Clifton! i love Clifton. throughout this project i’ve tried to remain impartial and not pick favorites because i truly do think all 51 Cincinnati neighborhoods are special and lovely in their own ways. however, if someone forced me to pick my favorite Cincinnati neighborhood, i would probably choose Clifton.
Clifton is a socioeconomically diverse neighborhood of 8,304 people, nestled northwest of Avondale. much of present day Clifton was made up of a farm called the Clifton Farm that eventually grew into a village. during Clifton’s early growth, Ludlow Avenue on the south end of the neighborhood was its rambunctious business district, and the northern end was where wealthy residents established beautiful mansions with rolling landscapes to get away from the noise of the city. over time, Clifton grew into a bustling suburb in part due to the expansion of the streetcar system into the neighborhood (kind of like how interstates being built in the ~60’s helped encouraged suburbanization of the latter 20th century) before being annexed by the city of Cincinnati.
throughout the years, Clifton was able to weather a lot of the storms other neighborhoods like Avondale went through. i think this is in part to being a middle to upper-middle class neighborhood, being located right next to the University of Cincinnati, and honestly just being one of Cincinnati’s crown jewel neighborhoods (like Hyde Park, Mount Adams, and Mount Lookout). like Avondale, many of Clifton’s mansions on the northern side of the neighborhood were subdivided and neglected, but many of them were saved and retained. Clifton also integrated later than a lot of Cincinnati neighborhoods, around the 80’s. Clifton also relied on zoning to protect its character by resisting all zoning changes that would hurt the neighborhood in any way.
my favorite thing about Clifton is its energy. since UC borders the neighborhood, there are a lot of undergraduate and older graduate students who live in the neighborhood, along with older, active residents. being that’s it’s so large and diverse, the neighborhood just always feels alive to me. i love hanging out on Ludlow Avenue and soaking the entire neighborhood in.