1215 Elm Street
A special place on Washington Park, in historic Over-the-Rhine
About Over-the-Rhine (OTR)
OTR is the largest intact urban historic district in the United States. In 1983 the 360 acre district was added to the National Register of Historic Places with 943 contributing buildings constituting the largest collection of Italianate architecture in the United States typical of mid- to late-nineteenth century urban neighborhoods (photo below, right).
Historically the neighborhood was bounded by the Miami-Erie Canal---a smelly busy waterway that the German immigrant population jokingly dubbed "the Rhine." Thus the neighborhood beyond was called "Over the Rhine."
For decades OTR was a thriving, economically diverse neighborhood fueled by the many breweries and boasting a population of more than 50,000. But when Prohibition started in 1919, the neighborhood lost its economic base, the population dwindled, and OTR began a long decline into blight. Around 2004 the private development group, Cincinnati City Center Development Corporation (3CDC) partnered with the city to revitalize the area. 3CDC spent years acquiring blighted buildings to renovate into premiere residential, retail, office and entertainment venues. In 2012 the renovation of Washington Park (photo below, center) became the tipping point in the rebirth of OTR, making OTR what the Urban Land Institute calls, "the best development in the country right now."
The Golden Girl mural on Washington Park, created by OTR based nonprofit www.artworkscincinnati.org.