Today In History, 14 December 1911
Norwegian Roald Amundsen becomes the first explorer to reach the South Pole, beating his British rival, Robert Falcon Scott.
After his historic Antarctic journey, Amundsen established a successful shipping business. He later made attempts to become the first explorer to fly over the North Pole. In 1925, in an airplane, he flew within 150 miles of the goal.
This block bounded by Charlotte Street, Linn Street, York Street, and Baymiller Street in Cincinnati’s West End is the outcome of over three quarters of a century of disinvestment due to the race and ethnicity of the people who called the area home. Developed as a mixed-income mixed-use area during the mid-to-late 19th Century, the area thrived into the early 20th Century, but when the city’s Jewish and African Diaspora residents moved into the area, it was targeted by redlining and city planning that didn’t have any regard for the people living here and considered them “undesirable,” something that many northern cities also did at the same time. Today, Cincinnati remains quite segregated, though not as bad as cities like Detroit, Chicago, and Cleveland. However, the poverty rate for residents of Sub-Saharan African Descent in the area remains about three times higher than the area’s population of European Descent, and the West End, the historic beating heart of the area’s African Diaspora population, has been hit hard by policies that, though no longer in effect on paper, still have a lingering impact. This block, with several dilapidated, Run-down, and boarded up buildings, some missing their roofs, is the end result of policies that hit already disadvantaged communities hard, and planning that sought to empty the downtown basin of its residents during the 20th Century. Hopefully, this area can have a future better than what has happened to it over the past half century, but it still struggles with a high rate of poverty and is home to many vacant and crumbling historic buildings, which once made up a vibrant neighborhood, only two blocks from the historic mansions of Dayton Street and three blocks from the Findlay Market area, which are being reinvigorated at a very rapid pace. Cincinnati, OH, US
McMicken Avenue in the upper portion of Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine neighborhood is one of the most charming intact historic streetscapes in the city. Lined with mid-to-late 19th Century Italianate-style buildings, the roadway was originally part of the old Hamilton Road, which predates the city and was originally a trail used by the native Miami people. The area developed alongside the Miami and Erie Canal, which connected the Ohio River at Cincinnati with Lake Erie at Toledo, and allowed for easy transportation. The buildings in this area still remain a mix of sizes and shapes, as well as mixed income, with a few being run down or abandoned, something that does need addressing, but is fortunately being taken care of by local preservation groups, including the Cincinnati Preservation Collective and OTR Adopt. One building in particular is in very sad shape, a townhouse-turned-multi-unit apartment building that suffered a fire last year, and has not yet been repaired, which is one of the Cincinnati Preservation Collective’s 2018 Impact Buildings, which they are aiming to save. Hopefully, this area will soon get the attention it deserves, as it is one of the most charming and notable corridors in the city. Cincinnati, OH, US