college hill, cincinnati, ohio
Photo: Gail Finke
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College Hill, Cincinnati, Ohio

Like Chicago or Brooklyn, Cincinnati is known for its distinct old neighborhoods and the fiercely loyal residents who call them home. Settled in 1813, the northern neighborhood of College Hill—named after now-defunct Farmer's College and Ohio Female College—has kept much of its leafy college campus character. Those who live here see the area as the most tight-knit and diverse (forward-thinking college professors and other abolitionists who were among the neighborhood's earliest residents helped ensure it was racially integrated even before the Civil War). Like most Cincinnati 'hoods, College Hill has dozens of locally owned businesses, including LaRosa's pizzeria, a Cincinnati favorite. More entertainment can be found just minutes away in downtown Cincinnati.

The Houses
There are many Craftsman-style bungalows, but the neighborhood is primarily known for its Tudor Revivals with stucco, brick, and stone exteriors, as well as front and screened-in side porches. A 1,400-square-foot Craftsman with a fireplace made by Rookwood Pottery was recently on the market for $116,000, while a 1,900-square-foot Tudor Revival was selling for $135,000.

Why Buy Now?
If you're one of those people who value craftsmanship over size, College Hill has plenty of old houses that are deserving of a long-term commitment. Here you'll get all the tranquility of tree-lined streets, with access to museums, theaters, and major-league sports in downtown Cincinnati. In addition, the neighborhood continues to tackle quality-of-life issues. It recently took part in the Neighborhood Enhancement Program, a 90-day blitz of initiatives launched by the city that address crime, blight, and building-code violations. (Officials follow up with businesses, volunteers, and others involved for the next nine months to ensure all changes are permanent.) The city is also building a fire station at the southern entrance of College Hill.

Among the best places for: Families, First-Time Buyers, The Midwest
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