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Old 01-14-2013, 12:10 PM
 
Location: Cincinnati
4,007 posts, read 4,831,178 times
Reputation: 924

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmecklenborg View Post
The suviving "City Hall West" blocks between Central Ave. and John St. give some indication as to what was lost, which tended to be single family town homes of a very high quality.
I have made a point to explore that area block by block, I absolutely love it over there and I agree that it gives a good indication of what was lost.
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:28 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
477 posts, read 530,187 times
Reputation: 275
Yeah a lot of the old West End was still middle class and Jewish up until the 1940s its a downright lie that it was all slums. Of course looking at old pics it is nothing compared to how slums look today, more like how the tenderloin in San Francisco is today (though its been very quickly gentrifying from that point), a bad neighborhood with some abandonedment, but still pretty vibrant with plenty of relatively well kept neighborhoods not necessarily having the highest quality housing but still a coherent populated place.


Quote:
Aside from Mt. Adams I don't think the historic areas in Cincinnati are completely distinct from something that exists elsewhere. Over-the-Rhine is obviously a lot like Brooklyn and other areas of New York City. And actually the architectural style is a lot like the North End although the North End obviously has twisting narrow streets.
I'd even argue Mt Adams has quite a bit in common with a lot of hillside San Francisco neighborhoods, though the architectural mix tends to be older and more brick in Cincy. OTR is only one of handful of neighborhoods like it in the country, not even Chicago has an equivalent any more.
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:31 PM
 
Location: "Daytonnati"
4,245 posts, read 5,754,530 times
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Quote:
I'd even argue Mt Adams has quite a bit in common with a lot of hillside San Francisco neighborhoods,
The area that reallly reminds of SF (maybe more Sausalito) is Tusculum.
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Old 01-14-2013, 01:18 PM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,371,704 times
Reputation: 1920
By the time I was married in 1962, I remember going to a custom furniture house in the West End which both recovered, mostly for customers of stores like Pogue's and Closson's, and built custom furniture.

My wife and I went there to have a living room couch and chair manufactured by them as I wanted a traditional Lawson style with deep enough seats and high back to fit my large frame and she didn't want her feet off the floor. The owner of the business was an older man who knew my father through the trades. He took me back into their workroom where they were assembling some courch frames. He said get up on the front center of that frame and jump up and down with all your weight. I was about 270 at that time. He said that is a 2x8 solid oak front beam and you will not crack it. Over a period of years, abuse by 4 kids, 2 recoverings, etc. the couch finally bit the dust since its back springs were not salvagable. But 50 years later we still have the single chair in our family room - that is my chair, built for me.

I remember during our visit looking around and thinking man this surrounding area is the pits. There may have been a lot of older well-built homes with a variety of architecture, but by even the 1960s it was crappy. That may be due to even then they had been demoing the West End.

I am not against rehabbing and retaining the varied architecture within the city. Some lament many older homes have been demolished, some of them may have been saved with a concentration of investment, but others were just falling down.

A home is just a place to live, and we have plenty of homes available in the Cincinnati Area where you can live comfortably, raise a family, and hopefully get as old as I am and retire. I am much more concerned about the loss of jobs and the ability for families to live in any home, urban or suburban.

The originality we need is how to create, keep and retain jobs. Tourism may have done well for certain cities in the past. But I do not believe the current economy can rely on tourism. Every crest has a peak, an in my estimation the tourism/lovely architecture areas have already peaked. If we keep striving to emulate those areas which have achieved the tourism success based on nostalgic
architecture, we will never equal them. We need something unique to Cincinnati. I don't know what that is. Maybe our slogan needs to be We achieve when others fail, because We Care.
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Old 01-14-2013, 01:25 PM
 
Location: Cincinnati
4,007 posts, read 4,831,178 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjbrill View Post
I am not against rehabbing and retaining the varied architecture within the city. Some lament many older homes have been demolished, some of them may have been saved with a concentration of investment, but others were just falling down.

A home is just a place to live, and we have plenty of homes available in the Cincinnati Area where you can live comfortably, raise a family, and hopefully get as old as I am and retire.
I mean no offense by what I am about to say, so please do not take this personally. I think your point of view on the subject of old homes/architecture is somewhat representative of native Cincinnatians not realizing, or caring, about Cincinnati's history and heritage.

As for jobs, tourism could very well be a lucrative industry for Cincinnati. Not that we would ever be a tourist town, but it could add a lot to the economy we already have and perhaps help replace lost manufacturing jobs.

In many ways, Cincinnati could have become the San Francisco of the mid-west. Sadly, a lot of Cincinnati has vanished in the name of progress. Very short sited, IMO.
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Old 01-14-2013, 01:45 PM
 
800 posts, read 697,412 times
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Kjbrill doesn't understand that every city in America has areas just like his beloved Mason, Tri-County, Loveland, etc. Atlanta for example probably has 10 Masons but it has zero historic areas, aside from those bungalow/shotgun neighborhoods that are in every southern city.

