© 2011 Google, Map Data © 2011 Google, Sanborn. Inset image property of Chute Gerdeman.
If you’ve spent any length of time in the heart of Cincinnati, you know that the older parts of the city are rich in German culture and beautiful architecture. Over-the-Rhine, one of the oldest neighborhoods, is believed to be the largest, most intact urban historic district in the US with architectural significance on par with New York’s Greenwich Village, Savannah, Georgia, and Charleston, South Carolina. But like many character-rich, historic areas, Over-the-Rhine had fallen on hard times.
Images via Facebook: Over-the-Rhine
Since 2006, millions of dollars have been invested in the neighborhood’s development. New businesses are starting, condos are being built, and general improvements are being added to the area. As a graduate of the University of Cincinnati, when I first heard about the rebuilding and rebranding of Over-the-Rhine, I’ll admit that I had a hard time believing it. It was always the area you avoided. Here in Columbus, we’ve seen a similar project progress before our very eyes with the now-beloved Short North. In the last half of the twentieth century, the Short North went from crime-filled district where squatters occupied the buildings, to chic urban development where rents are high, boutiques are expensive, and restaurants are all-the-rage. Can the gentrification of Over-the-Rhine be as successful? I finally visited the revamped area last month, and am a full believer in the newly defined OTR Gateway.