SCA 40th Anniversary Conference Details

sca event cincinnati 2017Society for Commercial Archeology 40th Anniversary Conference (1977-2017)
Queen City Crusade
Cincinnati, Ohio
October 4-7, 2017


Presented by the Society for Commercial Archeology
To celebrate SCA’s 40th Anniversary we head to the Midwest and convene in Ohio. Our conference hotel will be the historic Hilton Cincinnati Netherlands Hotel, a 1931 art deco masterpiece that was designed to be a “city within a city” by combining stores, offices, and accommodations. The conference’s Paper Symposium will take place on Friday, October 6, in the hotel’s Mayflower room.
THE SOCIETY FOR COMMERCIAL ARCHEOLOGY is the nation’s oldest organization devoted to buildings, artifacts, structures, signs, and symbols of the 20th –century commercial landscape. The SCA recognizes the historical significance the automobile has had in shaping our landscape and culture.



Wednesday, October 4, 6:30 – 9 p.m.
We welcome you to Queen City and kick-off the celebration at this historic saloon that was built more than 150 years ago. The fare is comfort food with a southern flair that we will enjoy with adult beverages. Our visit will include touring the historic original lagering cellars under the Washington Platform with Saloon owner Jon Diebold and author of the book When Beer was King, Mike Morgan. Includes 2 drinks, cash bar afterward.



Thursday, October 5, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
The Thursday tour will include Carew Tower for an incredible vista from its 39th floor observation deck. Our mid-day stop will be in Over-the-Rhine, an early 19th century neighborhood named for a portion of the Eric Canal that connected it to downtown. Settled by German immigrants, the neighborhood is also the home to the city’s famed Brewery District. Another attraction is the John A. Roebling suspension bridge, which was the world’s longest when completed in 1866. We will end the day with a special celebratory 40th Anniversary reception and dinner at the American Sign Museum, founded and operated by former SCA Board member Tod Swormstedt. Registration includes dinner with beer and wine, lunch is on your own in Findlay Market area. We will provide a list of options.



Friday, October 6, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
The heart of any SCA conference is the papers symposium where members and new friends have been selected by the SCA Board to make visual and fun presentations on roadside resources they have been photographing, writing about and researching. We will also welcome “five-minute stories” – an SCA tradition where members can sign up that day to share short presentations on favorite topics or interests – and hold our SCA membership meeting.
The 2017 symposium will be held in the Mayflower Room at the historic Hilton Cincinnati Netherlands Hotel. Coffee and pastries will be available at the start of the day, and we will have an early lunch at a Skyline Chili restaurant, walkable from the hotel. Presentation topics will include those presentations related to themes of tourism in Ohio and those related to the roadside in other regions. Check the SCA website closer to the dates of the conference for a complete list of scheduled papers.


Saturday, October 7, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Saturday will be our Dixie Highway tour day. We’ll follow the famed highway, first planned in 1914, north from Cincinnati to where it intersects U.S. Highway 40, a point once referred to as “Crossroads of America” in Vandalia, Ohio. The tour will include Dayton, where the road is known as Dixie Drive, and features roadside businesses such as the Dixie Twin Drive-In. We will have a lunch stop and return to Cincinnati for our closing dinner included in your ticket price. A cash bar will be available. Please note, we will not return to hotel before the closing dinner.
Mecklenburg Gardens has been an important part of the cultural, social, and gastronomical history of Cincinnati since 1865. The restaurant served as a meeting place for many of Cincinnati’s German residents to learn about the American way of life. The restaurant boasts of “…the finest steins of German Lager in the city!” It is also known to have the best beer garden in “Zinzinnati”. After our fill of hearty German fare, we will return to the hotel around 9 p.m., marking the official end to the conference.



Lodging (The SCA block of rooms at the Netherlands hotel has been sold out. Sorry!)
SCA has reserved a block of rooms at a special conference room rate for October 4-7 at the Hilton Cincinnati Netherlands Hotel, 35 West Fifth Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Booking Website:
Call-in Reservations: 1-800-445-8667.
Our group code, SCO, must be given to the reservations agent at the time of booking to receive the special SCA rate.
Make your reservation by August 4, 2017, after which rooms may not be available.
Rooms are also available at the 21c Museum Hotel Cincinnati, 609 Walnut Street , Cincinnati, OH 45202, 855-391-8726 or 513-578-6680, which is close to the Hilton, where we will begin and end our tours.
Hilton Netherlands Hotel
Queen bed

21c Museum Hotel
Double Queen


Discounted rooms may still be available nearby at the following hotel. Please mention the SCA.
21 C Hotel. Double Queen beds for $189/night.
609 Walnut St.
Cincinnati,  OH

By car: Check hotel‘s website for directions. The hotel has valet and self-parking available.
By air: Fly into Cincinnati / Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG).

Transportation from airport:

The hotel website offers a variety of options; least expensive are Super Shuttle at $24 and Taxi at $34.
• Conference Registration deadline is September 4, 2017
• Registration is by mail and online via PayPal at
• The conference has limited capacity. Once capacity is reached, registrants will be put on a waiting list in the order registrations are received.
• The nature of this conference limits our ability to accommodate dietary preferences.