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Articles and news about history of West End

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Books about West End by John Harshaw

 History  mbeck  07-Nov-2016 01:40  0  6470 reads
Books about West End by John Harshaw

John Harshaw is definitely the best historian of West End. 

In addition to participating in various panel discussions about history of West End and presenting on this topic (you can see some of them in our Video History section), he also published several books, including the "Cincinnati's West End"

As he writes on his Website

"Cincinnati’s West End is a snapshot of a community in Cincinnati, Ohio named the West End, during a specific time, 1940-1970, when the political and social climate was in a slow crawl from segregation to integration and affirmative action. With its ever-changing boundaries, the West End was a citadel for a population in constant migration from the South to the North in search of positive economic, social, political, and educational opportunities. Up rooted and destroyed in the late nineteen fifties and early sixties, the West End of old bears little resemblance to the current West end.

Cincinnati’s West End is an illumination of the institutions, people, places, sounds, smells, customs, myths and ultimate successes of inner city pioneers. Their personal histories are spiritual testimonies of people who, in spite of racism, segregation, and poverty succeeded in a profusion of professions unknown to their ancestors." 

His latest book is "Jazz On A Broken Piano". It covers the Betty Butler murder case in the West End in 1952. She became the first African-American woman in Ohio to die in the electric chair and was quoted internationally in the Wanda Jean Allen murder case.

You can visit his Website and purchase autographed copies there.

You can contact John at:  513-549-6508 or visit his Facebook

Cincinnati's West End Looking back-looking forward - ...

 History  mbeck  18-Jun-2015 02:10  0  4552 reads
Cincinnati's West End Looking back-looking forward - Videos

Last year in November, in Mayerson Hall, local historians scholars, and consultants discussed our historic West End neighborhood in an event "West End Looking back-looking forward"

Recently the organizers published videos from this panel discussion, and if you missed tha talk, please visit our Videos section, and look in the History category

We would like to thank all the panelists who shared their stories about West End with us, and especially John Harshaw for publishing the videos

West End Photography Exhibit @ Skirball Museum in ...

 History  mbeck  26-Oct-2014 12:00  0  5664 reads
West End Photography Exhibit @ Skirball Museum in Cincinnati

George S. Rosenthal, Daniel J. Ransohoff and Ben Rosen: Documenting Cincinnati’s Neighborhoods

October 22—December 21, 2014

A FOTOFOCUS exhibition presented by the Cincinnati Skirball Museum of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives in partnership with the Cincinnati Museum Center

Left to right (details):
D. Ransohoff, Untitled, Cincinnati Museum Center; B. Rosen, Cincinnati Flood, 1937, American Jewish Archives; G. Rosenthal, Mound St. Temple of K. K. Bene Israel, 8th and Mound St., 1869–1906, 1958, Cincinnati Museum Center.

In celebration of FOTOFOCUS, the works of three important Cincinnati photographers are being featured at the Skirball Museum and the American Jewish Archives on the historic campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. In 1957 George S. Rosenthal (1922–1967) was commissioned by the Cincinnati Historical Society to document the architectural history of the West End before major disruption of the neighborhood occurred with the construction of Interstate 75. Over a 30-year period Daniel J. Ransohoff (1921–1993) created a remarkable photographic record of Cincinnati’s disadvantaged in neighborhoods across the city, including the West End. As a photographer for The Catholic Telegraph and The American Israelite, Ben Rosen(1913-2008) captured unique snapshots of life in the Queen City during rapidly changing times, including the visit of Charles Lindbergh to Lunken Airport in 1927 and chilling photos of the devastation of the 1937 flood. The exhibition of photographs will be augmented by documents and memorabilia provided by the families of the photographers. In conjunction with the Skirball and American Jewish Archives exhibitions, the Klau Library will display a selection of books by and about Jewish photographers. All venues are located at 3101 Clifton Avenue.

More info: Skirball Museum

Why is Cincinnati Known as The Queen City?

 History  mbeck  15-Oct-2014 12:30  0  3839 reads
Why is Cincinnati Known as The Queen City?

Cincinnati, Ohio, founded in 1788, was originally named Losantiville, or “town opposite the mouth of the Licking River.” A mere two years later, however, the Governor of the Northwest Territory, General Arthur St. Clair, renamed the city Cincinnati, in honor of an organization of Revolutionary War officers, the Society of Cincinnati.

Once the official name was settled, Cincinnati’s rapid growth in the early 1800s precipitated several nicknames; one of its most revered being the Queen City. As steamboats helped Cincinnati become the chief port on the Ohio River, the city shipped goods to both the Eastern U.S. and to foreign countries. The city, the fastest growing in the nation between 1835 and the 1850s, became the largest city in Ohio and the largest city in the Midwest prior to the Civil War.

