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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Cincinnati - Then and Now (001)

Thanks to the efforts of the Ohio Digital Resource Commons, thousands of photos taken of Cincinnati's street improvements during the 1920's and 1930's are viewable online. The changes that occur over the course of 80+ years are rather interesting. Thanks to Google Street View, it's possible to quickly compare the photos taken almost a century ago with the city as it exists today.

There are thousands of these street improvement photos available. I'll start by comparing a few of the more recognizable spots around Cincinnati. While some areas have seen little change, most of the photos show stark contrasts between the Cincinnati of the 1920's and the Cincinnati we know today.

Vine Street, north from Clifton Avenue


Looking north along Vine Street from the intersection of Clifton Avenue - August 10, 1931.


The same spot currently, as seen on Google Street View.

Corner of Taft and Vine, looking west

The corner of William Howard Taft and Vine Street, looking west in 1942


William Howard Taft and Vine Street, looking west, as seen on Google Street View. Much has changed, including the steeples of St. George, damaged during the fire in 2008.

Corner of Taft and Vine, looking west

In some places, almost nothing has remained the same. Here, looking west from the corner of 5th and Walnut in 1928 the Sheraton-Gibson Hotel and Albee Theater are both visible along Fountain Square. Not yet visible would be Carew Tower - construction began the year after this photo was taken.


Google Street View today shows that little has remained, US Bank, the Westin, and Carew Tower have been built, and even Fountain Square has since gone through two major renovations.

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