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Old 06-17-2010, 06:21 AM
 
Location: Cincinnati
3,335 posts, read 5,725,886 times
Reputation: 2058

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finally took the time to really spend some time in westwood yesterday. mostly we toured based on20 or so houses at were for sale in our price range.

i was impressed. i had pictured that westwood had a few nice streets surrounded by more not-so-nice streets. our experience though was that most of westwood is quite nice. i felt as safe in the neighborhoods we looked at as i did in the neighborhood where i grew up in small-town, rural ohio. but, the areas that seemed less nice were almost exclusively along the busier roads (harrison et al).

we drove through a handful of small business districts that were, in their current state, mostly occupied but generally run-down. if a couple of those business districts would turn around, big chunks of westwood would go to an oakley-like feel overnight.

but i'm not saying oaklification is a good thing. there is a potential for westwood to be family-oriented yet eccletic. the neighborhood seemed to have a noteworthy mix of incomes, family types, and demographics.

the commute to downtown is faster. faster than coming in from hyde park or oakley.

the biggest stumbling block for westwood, like most all of cincinnati is a simple seven letter world. S-C-H-O-O-L-S. we're already talking about if we can swing private school, because the public school options are dismal and i don't want to send my child across the city to fairview or somewhere every day for an education.

overall, a solid neighborhood with an attractive combination of low housing costs, distance to downtown, historic charm, proximity to shopping and businesses.

one related question: what is a "lang built tudor" this was a selling point for a few of the houses, but despite much googling i can not figure out what this means.

Last edited by progmac; 06-17-2010 at 06:58 AM..
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Old 06-17-2010, 02:14 PM
 
Location: Indianapolis and Cincinnati
682 posts, read 1,387,611 times
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William Lang & Sons Co, was a well respected builder in Cincinnati who built in the Westwood area. They were known for building quality homes.
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Old 06-17-2010, 02:31 PM
 
Location: Cincinnati
3,335 posts, read 5,725,886 times
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thank you for the info about lang! i googled up a storm and couldn't find a thing. a lot of houses around mother of mercy were advertised as "lang" tudors. really nice neighborhoods in through there, too.
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Old 06-17-2010, 08:49 PM
 
1,130 posts, read 2,022,655 times
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I tried and failed on another thread to get anyone to really explain Westwood schools to me, but it's a key question.

On the CPS front, I have heard that Clark Montessori is the most in demand westside public school, but it's over in Winton Hills, and in my estimation is no better than sending kids across town to Fairview.

I just talked to a neighbor of mine who said he hired three college kids to stand in line for him for FIVE days to get his kids the chance to attend Sands Montessori. If you ask me, there's something wrong with a school system where the other alternatives are so bad that you have to go to those lengths to get your child an education. It sucks...there's no other way to put it.

As far as private school options, St. Catherine's has a school over on Wunder, just a block or two north of Harrison Ave. The school might be ok (I don't know) but the neighborhood around it seems a little sketchy, which would make me uncomfortable.

I guess from St. Catherine's, your next step for secondary school is Mother of Mercy High over on Werk Rd. Definitely a more comfortable setting.

Maybe a westsider will chime in and give us the lay of the land.
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Old 06-17-2010, 11:42 PM
 
Location: Cambridge, MA
4,730 posts, read 10,929,204 times
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Wunder Ave (gotta love the name) is definitely on the sketchy side. The annual festival is no longer held on the school grounds due to robberies, assaults, etc going on afterwards. A "Good Guy Loitering" get-together was on that street recently (see separate thread.) But to me 'twould seem that the only real problems don't manifest themselves until after sundown. I'd heard that one of Westwood's long-since-gone-bad public schools, perhaps Dater, was due to be changed over into a K-12 Montessori program. Anybody know the latest on that?

Cincinnati's public schools are the Achilles heel of city neighborhoods struggling and stable alike. Here in Cambridge, MA as well as in Boston the exact same issue is in effect. Someone posted recently about the big turnover of houses in Oakley. Herein, I think, is the main answer as to why that's occurring. "Six-itis" (the inflammation of the importance of age six) is the term I've heard to describe the condition of starry-eyed urban pioneers who suddenly have second thoughts about staying put when little Joanna or Johnny reaches kindergarten age. Whether in Cambridge or in Cincy, Dallas, Denver, etc, people either learn how to manipulate the system to their advantage or put their home on the market. The quality gap between Walnut Hills and the "district" high schools is a yawning chasm, and this is true to a somewhat lesser extent in the middle grades. Until the educational programs of the city finish making the leap from the 19th century (when "practical" curricula were all that were needed for most kids to effectively function as productive and prospering adults) to the 21st, all would-be settlers in Westwood et al will keep facing that dilemma.
As far as commuting to classes is concerned, the scenario is no different on the parochial-school front. The creme de la creme of Catholic secondary schools (St X followed by Moeller for boys, Ursuline Academy followed by McAuley for girls) are respectively situated in Finneytown, Montgomery, and College Hill. But if a young adult decides that s/he wants to further their education at a sectarian college, Mt St Joe is minutes away in Delhi.
Even if the cost of tuition to a private or parochial school is a factor, the cost/benefit ratio often still falls in favor of owning a home in the city. Comparable houses to those in Westwood typically sell for less than half of the price they'd command in a "safe" suburb.

