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Old 07-01-2016, 01:54 PM
 
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Why is the built environment so different in Cincinnati compared to Louisville? Cincinnati has such an urban feel compared to Louisville because it's flush with townhouses, and to a lesser extent rowhouses, that are built right up to the street with no front yard. This seems to be completely absent with Louisville, aside from a few examples and some that are built on high streets that are the shopping areas and the corner retail places obviously. The residential side streets of Cincinnati and Covington are filled with townhouses that have no front yard.

I know Cincinatti has always been bigger, but surely not that much. I also know that we've torn down most of these and we probably did have a lot in Limerick and downtown and Phoenix Hill, but it just seems like the style was so much more prevelant there. For example, New Albany and Jeffersonville (as well as what's left of Butchertown and Smoketown and Portland) seem somewhat intact compared to Louisville, but the houses pretty much all have front yards and are pulled off of the street. For example, this residential street in Covington on block away from Main St. has no analog in Louisville from what I've seen. https://www.google.com/maps/@39.0830...7i13312!8i6656

Why is the built environment so different? Is it because Cincinnati is more hemmed in by hills? Or was it historically that much bigger and prosperous than Louisville that it had to be much more dense? Or am I just underestimating how much was torn down?
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Old 07-01-2016, 01:59 PM
 
Location: New Albany, Indiana (Greater Louisville)
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I definitely think it is the hills around Cincy caused growth to be more high density while Louisville had more room to spread out rather than any size difference. Louisville has a similar density to places like St Louis or Cleveland that had a similar topography.
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Old 07-01-2016, 02:32 PM
 
Location: Lexington, Kentucky
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Moderator cut: off topic Honestly, house types and structures vary city by city. Some townhomes are nice, but I personally don't care for Rowhouses at all....way too cramped for my tastes.

Last edited by Oldhag1; 07-01-2016 at 06:11 PM.. Reason: This is the Louisville forum, please limit discussion to Louisville unless the other city is specifically part of the topic.
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Old 07-02-2016, 06:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Crazee Cat Lady View Post
Moderator cut: off topic Honestly, house types and structures vary city by city. Some townhomes are nice, but I personally don't care for Rowhouses at all....way too cramped for my tastes.

Personally, I like rowhouses and really like the build environment in Cincinnati, but Cincinnati definitely doesn't seem have them, especially and obviously in the same way that East Coast cities do. I guess it is just variation, but to me it seems like you'd expect cities that are so close and have something as major as the Ohio river in common to make their architecture similar. I'm not entirely certain but it seems like the shotgun house never took off in the same way in Cincinnati as it did in Louisville, which is strange to me as well. I feel like Louisville would have a very similar feel to New Orleans if it's shotguns and double shotguns were built right up to the street, but they are not so the cities feel very different, also the blocks here are much larger which makes it seem very different.

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Originally Posted by censusdata View Post
I definitely think it is the hills around Cincy caused growth to be more high density while Louisville had more room to spread out rather than any size difference. Louisville has a similar density to places like St Louis or Cleveland that had a similar topography.
Yea I've done some measuring in Google maps and the hills are less than two miles out and much less in certain directions so that had to have been a factor.

But at the same time in doing research and looking at older drawings, Louisville looks like it must have just urban renewed a whole lot of it's real townhouses. The few older buildings downtown hint at it, like the Old House and the building next to it, as well as images of Quinn's row. Phoenix Hill still has some good examples of townhouses built up to the street, but still the intact part of Chestnut has homes with front yards.
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Old 07-02-2016, 07:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by cubedeathk View Post
Personally, I like rowhouses and really like the build environment in Cincinnati, but Cincinnati definitely doesn't seem have them, especially and obviously in the same way that East Coast cities do. I guess it is just variation, but to me it seems like you'd expect cities that are so close and have something as major as the Ohio river in common to make their architecture similar. I'm not entirely certain but it seems like the shotgun house never took off in the same way in Cincinnati as it did in Louisville, which is strange to me as well. I feel like Louisville would have a very similar feel to New Orleans if it's shotguns and double shotguns were built right up to the street, but they are not so the cities feel very different, also the blocks here are much larger which makes it seem very different.



Yea I've done some measuring in Google maps and the hills are less than two miles out and much less in certain directions so that had to have been a factor.

