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Old Posted Mar 6, 2018, 2:43 AM
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Cincinnati - Covington | The Real America

A few months ago I moved to Columbus Ohio for work from Portland. Now that unexpectedly find myself in Ohio, a state that I had never been to before, I've been trying to explore all the majors cities within a short drive.

I've read a lot about Cincinnati on this forum and have been been amazed by how densely built out the city was in the past with it's ornate historic architecture and unfinished subway tunnels running downtown.

I wanted to see it myself so on a nice weekend I decided to check it out. I was impressed by the revitalization efforts in Over the Rhine, which was stunning. The food scene seemed more innovative than Columbus and I had a very great meals while I was in town. 3CDC is doing a lot in terms of revitalizing the city and I hope they can keep the momentum going because even though they lost of great buildings, what they have really packs a punch in terms of quality.

The city has a long way to go with a very obvious homeless / drug abuse problem and lingering urban decay with a lot of sketchy looking people standing around. The vibe felt dated and somehow stuck in the 90's. I wish the city were growing faster so that more development could take place to fill in the gaps and more importantly bring in new people and new perspectives.

There is an incredible amount of potential in the city and it could be one of the best cities in the country if they could solve their problems. What was most surprising is that for Columbus not being far from Cincinnati and within the same state the culture and built environment couldn't be more different. Columbus feels more progressive and open minded than Cincinnati and there is a lot more growth happening in Columbus.

What struck me is that across the river in Covington, Kentucky the historic fabric seemed more untouched with less urban renewal disasters and freeways cutting through the historic neighborhoods. If Cincinnati was spared all the demolition it would surely be up there with San Francisco and New York in terms of urbanism. The Cincinnati area is definitely worth a visit and exploring all the urban neighborhoods and architecture. Not many big metros have such a beautiful old housing stock and a picturesque setting.

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Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Covington, Kentucky

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr


Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

CINCINNATI
Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Cincinnati by Philip Bradford, on Flickr

Hope you all enjoyed the pics. I'll be doing a Pittsburgh and Columbus thread shortly.
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  #2  
Old Posted Mar 6, 2018, 2:53 AM
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Very nice!!!

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Old Posted Mar 6, 2018, 3:02 AM
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Absolutely succulent urbanity! Good job!!
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Old Posted Mar 6, 2018, 6:50 AM
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What a nice crisp day to document so many historic blocks! There sure are a lot of power lines suspended along many of them!
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Old Posted Mar 6, 2018, 2:47 PM
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Holy Sh*t! Can't wait to get back to cincy.
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Old Posted Mar 6, 2018, 3:04 PM
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I approve of this... Cincinnati... of which you speak.
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Old Posted Mar 6, 2018, 3:24 PM
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This is fantastic.
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Old Posted Mar 6, 2018, 3:28 PM
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nice one, cincinnati, and especially northern kentucky are stupid underappreciated on the urbanity front. people (from other regions of the midwest...) just kind of look at you like you are stupid when you tell them that northern kentucky across from cincinnati may be the most under rated collection of urban neighborhoods in the midwest (yes i said midwest). hear hear for river cities!
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Old Posted Mar 6, 2018, 3:31 PM
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my avatar is from this church property in covington...just outside the front door to the right.
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Old Posted Mar 6, 2018, 3:32 PM
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Johnny Fever and Loni Anderson made this thread 10x better but Cinncy and Covington have such great urban fabric and I always enjoy visiting. Easily one of my more favorite cities in the country. SO much character and this thread captures it.

My ex/gf brought her (legit) PTSD dog with us into this rather nice Italian joint in Covington and they served him dinner on a china plate. Classy joint...
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Old Posted Mar 6, 2018, 3:37 PM
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Old Posted Mar 6, 2018, 5:37 PM
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Ok wow...I'm blown away by the architecture there. I'm surprised it was that ornate given it's the midwest; Chicago/Milwaukee/Minneapolis architecture, while pleasant, isn't nearly as fanciful looking.

What exactly is the cliffnotes reason(s) that Cincinnati isn't bigger and better today than it could be?
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Old Posted Mar 6, 2018, 5:48 PM
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Ok wow...I'm blown away by the architecture there. I'm surprised it was that ornate given it's the midwest; Chicago/Milwaukee/Minneapolis architecture, while pleasant, isn't nearly as fanciful looking.

What exactly is the cliffnotes reason(s) that Cincinnati isn't bigger and better today than it could be?
i'll take a shot at this, but i'm coming at it tangentially. i'm sure someone could give specifically a financials/banking reason, but cincinnati was one of the three important original "gateway" cities of the midwest that had banking/rail/investment/mercantile/trade hinterlands around and to the west from which it relied upon for its early growth, prior to the later massive industrial growth of the midwest. my guess is that the growth of all of it's nearby neighbors sort of hacked into that growth stream, sort of how chicago took over a huge amount of the st. louis trade and banking hinterland. this sort of stunted the growth of the region early on.
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Old Posted Mar 6, 2018, 6:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by destroycreate View Post
Ok wow...I'm blown away by the architecture there. I'm surprised it was that ornate given it's the midwest; Chicago/Milwaukee/Minneapolis architecture, while pleasant, isn't nearly as fanciful looking.