Here's an open question, literal as well as rhetorical: Why are there few - if any - charter schools on the west side? Roselawn is a comparable neighborhood to Westwood in that it's mostly comprised of well-shaded and safe streets lined with sturdy + appealing + and cared-for homes. Also similarly, Section 8'd apartment houses/complexes and one particularly crime-ridden area cast the entire community in a bad light. The only real distinctions lie in its demographic composition and the arguably worse condition of its retail districts. Yet charter schools have proliferated in Roselawn, with the latest ("Cincinnati Leadership Academy") newly launched in a former Catholic school. Their quality is uniformly dismal. But they're there. Is this because of the presence and influence of parochial programs on the west side as opposed to within an area which was once heavily Jewish, or are there other reasons?
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Old 06-18-2010, 06:46 AM
 
Location: Indianapolis and Cincinnati
682 posts, read 1,387,611 times
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I would think that it is only a matter of time before we see more charter schools and private academies in Cincinnati , with more and more people moving into Cincinnati from out of state I would expect the economic demographic is there to warrant the influx of private schools. At least based on what I have seen take place in other cities.

I do not however think that public sholld have to be all that bad, it really boils down to parents exercising greater control over their childrens educational experince.

I understand the old Theodore Roosevelt school in Fairmount has been bought and there are plans to establish a charter school there. Not up on the details of that other than the city, after they sold the building, took the new buyer to court because they wanted to use the building for a charter school and the state ruled against the city.
Court: Cincinnati Public Schools Violated State Law

Given our Knox Hill Neighborhood sits right above this school and all the younger couples we have moving in to our area with kids, not to mention all the younger couples buying all over the westside and restoring these days, this is probably a good thing. Its a small school so I imagine it will have limited slass size but to me that would be a plus. No idea when they plan on opening.
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Old 06-18-2010, 12:05 PM
 
Location: Cincinnati
350 posts, read 717,259 times
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Midway School Online





If you live anywhere near the western part of Westwod, this should be the K-8 Elementary. I will confirm.

The building resembles the Covedale School, it would be awesome if it performs as well.
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Old 06-18-2010, 12:27 PM
 
Location: Cincinnati
3,335 posts, read 5,725,886 times
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despite the nice looking building, midway has pretty dismal test scores right now

let's hope this improves. at this point, i couldn't imagine sending my daughter somewhere where half the kids can barely read. if pretty buildings equaled good schools, CPS would be #1 in the country!
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Old 06-18-2010, 12:43 PM
 
Location: Cincinnati
350 posts, read 717,259 times
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On the general topic, Westwood is too large geographically and culturally to generalize. (The land area {not including East Westwood} is almost as large as Hyde Park, Mt. Lookout, and Oakley combined.) Much, much smaller OTR has 6 Districts. Within those 6 districts is quite a difference in demographics, while the housing is relatively similar.

I am working on an idea for Westwood to be divided into 10 Districts, which is difficult because of the diversity of housing stock, and lot size, income, ethnicity, and education are different from street to street. However, even though the neighborhood can't be split up neatly, there are some basic similarities within the different sections.

Westwood has homes from the 1850's (Craig Ave, for example) through modern McMansions of the 2000's and just about everything in between, Queen Annes, Tudors, Crafstman, Amberley-like ranches, Colonials, Art Deco, and even Italiente and Second Empire. I don't believe any other neighborhood has the housing diversity along with the cultural diversity as Westwood.

I am working photgraphing and taking notes of the various sub-neighborhoods trying to place what's what. Overall a very solid neighborhood throughout with some rather large hurdles facing it.
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Old 06-18-2010, 12:46 PM
 
Location: Cincinnati
350 posts, read 717,259 times
Reputation: 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by progmac View Post
despite the nice looking building, midway has pretty dismal test scores right now

let's hope this improves. at this point, i couldn't imagine sending my daughter somewhere where half the kids can barely read. if pretty buildings equaled good schools, CPS would be #1 in the country!
Hmmm... too bad. I don't think it is an attractive building but it fits in with the rest of the mutts on Glenmore's mid section. The school that's being refurbished across from Westwood Town Hall...now THAT's a school.

If my son lived with me, I'd spring for the beautiful St. Martin of Tours School about a 1/2 mile from my house.
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