Episode #39: UrbanOhio

Cincinnati Union TerminalOn the 39th episode of The UrbanCincy Podcast, John and Travis are joined by Chris Cousins of UrbanOhio, as well as UrbanOhio forum members Aaron Davidson and Brandon Bartoszek. We discuss some of the reactions we received to Episode #37 of the podcast, and go on to discuss several urban developments and transportation projects across the state of Ohio. We also discuss the now-rejected “Save Our Icons” proposal, and how Union Terminal and Music Hall tie into Cincinnati’s “embarrassment of riches”. Finally, we talk about why different Ohio cities have such different perceptions of their urban cores.

Note: This episode contains a bit more explicit language than you are used to hearing on the podcast.

Photo of Union Terminal by Brandon Bartoszek.

  • matimal

    Downtown Indianapolis looks nice?

  • matimal

    Be careful about casually predicting MSA population. Cincinnati has outperformed Columbus on job growth since the low point in the winter of 2009.

  • matimal

    Getting the F*****S from 10 miles away to come to OTR would make it less distinctive. OTR’s challenge is to increase property values while not becoming indistinguishable from neo-urban developments in other places built on abandoned parking lots. OTR’s appeal is improved by not attracting the walmart crowd from Amelia and instead attracting professional class people, who quite frankly have most of the disposable income these days. OTR exists because of who it doesn’t include as much as for who it does. If ‘anyone’ feels comfortable in OTR, it loses its cache. It becomes ‘ ye olde-towne Disney.’

    • Haha, gotta love Chris’ choice of words.

    • “Ye olde-towne Disney” is the exactly the vision that some people have for OTR’s future.

      I recently talked to someone who lived in OTR years ago and then moved overseas. When he returned, he was disappointed to see that Vine Street had turned into, as he described it, Blue Ash.

    • Neil Clingerman

      At the same time, if Ye olde-towne Disney is the only way OTR can be saved, I’d rather have that than no OTR at all. The very recent building collapses should remind you just how fragile the neighborhood is.

  • Mark Christol

    Is it weird that I take notes as I listen to this podcast?
    Is that TOO geeky?

    I think the city took over Music Hall as well as Union Terminal.

    As you get older, the impact of a newborn on your life decreases year by year, so the idea of funding their education becomes less and lees attractive.

    I can’t believe that UO forummers swear. Or is that just a problem with the shrill, juvenile, thin skinned, arbitrary Clevonite bullies?
    The Clevelanders do seem to be an insecure bunch.

    per honking off boosters, I’ve found that breaking ranks with biker boosters who want every little bit of ‘special’ bike junk, can lead to drawing a TON of fire. I’m sure Mecklenborg has taken a load of poo on that, too.
    Was he off on a bender this episode?

    When I visited Cincinnati in the 70s, it was mainly the Coliseum, Bogarts, the Gardens and one amazing night at the Albee and on Fountain Square. It was amazing to see such a lively place since Springfield’s downtown looked like a bomb had hit it at that point.

    Mr Estell, your parents never took you to the zoo?
    heh, my introduction to Cincinnati was when I was about 12-13 and my neighbor’s dad dropped us off at the zoo & told us to take the bus to some place called “Fountain Square”. We didn’t know squat about the town, how to navigate the bus system or what a fountain square was.

    I moved to Porktown around 82 and the locals were very proud of their town. There has been a complete 180 on this in that time.

    • Actually, it was John talking about growing up in Lebanon and rarely visiting downtown. I did have a similar experience growing up about the same distance away but not really ever visiting Cincinnati. That didn’t change until I was in high school and started visiting Corryville and CUF. I didn’t visit OTR until I was in college.

      It is weird looking back on advertisements and news clips of Cincinnati from the 80’s. It seems like everyone was proud of Riverfront Stadium and Fountain Square but I don’t know if there were many restaurants, bars, and clubs downtown. It seems like the whole “downtown is dangerous” / “there’s nothing to do” attitude took off in the ’90s and hit its peak during the riots.

      Right now we have a strange mix of people who know that Cincinnati’s urban neighborhoods are going through a renaissance, and people who have their fingers in their ears and continue to believe that they are in decline.

    • Neil Clingerman

      I’d argue the peak of the notion that the city was in decline was really around 2006 or so right around the time Mallory was elected mayor. We were all hoping that he’d make the city a better place and Luken was doing a terrible job of fixing the many many problems that the city faced. I remember going to the Cirque du’Soilei in 07 when it was finally announced that a deal had been done on the banks, that was probably the first genuinely positive news I’d heard during my stint in Cincinnati from 02-07. I’m very happy to have voted Mallory, Pepper was too old school Cincy for me and we really needed an african american mayor who ran with a post racial attitude that emphasized cooperation and relationship building, which are two things the city really needed as divisions (racial and neighborhood/tribal) were tearing the place apart.

      Luckily its been uphill ever since, I’m still baffled at how many people keep their eyes shut, literally that’s what it takes to be in denial about the changes that have happened.

    • Mark Christol

      Luken’s 2nd term was really dismal.

    • Mark Christol

      OK, so John, did your parents take you to the zoo?
      In the 80s there was a popular entertainment district on 2nd street. Only name I remember was “Caddy’s”. Rebuilding FWW buried that. There was a place, The Metro, on Lyons alley (?) that got some music. They had the Red Hot Chili Peppers back before they went big time.