Liberty, Sycamore and Thirteenth Streets, Over the Rhine, Cincinnati, Ohio

We’ll look at a variety of streets next. Liberty Street is a classic example of a narrow street that was widened by the demolition of historic structures, creating what I call a traffic sewer. The north street wall is preserved, as you can see above and below, but on the south side, there’s a jagged, “stairstep” row of houses, showing that the original fronts have been demolished in the name of more lanes. You can see Plough Alley’s street sign; like Baltimore, the alleys have names! It’s an interesting phenomenon that is more of an East Coast thing.

While there is a Roman Catholic presence in Cincinnati, (see the cathedral, for example), there are many, many Lutheran churches, as well. They tend to be more austere, and logically, more Northern German in form, such as the one below.

This one is the German Evangelisch Reformed Salem Church, founded in 1867. It is a German Hallkirche, which is Gothic Revival style church where there is no obvious transept. Brick is also very common in northern Germany, as well, fitting in well with the style of this church.

As mentioned yesterday, while the main north-south arteries are lined with businesses on the first floor in Over the Rhine, most of the east-west streets are quiet and lined with rowhouses.

The street grid is not regular, either, so we get wonderful vistas such as this view of Old St. Mary’s, a Roman Catholic church.

East 13th Street has an intact, preserved historic street wall of Italianate houses; it shows how a city can be dense and livable, providing everything within walking distance.

There were even businesses that were light industry at one point; while that is not necessarily ideal today, there is still the possibility that clean, non-invasive manufacturing that is compatible with residential use existing in a dense neighborhood.

As the decades passed, however, larger buildings such as this Romanesque Revival example, began to replace the more ubiquitous rowhouses.

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