Lick Run Reborn, Cincinnati, Ohio

I have often said that I post about other cities not as a boring tour of my vacations, but as a way of comparing and contrasting with St. Louis, so we can learn how other cities are doing things better, and to see how other cities in America developed in the same way, and sometimes made the same mistakes. Take Lick Run, a natural tributary that flowed through the hills on the west side of Cincinnati before emptying into Mill Creek (yes, there’s a Mill Creek in Cincinnati, too), which is the central waterway flowing through the heart of the city. Like St. Louis, which has covered up many of its natural rivers and streams, Cincinnati did the same thing with Lick Run.

But something different happened here; Lick Run has been reborn, freed from its tunnel (which was deteriorating badly from age, even collapsing in segments in the past), and the natural channel restored. You can read about the story here at Cincinnati Magazine.

You can read further at the MSD (yes, they have an MSD in Cincinnati, too) website about the restoration.

The project required the demolition of the whole south side of Queen City Avenue (I can’t imagine that’s its historic name) leaving only the north side of the street’s building stock. Apparently there was some grumbling, but the argument was that the effluence and deterioration of the sewer tunnel had rendered much of what was demolished largely worthless property anyway. In its place is a park and greenway which empties into a retention pond (not pictured) before entering to the Mill Creek channel, which itself will be reinvented soon.

And honestly, the removal of buildings and the restoration of a more environmentally sustainable Lick Run provides in my opinion a more aesthetically pleasing environment for the buildings left behind.

Take this former Catholic religious building, which now has beautiful vistas out over the valley, which surely is much greener during the summer. But I wish they would convert Queen City Avenue into a two-way street; the traffic moves far too fast due to being a one-way street. Westwood Avenue, on the south side of the greenway is also one-way and is similarly too fast.

This area clearly needed some revitalization, as there are many abandoned buildings around already. There are several nice churches, such as the one below that serves the immigrants who worked in the various industries that polluted the waterway.

One of those industries’ factory buildings still stands, and theoretically is more desirable for redevelopment now that there has been improvement to the greenway out front. Hopefully it is not too polluted, but it has great connections to other parts of the city.

I could see how the old accoutrements of the factory could be incorporated into the renovation of the building.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. ME says:

    The Hill neighborhood used to have two churches also. St Aloysius Gonzaga served the southwestern portion of the Hill until 2005. The whole complex was torn down and replaced with new housing.

    I had grandparents in the area, so our family attended mass there occasionally. I remember the masses were short & sweet. Usually only 30 minutes!

    1. ME says:

      I meant for this to apply to yesterday’s post.
      Sorry! 😁

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