But at the same time in doing research and looking at older drawings, Louisville looks like it must have just urban renewed a whole lot of it's real townhouses. The few older buildings downtown hint at it, like the Old House and the building next to it, as well as images of Quinn's row. Phoenix Hill still has some good examples of townhouses built up to the street, but still the intact part of Chestnut has homes with front yards.
It did. Louisville was a metropolis in 1900. Think about it. Louisville was a top 20 city. And the towns of New Albany, Clarksville and Jeffersonville were all very prominent cities. This was a major population center and Louisville and NA were even connected by elevated railways!


4th Street - Historic Photos Of Louisville Kentucky And Environs


Just look at this density and historic building stock. Most of downtown and its immediate environs was like Main street today!

Louisville did a great job of preserving the next rung of neighborhoods though....Clifton, Crescent Hill, Highlands, Germantown, Old Louisville, even parts of Russel and Portland are well preserved.
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Old 07-03-2016, 02:00 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Peter1948 View Post
It did. Louisville was a metropolis in 1900. Think about it. Louisville was a top 20 city. And the towns of New Albany, Clarksville and Jeffersonville were all very prominent cities. This was a major population center and Louisville and NA were even connected by elevated railways!


4th Street - Historic Photos Of Louisville Kentucky And Environs


Just look at this density and historic building stock. Most of downtown and its immediate environs was like Main street today!

Louisville did a great job of preserving the next rung of neighborhoods though....Clifton, Crescent Hill, Highlands, Germantown, Old Louisville, even parts of Russel and Portland are well preserved.
Portland's pretty old and aside from the streets closer to the river seems pretty intact. But you still don't see very many houses without front yards at all, and it's just really not that dense, or at least not as dense I'd expect a city to be where you didn't have a car, but then I guess the street car network was developed enough so you could sprawl out. I also wonder why the streets in American cities outside of the East Coast ended up being so wide. You can see it in the oldest parts of Portland, like on Rudd where you can park perpendicular to the street on both sides and still have two big lanes for traffic. But is Portland really part of the next rung of neighborhoods, because it developed as a city at the same time as Louisville and is just as old, unlike the Highlands, Germantown, or Old Louisville?
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Old 07-04-2016, 05:44 AM
 
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Originally Posted by cubedeathk View Post
Portland's pretty old and aside from the streets closer to the river seems pretty intact. But you still don't see very many houses without front yards at all, and it's just really not that dense, or at least not as dense I'd expect a city to be where you didn't have a car, but then I guess the street car network was developed enough so you could sprawl out. I also wonder why the streets in American cities outside of the East Coast ended up being so wide. You can see it in the oldest parts of Portland, like on Rudd where you can park perpendicular to the street on both sides and still have two big lanes for traffic. But is Portland really part of the next rung of neighborhoods, because it developed as a city at the same time as Louisville and is just as old, unlike the Highlands, Germantown, or Old Louisville?
There's more than you think...also tons in Phoenix Hill, Butchertown, Limerick, Smoketown, orginal Highlands, Paristown pointe, etc.

Several streets that are best preserved have rows of shotgun houses pretty much flush with each other, with only room for one body length between them and maybe 3 feet of yard. These tradistionally had cast iron fence which were all scrapped in the war effort.

Louisville is a very dense and urban city, and its historic density was almost always top 20 in the USA until the last 50 years or so.
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Old 07-04-2016, 07:51 AM
 
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I didn't know that about the cast iron fences. The city would definitely have a different feel if every shotgun house on a block in Portland or Germantown or wherever had one.
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Old 07-04-2016, 09:13 AM
 
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Originally Posted by cubedeathk View Post
I didn't know that about the cast iron fences. The city would definitely have a different feel if every shotgun house on a block in Portland or Germantown or wherever had one.
You really need to go down to UofL library, and the Filson historical society, and browse old photos on microcache.
It is precisely that moment when I feel in love with a city I already liked, and felt I discovered a New Orleans type city that was a bit of an "atlantis."
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Old 07-04-2016, 04:08 PM
 
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I really like Cincinnati. Has a lot of character. Great German food and culture. Really making a big comeback. Those townhouses are the first thing a driver in from the South notices, as you come down that steep hill and see the city on the river bank. Glad Cinci is getting its act together. It has long been the hub for that tri-state region, but will now blow away all the wannabes along the Ohio.
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