Some sources report that it was the city’s proud citizens themselves who first proclaimed their magnificent home “The Queen City” or the “Queen of the West.” Long before marketing slogans and organized chambers of commerce, the residents themselves decided their grand and glorious city was regal. By 1826, co-authors Benjamin Drake and Edward Mansfield referred to city as the “Queen of the West” in their book, Cincinnati. Then in 1854, poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow penned "Catawba Wine," which memorialized Cincinnati’s vineyards. In the last stanza of his poem, he refers to Cincinnati as the “Queen of the West.”

In the years following, the Queen City was given many other monikers. As Cincinnati became famous as a pork packing center in the mid 1800s, it was often called “Porkopolis.” It had surpassed both Dublin and Belfast as the world’s primary pork packing centers and was chief supplier of salt pork to the British Navy. During the same time period, residents still boasting their pride also referred to their Queen City as “the London of America.” When music, arts, a university and professional baseball entered the city’s complexion in the 1870s, the Queen City was also known as “the Paris of America.”

Many businesses and products adopted the Queen City moniker for their products and companies. Clubs, manufacturers, stores and medical groups still use Queen City in their names. Cincinnati is no longer the largest city in Ohio. Columbus, the capital, now holds that title. Now that Cincinnati celebrated its Bicentennial in 1988, newer nicknames include Cincinnati USA, which refers to the Greater Cincinnati region, encompassing a 15-county region that includes three states, Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana.

Source: wiseGeek
Picture credit:

Nextdoor application for neighbors living in West End

 History  mbeck  13-Oct-2014 23:30  0  7686 reads
Nextdoor application for neighbors living in West End

If you live in West End, you can join the "Nextdoor" community group.

What is Nextdoor

Nextdoor is the private social network for you, your neighbors and your community. It's the easiest way for you and your neighbors to talk online and make all of your lives better in the real world. And it's free.

Thousands of neighborhoods are already using Nextdoor to build happier, safer places to call home.

People are using Nextdoor to:

  • Quickly get the word out about a break-in
  • Organize a Neighborhood Watch Group
  • Track down a trustworthy babysitter
  • Find out who does the best paint job in town
  • Ask for help keeping an eye out for a lost dog
  • Find a new home for an outgrown bike
  • Finally call that nice man down the street by his first name

Nextdoor’s mission is to use the power of technology to build stronger and safer neighborhoods.

To learn more about Nextdoor, please read more on their Website...

Images of West End before and after the Highway ...

 History  mbeck  13-Oct-2014 20:20  0  6033 reads

Aaron Renn at the Urbanophile has been looking at the devastation wrought on different cities by highways. And he’s uncovered a pretty dramatic example in these pre- and post-highway photos of Cincinnati’s West End.

Here’s a view of the neighborhood in the 1950s, the “before” photo:

More info on: Streets Blog Network

The original article was posted on Urbanophile

Beautiful pictures of historical West End

 History  mbeck  13-Oct-2014 20:20  0  1646 reads
Beautiful pictures of historical West End

The Urban Ohio Website has several beautiful pictures of West End. 

As they write: 

The West End is a neighborhood full of wealth in architecture yet enough decay to satisfy those with morbid interests. Historically a black neighborhood, the West End is full of Cincinnati-style townhomes, brownstones, rowhouses, projects (yes, Section 8 kind), and one of the largest infill projects in the city's history, CityWest. Home of Dayton Street, once the Millionaire Row of the West, the West End is turning from one of the city's worst neighborhoods to one of the desirable. Hopefully, with CityWest and various other infill projects going on, the West End's rich history returns permanently.

They have three albums:

1) Dayton Street Historic District

The Dayton Street Historic District used to be the Millionare's Row of the city. Today, it still has some fantastic old mansions along with some architecturally amazing townhomes.

2) Residential Areas

The West End has an incredible variety of architecture in the form of brownstones, rowhouses, and townhouses.

3) City West

City West is one of the largest urban projects in the United States and replaces un-urban housing with traditional rowhouse infill.

2002 West End Comprehensive Plan

 History  mbeck  01-Oct-2014 11:20  0  677 reads

In 2001 and 2002 the West End community together with City of Cincinnati staff has created "The West End Comprehensive Plan".

The purpose of this plan was to present the redevelopment issues and concerns identified by residents, businesses and key stakeholders in the West End and to provide a guide for implementation of redevelopment in the community. This plan outlined the social and economic changes that are occurring and presents a redevelopment concept derived from the community’s vision for a revitalized West End neighborhood. The West End Community Council and a group of more than 150 concerned residents, businesses, property owners and key stakeholders worked with City staff and Menelaos Triantafilou, a private consultant to the community, to develop a list of goals with objectives and strategies included in the plan.  

Of course, a lot has changed since then, but it is interesting to look at that from a historical perspective.

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