Over-the-Rhine: Cincinnati's Overlooked Opportunity

Over-the-Rhine is not only a regional jewel, but a national landmark neighborhood with one of the most significant historic districts in the entire country as well as one of the largest - even bigger than New Orleans' French Quarter and Charleston's Historic District.  Unfortunately, local preservationists believe the neighborhood is often overlooked by many Cincinnatians.

The Cincinnati Preservation Association (CPA) feels that the neighborhood that was added to the National Trust for Historic Preservation's list of "Eleven Most Endangered Historic Resources" is too important a resource and too great an opportunity to overlook.

As a result, CPA and the Over-the-Rhine Foundation will be hosting "Over-the-Rhine: Cincinnati's Overlooked Opportunity" at Memorial Hall (GoogleMap) on Thursday, August 20 at 5:30pm within the historic neighborhood.  The public presentation will include an overview of the neighborhood's economic potential and its rate of destruction, a summary of why the neighborhood is threatened, and solutions to stop the destruction.

CPA states that studies indicate that historic districts play an important role in economic development by holding their values better in down markets than similarly situated non-historic areas, attracting and retaining skilled professionals, and by creating jobs and wealth.  If Over-the-Rhine were to be approached properly by local officials and business leaders, CPA says that it could "reap huge economic returns" for Cincinnati.

CPA also warns that the historic neighborhood is just four demolitions away from passing 50 percent destruction of its historic fabric. Roughly 200 buildings in Over-the-Rhine are currently threatened by the wrecking ball.

The Cincinnati Preservation Association says that, "every month, salvageable buildings — some with great architectural significance — are demolished. As this happens, the neighborhood’s potential to create jobs and redefine the City of Cincinnati is being lost.  Worse, tens-of-millions of dollars of taxpayer money is being wasted to destroy this economic potential."

"Over-the-Rhine: Cincinnati's Overlooked Opportunity" will have an initial reception at 5:30pm followed by the presentation at 6pm.  There is a suggested donation of $5 with all proceeds going to benefit the Cincinnati Preservation Association and the Over-the-Rhine Foundation.  Drinks will be provided.

For more information contact CPA at (513) 721-4506 or [email protected].

Writer: Randy A. Simes
Photography by Scott Beseler
Stay connected and follow Randy on Twitter @SoapboxRandy
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