Q: What is the history of Over The Rhine?
A: OTR was the heart of the German immigrant population in Cincinnati during the 19th century. The German-Americans created a dense, urban community reminiscent of their European homeland, with residences, beer gardens, theaters, churches, and commercial buildings. As waves of city dwellers relocated to the suburbs in the twentieth century, OTR’s population dropped drastically. Its low cost housing attracted new residents, many of whom didn’t hold any stakes in the success of the neighborhood. Today, the largest concentration of redevelopment effort in OTR’s history is causing a population resurgence. Previously abandoned buildings are being renovated into owner-occupied homes at record numbers. With each new neighbor, the richness of history in OTR is matched by the vibrancy of a diverse, energetic community. OTR is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and it contains the largest collection of 19th century Italianate architecture still standing in the United States.
Q: How did Over the Rhine get it’s name?
A: Until 1919, the Miami and Erie Canal occupied the path that is now Central Parkway. OTR residents nicknamed it the “Rhine” after the river in their beloved Germany, and that influenced the area to be called Over the Rhine.
Q: Where are the neighborhoods within OTR?
A: Within OTR are several different neighborhoods - Gateway Quarter, Historic Main Street and Washington Park - to name a few. The Gateway Quarter radiates from the invigorated intersection of 12th and Vine, one block north of Central Parkway. Prominent landmarks include Ensemble Theater, Know Theater, and the Art Academy of Cincinnati. Historic Main Street runs along Main, north of Central Parkway. Washington Park encompasses all of the streets around the new park and Music Hall - Race and Elm Streets between 12th and 15th Streets.
Q: What is life really like in OTR?
A: Eclectic is the only word that can truly describe life in Over the Rhine. Residents are a diverse group of professionals, artists, students, and others who share a love for the urban lifestyle. Many of the local business owners also reside in the neighborhood, forming personal relationships with their customers. People don’t just reside in the OTR; they form a community full of vitality. They exercise their bodies and minds as they walk to visit neighbors, partake in music & theater, and enjoy great dining experiences. They are active in community groups as well as downtown Cincinnati organizations. Among the many community events and activities that take place regularly:
- Final Friday Arts Walk - at Pendleton Art Center and otherart galleries
- Second Sundays on Main - street markets featuring artists andoffering music/entertainment
- Midpoint Music Festival - indie musical acts from all over the country perform in a multitude of venues each September
- Luminaria Harmony of Light - December holiday celebration
- Bockfest - a March celebration of Cincinnati’s brewery heritage
- Go OTR 5k - a race through scenic OTR followed by a festival with music, food and craft booths.
Q: Why should I live in OTR?
A: The homes and condos of the Over the Rhine are:
- Tax abated
- In a walkable neighborhood
- Includes secure, off-street parking,
- Community oriented
Q: Who is behind the transformation of OTR?
A: The recent changes in Over the Rhine are the result of the vision, hard work and financial support of 3CDC. Without a cohesive effort to save the architecture of Over the Rhine, a unique part of Cincinnati would have been lost forever.To date, 3CDC and the City of Cincinnati have:
- Invested over $59 million dollars
- 193 residential homes and loft condos
- Finished 47,000 sf of commercial space.
- You can learn more about 3CDC and their projects at 3cdc.org.
Q: Is it Safe to live in Over the Rhine?
A: Yes! In fact, crime has dropped over 50% since the transformation of OTR began in 2004.