Month in Review – November 2014

Wasson Corridor Walk

In November, UrbanCincy readers enjoyed a collection of beautiful aerial photos of Cincinnati taken by Brian Spitzig. Two articles about the redevelopment of the Northern Liberties area of Over-the-Rhine were also quite popular. Our top five most popular posts, in descending order, were:

  1. Take a Look at These 20 Breathtaking Photos of Cincinnati’s Center City
    Brian Spitzig, an occasional contributor to UrbanCincy, recently took a flight around the inner city to take what turned out to be some incredible aerial photography. In part one of a two-part series, we share 20 of his photographs of Downtown and Over-the-Rhine.
  2. Check Out These 14 Amazing Images of Cincinnati’s Inner City Neighborhoods
    These 14 photographs capture views of the West End, Queensgate, Corryville, Mt. Auburn, Mt. Adams, Clifton Heights, Walnut Hills and University Heights.
  3. Findlay Market Ready to Work With Developers Poised to Transform Area Around It
    “The Corporation for Findlay Market expects to be heavily involved in all the new retail, working with property owners on product mix,” said Joe Hansbauer, President and CEO of Findlay Market. “We will be careful to make sure that competition exists, without diluting.”
  4. Film Center Renovation to be First Project in Northern Liberties for Urban Sites
    Over the next 18 months, Urban Sites will put together a development plan for the property. The company is considering office space or residential as potential uses for the building.
  5. An Indie Guide to Cincinnati During the Holidays
    Black Friday is over, but shoppers still have plenty of opportunities to support local businesses and find unique gifts.

 

Check Out These 14 Amazing Images of Cincinnati’s Inner City Neighborhoods

The first part of this two-part series proved to be very popular. While last week’s edition focused on aerial photographs of the center city, this week’s collection looks at neighborhoods just outside the city center.

As previously noted, Brian Spitzig is studying urban planning at the University of Cincinnati and is an occasional contributor to UrbanCincy. He recently took a flight over the city to capture these photographs.

We went through hundreds of photographs that he took and selected some of the best for you. The following 14 photographs capture views of the West End, Queensgate, Corryville, Mt. Auburn, Mt. Adams, Clifton Heights, Walnut Hills and University Heights.

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If you like what you see here, you can follow Brian Spitzig on Instagram.

INFOGRAPHIC: The Abandonment of Cincinnati’s 1914 Subway and Rapid Transit Loop

Cincinnati’s abandoned rapid transit project is a subject of continual interest. Although many are familiar with the unused two-mile tunnel beneath Central Parkway, little remains of the ten miles of surface-running right-of-way built in the mid-1920s between Camp Washington and Norwood.

This graphic by Andy Woodruff, from the UW-Madison Department of Geography, illustrates which sections of the so-called Rapid Transit Loop were built, which parts were replaced by expressways, and which parts were planned but not funded and built.

Cincinnati Subway System

So why was the Rapid Transit Loop started but not completed?

The project had several forces working against it, especially wealthy Downtown landowners who stood to lose money and influence if the city’s most valuable property shifted from Fountain Square north to Central Parkway. The likelihood of that happening was heightened by the Rapid Transit Commission’s decision to forego construction of the Walnut Street Subway as part of the project’s first phase.

Those who owned property lining Central Parkway knew that construction of a tunnel under Mt. Adams, linking the Loop’s never-built eastern half, would likely cost less than construction of the Walnut Street Subway and cause the loop’s traffic to bypass the city’s established epicenter entirely.

The second interest acting to scuttle the subway project was the consortium of seven steam railroads that commenced construction of Cincinnati’s spectacular Union Terminal in 1929.

An ancillary feature of the Rapid Transit Loop was its intention to serve the area’s electric interurban railroads at a multi-track terminal centered beneath the intersection of Race Street and Central Parkway. The interurban terminal’s more convenient location promised to erode the redundant services of the steam railroads.