What exactly is the cliffnotes reason(s) that Cincinnati isn't bigger and better today than it could be?
The architecture is different because Cincinnati is much older than the other cities you mention. In 1850 Cincinnati had 115,000 people while Chicago had 29,000. In 1850 Minneapolis didn’t even exist. The architecture in the era Cincinnati grew most rapidly is far more ornate than what was done in Chicago or Minneapolis. Cincinnati is also surrounded by hills and a river so they were kind of growth constrained and probably built densely so people could walk to their jobs along the river.

Why isn’t it bigger? Well...

Source: http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=187656

They demolished half the urban core for freeways and public housing and the economy was heavily industrial which as you know based on Detroit, Buffalo, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh was a sector that lost many jobs. They had the usual problems with white flight and suburbanization. Cincinnati has big corporations like Macy’s, Proctor & Gamble and Kroger and University of Cincinnati and medical center but isn’t as diversified as it could be and could stand to attract new business growth.
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Old Posted Mar 6, 2018, 6:36 PM
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god, i wish cincy had finished that subway.

i wasn't sure how to approach the question, but the urban renewal aspect, while tragic, doesn't really address why cincinnati is 2.1 million metro and not a 5 million metro. i suppose "bigger" is different than "better" but in the u.s. bigger often equals better (not always as with say portland).

strong economic engines and regional population growth after mid century within more urban regions coupled with strong public transit infrastructure seems to correlate with more intact cores and/or better repair of renewal scars.

i think in cincinnati, the quality of the urban fabric prevented much worse from happening a la detroit.
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Old Posted Mar 6, 2018, 7:04 PM
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Wtf I can't believe they demolished so much of that. What a crime.
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Old Posted Mar 6, 2018, 7:09 PM
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i think in cincinnati, the quality of the urban fabric prevented much worse from happening a la detroit.
I don't know what you mean by this, when it comes to the destruction of urban walkable neighborhoods it doesn't get worse in the US than Cincinnati. Everything in that photo is gone except some areas of downtown and over the Rhine to the north.
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Old Posted Mar 6, 2018, 7:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Centropolis View Post
god, i wish cincy had finished that subway.

i wasn't sure how to approach the question, but the urban renewal aspect, while tragic, doesn't really address why cincinnati is 2.1 million metro and not a 5 million metro. i suppose "bigger" is different than "better" but in the u.s. bigger often equals better (not always as with say portland).

strong economic engines and regional population growth after mid century within more urban regions coupled with strong public transit infrastructure seems to correlate with more intact cores and/or better repair of renewal scars.

i think in cincinnati, the quality of the urban fabric prevented much worse from happening a la detroit.
Given the right opportunity; industry potential, start-up company gone big, etc, that town is ripe for a turn around. It's kind of in a sweet spot as far as climate is concerned and has a solid urban foundation and the city has a hip vibe about it.
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Old Posted Mar 6, 2018, 7:13 PM
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I don't know what you mean by this, when it comes to the destruction of urban walkable neighborhoods it doesn't get worse in the US than Cincinnati. Everything in that photo is gone except some areas of downtown and over the Rhine to the north.
true, it's great how they preserved all of that high quality downtown-contiguous neighborhood urban fabric in detroit, much more than cincinnati.
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Old Posted Mar 6, 2018, 7:43 PM
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true, it's great how they preserved all of that high quality downtown-contiguous neighborhood urban fabric in detroit, much more than cincinnati.


Detroit did a terrible job but Cincinnati is still worse especially when you look at the highways in Cincinnati, the whole core is just a peninsula surrounded by spaghetti junctions and industrial no-man's-lands. Detroit still has complete connectivity with it's riverfront at least and I will admit Cincy's downtown has slightly better connectivity with OTR than downtown Detroit with Midtown but Central Parkway in Cincy was widened significantly (all around OTR actually) so connectivity isn't exactly intact. And while contiguousness with Corktown and Lafayette park isn't that great at least those neighborhoods still exist in some habitable form unlike literally all of southwestern Cincinnati. Also, the size of downtown Detroit alone encompasses most of OTR and downtown Cincy combined.

Truthfully I don't think Detroit did all that better (although the highway situation in Detroit is significantly better) but to paint a picture as though Cincinnati prevented "much worse" from happening is false and Cincy's "high quality" urban fabric really made no difference with it's fate.
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