Unusual Destinations: Ohio River Floodwall Art

Oct 29, 2020 View Comments by

Ohio River Floodwall Art

The Great Flood of 1913 wreaked havoc on many Ohio River towns. The death and destruction, while momentous at the time, have been largely forgotten in the 21st century. The concrete floodwalls in towns along the Ohio River, however, were blank canvases just begging for artists’ depictions of important historical events dating as far back as when Europeans first landed in the Ohio River Valley. Some of these Ohio River towns were home to folks who, later in life, became famous: singing cowboy Roy Rogers, born in Cincinnati, OH; singer Rosemary Clooney, from Maysville, KY; and frontiersman Daniel Boone, who operated a trading post in Point Pleasant, WV.

Over the past two decades, talented muralists have transformed the blank concrete floodwalls in 13 cities and towns on both sides of the river into an extensive collection of vividly colorful art. The large, three-dimensional murals, ranging from 14 to 30 feet in height, pull viewers in and make them feel they’re part of the scene. These realist-style paintings not only record history but also restore some of the natural vistas that the floodwalls obscure. To find out more about the murals and help plan your own trip, go here.



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