Editorial Note: In addition to focusing on UrbanCincy’s transportation coverage, Jake authored a book about Cincinnati’s infamously abandoned subway and rapid transit project. First published in 2010, Cincinnati’s Incomplete Subway: The Complete History is considered to be the most comprehensive analysis of the events leading up to and after one of the city’s most notorious missteps.

PHOTOS: Holidays in the City [Cincinnati]

It has been quite a year in Cincinnati and it’s easy to sometimes get caught up in all the drama and miss out on the everyday beauty around you. This has been particularly true in Cincinnati this holiday season, but we asked one of our favorite local photographers, Brian Spitzig, to go around and gather some photographs these past two months.

If his name sounds familiar, that might be because you are remembering when we featured two of Brian’s tilt-shift videos on UrbanCincy in February 2012 and March 2012.

After reaching out to Brian again he put together the following collection of 48 photographs from all over the city that capture it in its holiday splendor. If you like Brian’s photos as much as we do, then please follow him on Twitter @b_spitz and on Instagram @bspitz.

This will be our last post this year, but we hope you all had a very wonderful 2013 and wish you the best in the year to come. Enjoy!

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The Ridges to Perform Live Film Score of Nosferatu at CAM

Nosferatu at CAMTonight, the Cincinnati Art Museum’s (CAM) free Art After Dark series will collaborate with orchestral folk rock group The Ridges to bring a classic horror film to life.

As part of October’s “Immortal Spirits” theme, The Ridges will perform an original string-based score to an abridged version of the 1922 silent film Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror inside the Museum’s Great Hall.

Art After Dark is one of the CAM’s many recurring events aimed at young professionals. The museum is open until 9pm, past its usual closing time of 5pm, so it is an opportunity to explore one of the country’s oldest art museums after hours, check out some world-class art, enjoy a drink, and this Friday, watch a vampire flick accompanied by a folk rock band in the Great Hall.

Based out of Athens, Ohio, The Ridges is led by Victor Rasgaitis (guitar, vocals) and Talor Smith (cello, vocals) but feature any number of musicians from a rotating collective of players on cello, violin, banjo, horns, percussion, mandolin and accordion. CAM’s screening of Nosferatu will be scored for guitar, cello, violin, upright bass, and banjo.

The Ridges are known for presenting each show as a unique and different experience, and their performance of Nosferatu is no exception. “It’s our own reimagining of the film,” said Ridges frontman Victor Rasgaitis.

While the band composed some new, original music for the film, they also reworked parts from some of their existing songs. For example, the film plays heavily on the use of Nosferatu’s shadow, so it only made sense to Rasgaitis to use their song “Shadows” as Nosferatu’s theme.

“Whenever he’s on screen, we’re doing variations of the chord progression of our song,” Rasgaitis explained.

The band is a perfect fit to revisit the adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula; The Ridges took their name from the allegedly haunted asylum in their hometown, and even recorded their 2011 EP inside the Victorian-era asylum in the dead of winter. (If you listen closely, it’s rumored you can hear mysterious, unexplained noises and whispers in the background of some of the songs).

The Ridges’ romantic Old World sound has been compared to Beirut, Arcade Fire, and Fleet Foxes, while Daytrotter described their music as “hidden with turn of the century and Dust Bowl-era themes.”

The free event will also feature guided ghost tours ending at the newest exhibit, Realm of the Immortals: Daoist Art in the Cincinnati Art Museum, as well as a cash bar (featuring Great Lakes’ Nosferatu Ale, of course) and appetizers for purchase. Parking is free for Art Museum members; $4 for non-members. The CAM is also served by multiple Metro bus routes.

“Art After Dark: Immortal Souls” will take place from 5pm to 9pm. The Ridges Present: Nosferatu, Symphony of Horror will go from 6pm to 8pm. Ghost tours, meanwhile, are scheduled to take place at 6:30pm and 7:30pm.