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Mt. Auburn / Prospect Hill

Cincinnati's first "suburb" sprung up when downtown and Over-the-Rhine dwellers began to crawl out of the once sooty basin seeking the fresh country air of the surrounding hillsides. At Mt. Auburn's base, homes in the eclectic Prospect Hill Historic District cling to the swift rising slope (stop in at Milton's Prospect Hill Tavern if the climb up Sycamore Street proves too much) providing gorgeous, panoramic views of downtown, Mt. Adams and Northern Kentucky. At the top of the hill, Mt. Auburn hosts its own millionaire's row, now home to medical offices and organizations along modern day Auburn Avenue (including the birth home of bathtub-bursting U.S. President and Supreme Court Justice William Howard Taft). Home to Christ Hospital, one of the oldest medical facilities in Cincinnati and a perennial national contender for top heart hospital, and three city parks and tennis courts, you're sure to keep your ticker in tip top shape here. This diverse community offers multiple, affordable living options including single family historic homes, student apartment housing and gorgeous Italianate mansions.

Features

streetcar tour

Innovative philanthropy focus of Dec. 8 IDEALAB

On Dec. 8, leaders from three national foundations that are revolutionizing philanthropy through innovative initiatives are coming to Cincinnati to participate in Issue Media Group's IDEALAB.

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Soapdish: Top 5 mean streets for pedestrians

Columnist Casey Coston tackles the problem of walkable, bikeable cities and picks the five most hazardous pedestrian intersections.

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Crowdsourcing Cincinnati's Child Poverty Challenge

Over 700 gathered at Duke Convention Center Oct. 29 to brainstorm community solutions and initiatives to the childhood poverty dilemma. Cincinnati has the sixth highest rate of child poverty in the nation.

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Soapdish: Stairways from the past lead Cincinnati to a more connected future

The new city budget offers $250,000 to support Cincinnati's historic stairways on our famous hills, the first funding in years, but once again we're missing an opportunity to celebrate what makes Cincinnati unique.

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How Linda Holterhoff has improved Cincinnati's neighborhoods for over 20 years

As she prepares for retirement, Linda Holterhoff reflects on how Keep Cincinnati Beautiful has grown and changed under her leadership and what it takes to build a clean and safe community.

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Top 10 trends & newsmakers on our radar for 2016

Turn and face the strange changes that 2016 will bring to Greater Cincinnati, thanks to these 10 stories waiting to be told.

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Top Soapbox stories of 2015

Before the expected avalanche of "year in review" lists and features, we offer this stroll down memory lane to reconnect you with the biggest Soapbox stories of 2015.

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Creating a walkable city means restricting urban driving, reviving stairs & alleys

Two events this weekend highlight the opportunity to boost Cincinnati's urban core "one step at a time" through pedestrian-friendly planning and growth.

casey coston

Soapdish: What you get in an urban home, from $20k to $2.5m

Greater Cincinnati real estate has always been considered a "steal" when you compare how much house you get here for the money vs. other cities. How far does your home-buying dollar go these days? Glad you asked.

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Michelle Dillingham's circuitous career path prepared her to lead Community Shares

Michelle Dillingham's new position as CEO of Community Shares of Greater Cincinnati is built on her varied career of social work and activism. A sign in her Mt. Auburn office says, "Excuse me, could you spare a little social change?"

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My Soapbox: Dan Schimberg, Uptown Rental Properties

From the tangled intersection of Auburn, McMillan and William Howard Taft avenues you can see Uptown's past, present and future all at once. You can also see Dan Schimberg's Uptown Rental Properties organization hard at work in every direction.

Neighborhood Summit one city

Soapdish: Cincinnati Neighborhood Summit tries to erase boundaries, promote partnerships

Cincinnati’s 52 neighborhoods are a patchwork quilt of different sizes, shapes, allegiances and demographics cobbled together into a diverse and sometimes non-cohesive unit. The 2015 Neighborhood Summit looked to erase boundaries and emphasize the results of successful partnerships among our neighborhoods.

