I have always called Cincinnati home, but as I look ahead toward college graduation and the start of “the rest of my life” in just five or six short months, it may not always be my home.
The city has had its fair share of ups and downs. At its height, Cincinnati was the second most densely populated city in the United States, with a booming economy founding largely upon the brewery business. But my childhood home did take a fall during prohibition and has not always been exempt from crime.
Since July 2003, the Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation, 3CDC, has envisioned “to strengthen the core assets of downtown,” according to its website, by improving the city – preserving, rebuilding, and doing whatever it takes – to help the community see it in its former glory.
Last week, I went on a walking tour of the Queen City. What has, in my lifetime, been viewed as a dangerous part of town, was instead viewed as a former city of success, neglected over the decades but in the process of being reinvented.
Walking up Vine Street, it seemed as if half of the buildings held some sort of historic presence, and though their purposes have changed through the years, they have not lost their beauty. Daily life has changed quite a bit since the late late 19th and early 20th centuries, but if you step behind a gate, the layout of the old housing units show life as if time stopped before the turn of the century.
Former housing units and abandoned storefronts may map a large majority of Over-The-Rhine today, but with the help of 3CDC and belief from the community, Cincinnati’s history can be preserved and enjoyed for generations to come.
I might not always call Cincinnati home, but I’ll always be proud of it.