Mount Airy is a really special neighborhood on the northwest tip of Cincinnati. bordered by neighborhoods including College Hill, Spring Grove Village, Northside and Westwood, Mount Airy is a diverse neighborhood of over 7000 people.
from a numbers standpoint, no Cincinnati neighborhood has declined more than Mount Airy has. over the past 40 years the number of families in the neighborhood who live under the poverty line has steadily increased, unemployment has more than doubled, and the household income has fallen. over the years it went from being a desirable suburban-like place like Rosewood to more of a pass-through neighborhood. Colerain Avenue (U.S. Route 27) is almost like an expressway that cuts through the neighborhood, carrying cars through the neighborhood to northern suburbs.
lots of poor decisions and lack of attention and investment from the city as an overall hurt the neighborhood over the years, as its main business district event went from being a popular shopping location among west siders to one filled with empty storefronts and revolving stores. it amazes me how much of a divide there is in Cincinnati and how often i’ve used the phrase “lack of attention and investment from the city” to describe certain neighborhoods i’ve visited so far. i’m going to process this a bit more when i visit Hyde Park soon.
i can’t talk about Mount Airy without looking at the Mount Airy Forest, a huge 1471-acre park in the middle of the neighborhood. one of the first urban reforestation projects in the country, the land now occupied by the forest used to suffer from poor soil composition and severe erosion due to bad agricultural practices. the land became so eroded that farms and homes in the area were known for sliding and shifting positions. the area was restored into a park during the 30’s and has tons of historical markers.
Mount Airy is a great neighborhood. like other neighborhoods such as South Cumminsville, North Fairmount, and Lower Price Hill, there are plenty of people here who are dedicated to improving the neighborhood and helping outsiders like you and I see how great of a place it was, still is, and will be in the future.