Over-The-Rhine was settled by German immigrants back in the mid-19th century. These immigrants created the Over-The-Rhine neighborhood in the image of their homeland and built homes, theatres, churches, and beer gardens to reflect this. The area got its nickname from the time of the Miami & Erie Canal, which reminded them of the Rhine River back home. Stepping out of downtown Cincinnati and over the canal bridge was considering crossing “Over The Rhine”. The name stuck and the community was born.
Sometime in the 20th Century, many families started to migrate out of the city leaving the urban area with a small population. OTR has had its ups and downs over the years with high crime rates, poverty, and even riots but today the area is seeing a rebirth as a quality place to live, work, shop, and eat.
Over-The-Rhine was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983 as one of the largest intact urban historic districts in the country and with the largest collection of Italianate architecture in the country. This historic area has been danger and many of the buildings have been demolished but with the hard work of many, a lot of the surviving buildings are being restored to their true beauty making Over-The-Rhine the great neighborhood that it once was.
A prime example of this effort is the area on and around Twelfth and Vine Streets known as the Gateway Quarter. With the collective effort of the city, neighborhood interest groups, and the 3CDC, ongoing work is being done to rehabilitate many of these historic structures and turning them into condos, shops and restaurants, and businesses as part of the Over-The-Rhine Comprehensive Plan. The objective is not only to rehabilitate the historic structures in the neighborhood but to make sure that any new construction and infill fits in with the current landscape of the community. The Gateway Quarter area has grown and is still growing with great living space, restaurants, and shops as well as entertainment. The surrounding buildings have been restored to their former glory and this area of Over-The-Rhine is a, “must visit” area of the city.
Area surrounding Twelfth and Vine Streets, Over The Rhine