This was, and is, predictable , the city of Cincinnati has a history of back room deals where corporate interests take precedent over mere neighborhood interests. To understand why this is allowed to happen you only need look back at history to see it.
|City workers showed up to take photos of "blighted" buildings like these in 1959, the car in the photo is only 2 years old,|
One day men began arriving in a neighborhood in Cincinnati, the year was 1959. They were white and that made them stand out in Kenyan-Barr an almost exclusively black neighborhood west of the city courthouse. They had cameras and signs and they were taking photos of all the buildings. Something was up but the average resident had no clue that soon their neighborhood would be destroyed, that they would be homeless, scattered to the winds of Avondale, Walnut Hills, OTR, causing the mass white flight and leading to the deterioration of the city.
|This "blighted building" held a local barbershop. Note the level of architecture lost|
Kenyan Barr is the neighborhood you probably never heard of in Cincinnati. It was, in the 1940's and early 1950's our Harlem.. Built between 1850 and 1890, unlike OTR which was built as tenement housing, K-B was a neighborhood of Rowhouses and single family homes with commercial corners and area with even larger mansions and not been a struggling neighborhood with newly arrived immigrant's, but rather a neighborhood of those who had made it already. By the 1940's as people moved out to better areas it was mostly a rental district and was overwhelmingly black, though it had a vibrant business corners. There were poor living there but ether were middle class blacks as well who lived there and owned businesses and employed people. There were 2800 buildings, with 500 shops,churches and other non residential facilities. TEN THOUSAND families , almost THIRTY THOUSAND people called Kenyan Barr home.
|This Second Empire 'Blighted' Mansion still had its original wrought iron fence|
|No that's not Brooklyn, its Cincinnati, there were hundreds of 3 story single family rowhouses. What would this be worth today within walking distance to downtown. According to the city these were "blighted"|
|Elegant French Second Empire Duplexes were in Kenyan Barr, Gorgeous detailing, but these were signs of a "Blight-Ridden" neighborhood that should be demoed for an industrial park|
|This corner building was built as a single family townhome. With its elegant bays what would it be worth today?|
|Is it that the buildings are "blighted" or did corporate and city leaders just think the 'wrong people' lived here?|
|We look back now and say "how stupid we were"...yet, here we go again.|
Rest in Peace, Arch Street, you were not the first, and if something major doesn't change, you will not be the last.