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Old 03-25-2011, 06:27 AM
 
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Walnut Hills is a neighborhood that has always intrigued me. Great historic architecture, great proximity to downtown, yet home to some of the most depressed areas in the city. It's hard for me to figure out which way this place is going, and maybe given its size, that's an impossible task.

First, you have East Walnut Hills, and the area sort of speaks for itself (although with all the real estate for sale on Keys Crescent and vicinity these days, you'd think something weird is going on). Also in EWH, you have streets like Fairfield, on the north side of Madison. I had a friend who used to live on Fairfield who would look out his bedroom window to find a gang of kids beating on his car windows trying to break in. Even as he yelled at them, they would just keep banging away. Yet on the southside of Madison, Cleinview and Hackberry, seem like nice quiet streets.

Some nice things seem to be going on around DeSales corner, although that although the best thing that could happen to that hideous new building there would be a good stiff wind.

Then there's the area around Lincoln Avenue, which seems to be a total lost cause.

There's the area of Upland Pl and other streets as you head down the hill toward Columbia Pkwy, which seems like a great area.

Then you have the business district. Oh what a mess that is. It's pretty bad when a pawn shop can't even survive at Peebles Corner. I think you'd be taking your life into your hands in that Kroger, and yet Thomson MacConnell Cadillac seems to keep hanging in there just a couple of blocks away. For years, I had an aunt who worked at the Woolworth at Peebles Corner, and even back then we thought it was a scary area, and today it looks like a war zone.

I have a business acquaintance who owns a franchise in the area, and he attributes the vast majority of the problems in that part of Walnut Hills to the inhabitants of the Alms. He says clean that mess up and the neighborhood would change over night. I don't know about that, but that's what he says.

The area I probably am the most confused about is what I call the "Eden Park Neighborhood." There is a story in contrasts. Beautifully rehabbed Victorians, historic condos, halfway houses, ghetto slums, abandoned boarded up buildings, new construction, old houses chopped up into professional offices, empty lots, derelict cars. What a story in contrast! I hear people say they love living on Park Avenue (it's wonderful to me to watch the restoration of that Hannaford mansion on Park), yet real estate remains cheap, and stuff that is priced in what would be moderate ranges in most neighborhoods, languishes on the market with zero interest.

So, interested to hear from all of you, what gives in Walnut Hills?
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Old 03-25-2011, 07:04 AM
 
Location: Cincinnati
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i lived in walnut hills when i was a grad student at UC. i was at a building on the corner of park and mcmillan. i rode bus 31 up and down mcmillan and taft, walked to the kroger, the library, the wendy's, etc. i even got a haircut at peebles corner, but their apparent lack of familiarity with anglo hair left me with a strange do, despite the 45 minutes or so the barber spent working on it. i used to love walking down to eden park on the weekends or in the early morning. overall it was a good place to live. i would have zero qualms about buying one of those condos on park.

the single biggest problem in the neighborhood was probably the Alms hotel. i agree with the sentiment that it would change overnight if that place was gone. of course, those residents would have to go somewhere...and i hate to suggest that displacing mostly good residents is a solution for turning around walnut hills or any neighborhood. i don't see it as an impossibility for the alms to remain in a revitalized walnut hills.

i have no idea when or if the peebles corner area will turn around. it is a stunning part of the city, incredibly close to downtown, dense, walkable, etc, but it just can't seem to get a foothold. i think northside and OTR is going to be eating up the artsy / ecclectic demographic for a while so walnut hills can't go after that right now. i wonder if walnut hills could target the black professional. it seems that the upscale black community of cincinnati has been fleeing to the suburbs or even other cities for some time now, and recapturing that demographic would be fantastic for the city.

Last edited by progmac; 03-25-2011 at 07:19 AM..
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Old 03-27-2011, 08:23 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by progmac View Post
i have no idea when or if the peebles corner area will turn around. it is a stunning part of the city, incredibly close to downtown, dense, walkable, etc, but it just can't seem to get a foothold. i think northside and OTR is going to be eating up the artsy / ecclectic demographic for a while so walnut hills can't go after that right now. i wonder if walnut hills could target the black professional. it seems that the upscale black community of cincinnati has been fleeing to the suburbs or even other cities for some time now, and recapturing that demographic would be fantastic for the city.
The lack of responses to this thread sort of confirm what I am thinking about Walnut Hills...that it's sort of off the radar screen of a lot of people. It's almost like it's not bad enough to generate the strong negative opinions like Avondale, but not good enough to catch the attention that Clifton or Northside get.

Honestly, location wise, the accessibility of Walnut Hills to downtown, Eden Park, Mt Adams, Oakley/Hyde Park, and Clifton makes it unique in the city. It certainly has easier access to I-71 than many neighborhoods (I can't tell you how many times I have gotten twisted around in that maze of roads and ramps in Northside!)

There's been rehabbing going on in many parts of Walnut Hills, but you're right, it certainly hasn't gotten the press of OTR or Northside. It really escapes me as to why. The housing in Walnut Hills is far superior to Northside, and the bones of older business districts are just as as good. I don't know why the neighborhood should have to target black professionals; it seems like it could be attractive to anyone...black, white or otherwise.
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Old 03-27-2011, 08:36 AM
 
10,139 posts, read 22,428,295 times
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Originally Posted by t45209 View Post
The lack of responses to this thread sort of confirm what I am thinking about Walnut Hills...that it's sort of off the radar screen of a lot of people. It's almost like it's not bad enough to generate the strong negative opinions like Avondale, but not good enough to catch the attention that Clifton or Northside get.

