery. during an exterior renovation removing all signs from the front, a large swastika was found cast (in Rookwood tile is think) into the building directly over the front door! I recall every TV station in town showing up to film it!!! It is still there but recovered by a big rectangle-shaped sign.

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