Mount Washington is a neighborhood of 11,000 people, located on the southeast side of Cincinnati. it is attached to Linwood and California, but is mostly surrounded by suburbs. in a lot of ways it also feels like a suburb because it’s so far from the rest of Cincinnati.
being that it’s far from downtown Cincinnati, Mount Washington hasn’t gone through many of the changes other neighborhoods did. for one, the neighborhood never integrated. even today, there are less than 1000 non-white residents in the neighborhood. over the past several decades, the biggest struggle the neighborhood has faced is feeling like they’ve been ignored by the city of Cincinnati. Beechmont Avenue is the main street that runs through the neighborhood. because Beechmont connects eastern suburbs to downtown, Mount Washington sees a lot of traffic. for a long time residents rallied to get the city to widen Beechmont Avenue to reduce congestion, but didn’t happen for various reasons. this single issue led to an attempt to get the neighborhood to succeed from the city of Cincinnati in the 70’s, which ended up not happening. Beechmont Avenue was eventually widened in the early 2000’s.
Mount Washington feels like a suburb to me also because of the things the neighborhood has resisted over the years. in the 80’s when white Cincinnatians migrated to surrounding suburbs, many disenfranchised Cincinnatians moved to take their place. this affected Mount Washington in the form of apartments that began to open on the western edge of the neighborhood. residents became upset, because they believed that dense housing would ruin the character of the neighborhood and bring down property values. in order to stop the spread of apartments and make sure the only people moving to the neighborhood were those that could afford to buy homes and “take care” of them, the neighborhood zoned against apartments. i was disappointed to learn about Mount Washington’s resistance to dense housing and even some school desegregation attempts, but i still think it’s a cool place. my favorite thing about it is the giant water tower that’s visible from the center of the neighborhood, because it reminds me of a skyscraper