Honestly, location wise, the accessibility of Walnut Hills to downtown, Eden Park, Mt Adams, Oakley/Hyde Park, and Clifton makes it unique in the city. It certainly has easier access to I-71 than many neighborhoods (I can't tell you how many times I have gotten twisted around in that maze of roads and ramps in Northside!)

There's been rehabbing going on in many parts of Walnut Hills, but you're right, it certainly hasn't gotten the press of OTR or Northside. It really escapes me as to why. The housing in Walnut Hills is far superior to Northside, and the bones of older business districts are just as as good. I don't know why the neighborhood should have to target black professionals; it seems like it could be attractive to anyone...black, white or otherwise.
No, its just that we did this extensively not too long ago. You could search for the thread and then you would see the spirited debate that ensued. I started to respond but realized that everything I had to say I had already posted in the earlier thread and I'm sure the others felt the same.

I tried to buy property to renovate in Walnut Hills in 1970 because it was the next big opportunity for elegant, close to the City housing.

PS: Here is just one of the WH threads:

What Happened to Walnut Hills Proper?
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Old 03-27-2011, 09:27 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Wilson513 View Post
No, its just that we did this extensively not too long ago. You could search for the thread and then you would see the spirited debate that ensued. I started to respond but realized that everything I had to say I had already posted in the earlier thread and I'm sure the others felt the same.

I tried to buy property to renovate in Walnut Hills in 1970 because it was the next big opportunity for elegant, close to the City housing.

PS: Here is just one of the WH threads:

What Happened to Walnut Hills Proper?
I skimmed that, but a lot of it dealt with what happened 40 years ago, not what's going on today. Looks like we had a lot of people posting with long memories. Despite a post or two about "pie in the sky" plans, I'm more interested (in this case) about what's going on now and in the future.
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Old 03-27-2011, 09:34 AM
 
10,139 posts, read 22,428,295 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t45209 View Post
I skimmed that, but a lot of it dealt with what happened 40 years ago, not what's going on today. Looks like we had a lot of people posting with long memories. Despite a post or two about "pie in the sky" plans, I'm more interested (in this case) about what's going on now and in the future.
The answer is blowing in the wind. Bob Dylan 1963



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgFz3tZYg-M
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Old 03-27-2011, 11:17 AM
 
1,130 posts, read 2,024,518 times
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Originally Posted by Wilson513 View Post
The answer is blowing in the wind. Bob Dylan 1963



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgFz3tZYg-M
There you go again, giving me stuff from forty years ago...no wait, closer to 50!
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Old 03-27-2011, 11:48 AM
 
10,139 posts, read 22,428,295 times
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Yea, but did you get the meaning? I was trying to figure out an interesting way to say that WH has been visited and visited and visited again and here we still are. Like the wake behind a boat look at the wake and you'll know where your headed. I think everyone thinks WH is the ideal place because of its proximity to town and the Xway and the lovely old houses. I thought so in 1970 and many others did too. But it really hasn't changed all that much in 40 years.

Last edited by Wilson513; 03-27-2011 at 12:07 PM..
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Old 03-27-2011, 05:33 PM
 
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I've always been intrigued by Walnut Hills. I'll sometimes take McMillan to Gilbert to go from the UC/Clifton area to downtown. I've never liked driving the Vine Street corridor and the Auburn route is always traffic packed, so I'll go through WH.

I love the view of downtown coming down the hill and it does stir the imagination to think what could be done there. But then you see Peebles Corner and reality sets in. This lost cause intersection is one of the few areas of the city that I've felt uncomfortable even driving through at night and now I'll avoid it after dark altogether. It doesn't seem at all safe. Getting stared down by the welcome wagon committee loitering on the corners is bad enough, but I've been yelled at and had stuff thrown at my car also.

Walnut Hills does seem like the missing link that could really link downtown/OTR/Mount Adams with the more upscale east side neighborhoods like EWH and HP. But like everything else in this chronically underachieving city, it's absolutely dripping with potential that'll likely never be realized.
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Old 03-27-2011, 07:57 PM
 
405 posts, read 754,007 times
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Default re: Wanut Hills

Like Wilson said (I assume it is the same wilson although his name somehow looks different) there actually have been many threads about the current Walnut Hills.

Last one I posted a couple months ago was about a murder there a few hundred feet off Madison. Probably related to the very active drug activity which seems to be the main economic venue in the area.

I drive through Walnut Hills every day and it has gotten progressively worse since the recession hit.

Right before Gilbert, off madison on the right there is what appears to be a very active drug house with people wandering around looking high all times of day. It has gotten progressively out of control. I suppose nothing will be done about it until someone is murdered or a commuter pass through gets carjacked or something.

The OP I thought summarized the micro neighborhoods pretty well, but basically they are all languishing. There are a lot of people who are sitting on a lot of lost equity in the remaining "nice" streets of East WH. That area is simply a bunch of fish in the huge crime barrel.

JMHO which not many people share but I do see the neighborhood every day...in passing
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