There are only about a dozen American cities with significant historic areas, and Cincinnati is one of them. The historic areas, where they exist, are prized in every other city in the United States except Cincinnati and maybe St. Louis, where they also exist in large numbers but are often in marginal shape.

Fact is people visit Cincinnati and are in disbelief that so many historic homes are left to rot. These same homes would be worth millions in other cities. I live in a circa 1870 brick row house that is valued at about $200,000. It's better built and naturally cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter than anything in Mason. In its current condition it would be worth several million in San Francisco. Kjbrill's generation thinks of these old homes as a problem. Something akin to Marilyn Mason.
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Old 01-14-2013, 01:51 PM
 
Location: Cincinnati
4,007 posts, read 4,831,178 times
Reputation: 924
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmecklenborg View Post
Fact is people visit Cincinnati and are in disbelief that so many historic homes are left to rot. These same homes would be worth millions in other cities. I live in a circa 1870 brick row house that is valued at about $200,000. It's better built and naturally cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter than anything in Mason. In its current condition it would be worth several million in San Francisco. Kjbrill's generation thinks of these old homes as a problem. Something akin to Marilyn Mason.
Having lived all over the country, and especially NYC, I can concur with your assessment. There are homes sitting vacant in OTR and West End that would be multi-million dollar properties in New York or San Francisco.

Even Baton Rouge does a better job than Cincinnati with it's historic districts. Check the link to The Garden District:

http://gdcabr.org/history.php
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:26 PM
 
Location: Indianapolis and Cincinnati
682 posts, read 1,388,648 times
Reputation: 610
There is definitely a local disconnect. Locals do not see the value in historic architecture.

Last summer our neighborhood had its first home tour ( and Knox Hill is in Fairmount). Our home tour called the "Preservation Opportunity Tour" showcased homes in various stages of restoration. We also had an Old Car show and two walking tours.

In spite of it being a very hot (in the 90's day).There were a few locals who got up the courage to venture into what they believed was a dangerous neighborhood. The majority were from out of state (one preservationist couple from Texas planned their vacation around our tour) and they were blown away by the architecture, and the views, so much so their Texas home is for sale and their goal is to move to Cincinnati.

Occaisionally on my blog I feature old homes that are in my opinion Preservation "bargains". Probably over the last 3 years maybe 20 homes. Some were close to demolition, I might add. Guess what ? The majority were bought by out of town , or out of state people and are now under restoration in areas of Price Hill, Avondale, Fairmount etc that locals wouldn't drive to in broad daylight.

For those that think Heritage Tourism is over, Findlay Market had almost one million vistors last year and it grows every year. Go over to Dayton Street in warm weather and you will see people walking around looking at the architecture. Everytime CPA does a walking tour of a neighborhood it's packed.

The interest is there, the people are there, but city leadership is unwilling to make changes to the building permit processes, increase tax abatements, reduce permitting fees and other simple things that will encourage investment. The city would rather keep a few demo contractors in business. In the meantime our property tax base erodes, Because the city is addicted to that Federal CDBG funding and part of that pays administrative overhead. The more "need' you have , the more monies you are eligible for. There are 5000 properties on the keep vacant/condemed list and the city is on track to demo 900 using the state money they got. Imagine 5000 homes gone?


While other cities are embracing their history we seem intent on being Detroit.
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:34 PM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,371,704 times
Reputation: 1920
Just a small inquiry fellows. After you are dead and gone, who is going to give a damn about the properties you are renovating? Do you have a lineage set up who will maintain the property you have so meticulously conserved?

As I have said preservation and restoration are noble aims. But in and of themselves they will only last as long as their surroundings.

Quite simply, Cincinnati is NOT NYC or San Francisco. So for what someone may pay $1 million dollars for in one of those two cities they will pass up here, simply because they do not want to live in Cincinnati.

Oh that tears me up horribly. Someone wants to tear down Cincinnati for living in NYC. Why should I GAD about that? Yes, Give a Damn about it!

We have one of the greatest cities in the country to grow up in, raise a family, and hopefully retire here.

For those who want to attack us for whatever reason. I have only one saying, please leave and leave us alone.
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:44 PM
 
Location: Cincinnati
4,007 posts, read 4,831,178 times
Reputation: 924
Quote:
Originally Posted by kjbrill View Post
Just a small inquiry fellows. After you are dead and gone, who is going to give a damn about the properties you are renovating? Do you have a lineage set up who will maintain the property you have so meticulously conserved?

As I have said preservation and restoration are noble aims. But in and of themselves they will only last as long as their surroundings.
So short sighted. Cities around the country have been rebuilt over the years on preservation and restoration, becoming very vibrant, attracting residents, businesses, etc. Growing, thriving cities. Cincinnati is catching on, and hopefully in the not so distant future will follow suit.
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