March 29: Jenny Robb, Curator of Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

Get Smart: Women Helping Women's Sunday Salons are a win for everyone

Women Helping Women is hoping to make you smarter while looking for a little help themselves. Their Sunday Salon series kicks off this weekend, offering amazing speakers in intimate settings in cool private homes — more importantly, it's one of the nonprofit's two annual fundraisers.

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My Soapbox: P.G. Sittenfeld, Cincinnati City Council

If there’s one individual in Cincinnati who embodies the calendar's January transition from past to future, it has to be City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld. Just 30, he has his finger on the pulse of today's defining urban trends while looking to possible statewide (and even national) office.

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Speaking for the trees: Campaign aims to avert canopy-loss crisis

The Taking Root campaign is an eight-county effort to educate the community about the crises affecting our trees. The end goal is to restore our tree canopy by 2020 by planting 2 million trees.
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Cincinnati In The News

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Mt. Auburn / Prospect Hill Founders

Megan Gourlie of Dogtown Cincinnati

Megan Gourlie of Dogtown Cincinnati

City: Mt. Auburn / Prospect Hill
How did you start your business?
I started Dogtown Cincinnati with an idea and hard work. After writing a solid business plan and finding the best location possible, I worked with the city to maximize the use of our proposed site and convinced Huntington Bank to fund our startup with a loan. There was a long construction process, but in the end we opened with a strong start and are thriving.  

How did you come up the idea for your business?
Dogtown Cincinnati is a pet care business that caters to exactly what I needed before I opened it. I had struggled to find a place to take my dogs that was centrally located, had flexible hours and would actually make me feel comfortable about leaving my dog there. The concept I had was built to address the specific needs of who I was. I was sure that other people had similar needs and desires for pet care, so I did some early research to confirm that.

What resources here did you take advantage of and how did they help?
I worked with the local SCORE chapter (SCORE is the Service Corps of Retired Executives), which specializes in helping small businesses start up and succeed. In March 2012, I was named the SCORE featured client of the month. My SCORE counselor is C. Dennis Murphy.

Now that Dogtown Cincinnati has been open for a year, we are in need of expansion. I applied to be a Bad Girl Ventures finalist and am currently attending their classes which are geared toward teaching women the ins and outs of business by recruiting professionals in different fields to provide education on different topics.

In addition, Huntington Bank believed in my business plan. They decided to fund my startup company through the federal SBA loan program which supports small businesses.

What does a typical day in your business look like?
Between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m., our lobby is busy with drop offs. You’ll see on our valet camera – we have 15 webcams online -- that some of our customers pull up in front and don’t even need to get out of their cars because we come out to them and bring their dogs inside. Throughout the day, the dogs go from our inside daycare playroom to our outdoor playground at regular intervals and are pulled out of daycare for their meal times. They play with toys, on our playground equipment, and with each other.  

From 1 p.m. – 3 p.m., the dogs go to nap time in our bedroom-like boarding rooms and sleep while we clean the other areas of the facility. In the evening, starting around 5 p.m., it gets busy in the lobby again with pick-ups. Customers can resupply with dog food, toys and treats in our small shop before they go home for the night with their well-exercised dog.  

The dogs who are with us in the evening, or who are staying overnight, go to the boarding rooms to sleep and watch TV around 9 p.m. At this point, they are very tired and sleep like a charm!

What’s next for you and your company?
Dogtown Cincinnati is very successful. We have a building that is 1/3 finished, and our first goal is to expand our daycare within the building. Eventually, we also dream of turning our addition space into a 24-hour emergency veterinarian with its own entrance from the street. This part of the business will have all of the same ideals as our current business, but will offer the expanded services of pet health care. Once Dogtown Cincinnati is at full capacity, we will look at other ways to expand, such as additional locations in the suburbs and in nearby cities.  

Interview by Robin Donovan
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