Lincoln Avenue in the heart of Black Walnut Hills, 1877

Lincoln Avenue runs east and west through Walnut Hills. This new series of posts will follow Lincoln Avenue through time and space in our neighborhood. On the current map, Lincoln runs about half a dozen blocks north of McMillan. We’re in Cincinnati, so parallel streets wander closer together and farther apart; the east-west streets between[…]

Granville T. Woods, Electrical Engineer

 Black engineer Granville T Woods spent a crucial decade in Cincinnati beginning in the early 1880’s, devising and patenting inventions mostly at the intersection of electricity and railroads. To dispense quickly with the Walnut Hills connection, Woods never lived in our neighborhood; for a while, he made his home on Fulton Avenue near the foot[…]

DeSales Corner Looking West August 1928

DeSales Corner, from Streetcar Suburb to Automotive Highway, 1928-29

In this photo taken August 10, 1928, Madison Road ended at DeSales Corner. From there westbound traffic flowed either north or southeast on Woodburn. (Only in Cincinnati does this geometry make sense.) This photograph captures St Francis DeSales Church (begun in 1872) on the right, the San Marco Apartments (1893) on the left. The row[…]

Deconstructing Construction during Reconstruction: Financing the Reservoir Project

The Eden Park Reservoir project came during the decade or so after the Civil War, a period generally known as Reconstruction. The construction we have considered through this summer’s posts represented a huge public works project, on a scale unlike anything carried out by the city before the War. While we naively may think of[…]

An Ante-bellum Development Project for Walnut Hills

We have covered construction projects launched after the Civil War; we’ll take one post to explore a Walnut Hills project that (like the Suspension Bridge project downtown) got off to a good start before the War. Completed or not, a 2-mile long Deer Creek Railroad Tunnel under Walnut Hills appeared on many maps from the[…]

Reservoir Pictures

Reservoir Pictures Plan Wall “The wall is 48 ½ feet at the base and 120 feet in height. Its least width is 18 ½ feet … The extreme length of the wall is 1251 feet, and contains about 76,000 perches of stone.” (A perch is enough stone to lay a course a foot deep and[…]

Construction During Reconstruction: Eden Park Memorial Groves

Eden Park today presents many forested hillsides, part of a city-wide strategy to prevent erosion and minimize mudslides on the ravines and bluffs above the Ohio River. Before the Civil War, the land had been cultivated as a vineyard, with the side-effect of stabilizing the hillside with the roots of the vines and the attention[…]

Construction During Reconstruction: Eden Park Band Stand

Cincinnati came to see itself during the period of Reconstruction as a leading cultural center in what was then called the West. This artistic renaissance came hand in hand with the mercantile and industrial growth of the city. The history of the arts in Eden Park – a spectacular array of conspicuous consumption by both[…]

Construction During Reconstruction: Eden Park Circumferential Route

The major features of Eden Park emerged, at least in planning form, even before the completion of the reservoir. Apart from heroic efforts at landscaping the Eden Park with broad lawns overlooking the Reservoir, early visions also called for a circumferential path around the grounds, open to carriages and riders on horseback. These drives were[…]

Construction During Reconstruction: Eden Park

The construction of the Eden Park Reservoir and of the Park itself were so inextricably connected that some accounts referred to the park as the “Water Works Park.” During the near decade-long construction of the of the reservoir and its accompanying pipes and valves and tunnel, it was hard to separate the projects. Roads for[…]