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Old 02-10-2011, 10:05 AM
 
2 posts, read 3,639 times
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My wife and I are tired of our annoying apartment neighbors and we're thinking about buying a house. St Bernard looks affordable (we're young and on a budget) but I haven't read anything about the area on this forum that is current. Is there anyone who lives in St Bernard that can give me the run down, warts and all? Is this town on a long slow decline, or is it pretty stable? Some people have told me St Bernard is all white working class, and other people have told me its all black ghetto, obviously it cant be both. Are there parts of St Bernard that are better than others? My wife and I like to go for walks around town, and we're probably going to be starting a family soon. What do you think, is St Bernard worth checking out? By the way, Im from Cleveland so diversity is not an issue for me, but safety is. Thanks!
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Old 02-10-2011, 10:11 AM
 
2,330 posts, read 2,139,516 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by octavian123 View Post
My wife and I are tired of our annoying apartment neighbors and we're thinking about buying a house. St Bernard looks affordable (we're young and on a budget) but I haven't read anything about the area on this forum that is current. Is there anyone who lives in St Bernard that can give me the run down, warts and all? Is this town on a long slow decline, or is it pretty stable? Some people have told me St Bernard is all white working class, and other people have told me its all black ghetto, obviously it cant be both. Are there parts of St Bernard that are better than others? My wife and I like to go for walks around town, and we're probably going to be starting a family soon. What do you think, is St Bernard worth checking out? By the way, Im from Cleveland so diversity is not an issue for me, but safety is. Thanks!
Can't address your question at all, but when I read your post I also immediately thought of Hartwell, which has a similar feel and is adjacent to Wyoming where neighborhood walks would be really enjoyable. Hartwell's neighborhood school has also recently been renovated and I think I recall reading that it's relatively well-regarded for being in Cincinnati Public. Also we have a regular contributor here who loves living there and could probably tell you a lot more.
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Old 02-10-2011, 10:31 AM
 
Location: Cincinnati
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where do you live now? how do you feel about the neighborhood? what part of cleveland are you from?
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Old 02-10-2011, 04:07 PM
 
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St. Bernard is definitely worth checking out. I'm more familiar with it's small neighbor to the north Elmwood Place but I have heard that St. Bernard does still have some real nice streets. St. Bernard is still primarily white working class, somewhere in the area of 85-90% white. It has made the news a few times over the past year or so for some ugly domestic disputes including at least one murder I think, but it's not a dangerous place to live by any means. It's not too far away from the notorious Winton Terrace Housing Projects to the west, and a few seedy areas of North Avondale to the south, so people tend to associate spillover crime with St. Bernard but I don't know if it's really an issue or not. It has very good proximity to I-75, the Norwood Lateral, and the University of Cincinnati.
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Old 02-10-2011, 06:22 PM
 
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thanks for the replies thus far. my wife and I are renting in Hyde Park. I have no attachment to this place whatsoever, the rent is a little steep but not to crazy for the neighborhood. The only thing I really like about HP is its walk-ability. Otherwise its way to rich for my blood. In Cleveland I lived in Bedford, Twinsburg, Maple Hts, and Cleveland Hts.
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Old 02-10-2011, 07:04 PM
 
Location: Cambridge, MA
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For a long time, St Bernard was a "sundown town" - after dark, be White or be gone. Mitchell Ave was understood by all to be the line of demarcation. A largely AA section of North Avondale lies to the south of that street. Besides the abrupt change in pedestrians' skin tones, another sure-fire way to know which side of Mitchell you were on was to take one look at the houses. Those in North Avondale were grungy and rundown, those in St Bernard neat n' tidy. Now that's all changed to some extent. St Bernard does include some Black residents - with no discernible social tensions or rise in crime - and many of the buildings along Mitchell facing north are spruced up with fresh paint.

Another marker of change thereabouts is that the parochial high school for girls, Our Lady of the Angels, was shut down and later demolished. The counterpart school for boys, Roger Bacon, went co-ed when OLA closed. It's still a popular choice with kids who didn't make the cut for St X or the "selective" girls' schools. And its substantial number of "minority" pupils undoubtedly helped the community get comfortable with the idea of diversity.

St Bernard is one of those places where a business that started out early in the 20th Century is still alive and well: Dairy Queen...Chili Time...a bakery with a green facade whose name escapes me. During the warmer months, kids on bikes flock to the DQ as their parents and grandparents did before them. The local IGA draws crowds for their reasonable prices compared to the larger chain supermarkets. (The ever-thrifty Mrs Goyguy Sr makes stops there fairly often despite the Kroger in Hartwell's being closer to her home.) And folks stroll the streets free n' easy at any hour.

The St Bernard/Elmwood Place school system is ranked fair-to-middling on most of the subjective ratings lists you'll see. When Procter & Gamble had a large manufacturing and administrative "campus" (Ivorydale) in the area, St Bernard grew fat off the tax revenue. The state-of-the-art high school is testimony to that time, as are the "professional caliber" baseball fields alongside I-75. Now that P & G has scaled back its operations, it's anybody's guess how personal property taxes - and revenue expenditures - have been affected. (Some Web research would clear that right up.)

