Downtown Cincinnati as a skate park

Downtown Cincinnati is viewed by most as a place of business, entertainment, or residence. People live or visit downtown as the central destination for the 2.1 million-person region. There are others that use the city center for something a bit different, and in this case Daniel Stephens uses it as his personal skate park.

There is no skate park in within close proximity of downtown, so skate boarders and others are left to improvise with the urban landscape surrounding them. In this video, entitled Cincinnati A.M., Stephens takes advantage of narrow alleys, busy city streets, an odd concrete-heavy park near 5th and Elm streets where skate boarders often congregate, parking lots and the rear of buildings.

The video was produced and edited by Maxwell White.

  • Personally, I wish there were more skaters downtown! I actually wrote something about the same topic a couple of years back, found here. I love seeing the same environment put to a vastly different use by skaters.

  • I agree Maya…skateboarders and others that use spaces differently add an interesting element to urban spaces. Plus, these types of public performances add to the dynamics of urban spaces thus making them more appealing. So I’m with you…bring on some more skateboarders!

    • Zack Sisson

      Right on Randy, not only that. But to give people an eye-opener show of inspiration. Skateboarding itself is a form of art through expression. Funny thing, I found this article on the day my deaf buddy comes into town to skate around downtown Cincinnati.

  • Jon

    That guy is good! fun video, and the band is Phantogram- saw them in LA last summer, loved it.

  • Brianne

    As a downtown resident with a concrete & marble planterbox in my “front yard” that attracts skateboarders, I can’t agree that the grinding is good. Skating is cool, but damaging someone else’s property isn’t. I’m sure some do, but not all skateboarders understand that. There’s a skatepark setup under 471 right across the river in Newport/Bellevue, right? Connected with the Galaxie skate shop?

  • Zack

    Let em go to town over at the old SCPA!

  • GC

    as another downtown resident, and someone who has been skateboarding downtown for 21 years, i can assure you that no matter where skateparks are built, we will still skate downtown. sorry to burst your bubble, but you have no front yard.

    • cincychic

      Hey GC i know you wrote this a year ago. But is there one spot where skateboarders hang out. I’m trying to find the SB crowd and hang with them?


  • Brianne

    Appreciate your honesty, but that is exactly the one reason I cannot love skateboarding however cool it may look. I do own my property, and I’m not into anyone who can’t respect that. That includes hobos who urinate, smokers who leave their butts, and passerbys who leave their trash. Not great company – but everyone has a choice to do the right thing or to do the easy thing.

  • PharmD

    I don’t know Brianne- when you live in the city, you have to learn to give up a certain amount of personal space. You may not like it, but you will never rid your front stoop of cigarette butts, hobo urine, cat poop, or frontside grind marks. I understand your frustration about your flowerbox, but at some point you’re going to have to realize that you live in the city, and not the suburbs. As far as people choosing to do the right thing or the easy thing- if you haven’t noticed by now that humans (and especially Americans) will tend to do the easy thing first, then you haven’t been paying attention. I’ll say it again- If you choose to live in the city, just accept the fact that your personal space ends at your front door. Skateboarding has nothing to do with it.

  • king_king

  • Scott

    What’s that space on 5th. Street that looks just like a little skate park. He even hit it 8 the video shown here.