Pleasant Ridge is a wonderful community on the north side of Cincinnati, east of Kennedy Heights and north of Oakley. it’s one of my favorite neighborhoods.
over the years, Pleasant Ridge has been insulated from many of the common issues other Cincinnati neighborhoods have experienced due to its location in the outer fringes of the city. it wasn’t affected by interstate construction in the 20th century, it has a vibrant business district, and it retained most of its population during the age of suburbanization. however, between 1970 and 1990 Pleasant Ridge’s business district experienced a period of decline where it lost its popularity as a go-to shopping center in the area. huge malls like Tri-County and Kenwood with plenty of parking sprang up and grew in popularity. even though Pleasant Ridge itself wasn’t carved up to fit an interstate, it felt the effects of expressways like the Norwood Lateral opening and taking away traffic that used to pass through the neighborhood via Montgomery Road. this effect on Pleasant Ridge even led to the neighborhood going through identity issues and almost turning into a bubble where many Cincinnatians were unaware or didn’t even visit the neighborhood.
Pleasant Ridge is interesting because it currently has a black population of 36%, but it didn’t really start to integrate until the 70’s. as immigrants from Appalachia and the south moved into neighborhoods like Lower Price Hill, Walnut Hills, and the East End, many immigrants couldn’t make their way to Pleasant Ridge because of the high cost of housing in the neighborhood. Pleasant Ridge began integrating in the 70’s most likely due to middle/upper middle-class black families who were able to afford the cost of homes in the neighborhood.
Pleasant Ridge is a great place and you should visit it. over the years, Pleasant Ridge’s business district has come a long way and revitalized. however, the community was hit hard last year when a three-alarm fire destroyed three businesses, displaced eight families, and caused more than $300,000 in damages. one of the businesses has been able to open since then, but there’s still some uncertainty with how the business district will move forward