There are no "good" or "bad" parts of St Bernard per se, though highway noise - particularly on/near Ross Ave south of Vine St - can't help but affect the quality of life. Some would also argue that the areas closest to Mitchell Ave, and to Paddock Rd on the east side, are less desirable because they bump up against Cincinnati neighborhoods with issues (Bond Hill in the case of Paddock Rd.) But there's no concrete evidence that any section is more secure or "nicer" than another. The entire city has a comfortable, unpretentious feel to it.

Very similar east-side suburbs, perhaps with schools a tad bit better regarded, are Reading and Deer Park. Both lie along the Cross-County Highway but (like St Bernard and I-75) largely aren't affected by the road noise.

The CPS school in Hartwell achieved no less than the highest ("Excellent") award bestowed on schools by whichever magazine or company or think tank gave those particular ones. That puts it in a league with schools that a lot more shouting's done about, i.e. Fairview and Kilgour. It just reopened last fall following a renovation that took over a year and was "true to the original." The down side to CPS is that if your child doesn't do well on the entrance exam for Walnut Hills High (ranked #1 statewide or close to it year after year) s/he is assigned to the district school. In Hartwell's case, that's the dismally-achieving Woodward in Bond Hill. Much like St Bernard, Hartwell is a largely blue-collar to middle-class enclave with a tranquil and walkable vibe. But in contrast, along with blocks of modest cottages and bungalows are some streets with rambling and "distinctive" houses from the turn of the 20th Century. Many of these large homes were divided into efficiency apartments during the 1940's-70's influx of job-seeking Appalachians, and are being restored to their original state at a rapid clip by "urban pioneers." If St Bernard's not "right for you," Hartwell could well be. Here's a neat article about it from the Cincinnati Enquirer:
Hartwell – Hartwell got it right | 52 Neighborhoods, One Voice
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Old 02-10-2011, 07:07 PM
 
Location: Cambridge, MA
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Just caught this post - if you visited Deer Park you could swear you're back in Maple Heights! There'd be a lot more people with German surnames than Polish, and high school wrestling isn't nearly as much of a big deal, but other than that...
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Old 02-11-2011, 12:44 PM
 
Location: Cincinnati
3,198 posts, read 3,361,697 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by octavian123 View Post
thanks for the replies thus far. my wife and I are renting in Hyde Park. I have no attachment to this place whatsoever, the rent is a little steep but not to crazy for the neighborhood. The only thing I really like about HP is its walk-ability. Otherwise its way to rich for my blood. In Cleveland I lived in Bedford, Twinsburg, Maple Hts, and Cleveland Hts.
with this attitude, you'll do very well in st bernard and have a lot of options generally. consider north avondale. also don't ignore westwood, covedale, pleasant ridge, norwood, and kennedy heights. if you want to be closer to the action, even corryville or CUF might work. FWIW, I feel the same way about hyde park; it is nice, but i'm just not comfortable there.
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Old 02-13-2011, 12:32 AM
 
854 posts, read 719,993 times
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My dad grew up there, and I went to highschool there. We absolutely love it, and we want to move back someday.

It is definitely a working class white neighborhood. It amazes me the reputation that St. Bernard gets due to its proximity to Avondale and Bond Hill. Out in the suburbs, people think its ghetto. One visit and you will see its the exact opposite. It is a very safe neighborhood, and people look out for each other. Some of the suburbs that are considered safe have higher crime rates than St. Bernard.

As was said before, it is probably 90 percent white. Everyone knows everyone in town. If you do move there, a great place to meet the locals is Chili Time (especially on Fridays during Lent). The town has great parks. The pool is only a few years old, and Ross Park is very nice.

Roger Bacon is by no means a second rate high school. Most of the students are second or even third generation. I went there, and it is a great school. We just didn't want to go to an all boys school

In summary, St. Bernard is great. It is very safe and in a very convenient location. Most of the homes are very old. Some of the ones along Mitchell, including our old house, date back to 1895. That being said, there are new homes in the Angels Way subdivision where OLA used to be (On Bertus Street at the top of Leonard Avenue). They are preparing to build more new homes where the Bertus Street park is now.

One thing you may want to avoid is moving to a place on the streets immediately around Roger Bacon. There is next to no parking at the school, so students and visitors park on the surrounding streets and have been known to block driveways from time to time.
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Old 02-13-2011, 04:39 PM
 
406 posts, read 479,827 times
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Default re St Bernard

If you want an amusing/scary eyeopener, go to

Cincinnati.Com Data Center: CinciNavigator

center it on St Bernard and search back a year for crime. What you see is an ocean of crime all around the town of St Bernard. The barriers are the streets, Paddock, Vine and Mitchell. Bond Hill to the North, Avondale to the South, Winton Terrace to the west are all crime filled nightmares.

But, St Bernard itself has remarkably little crime. Somehow it has stayed intact, hopefully this trend will continue so that people who buy houses there won't lose money down the line.
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