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City of Cincinnati
Downtown Cincinnati from the Northern Kentucky side of the Ohio River
Downtown Cincinnati from the Northern Kentucky side of the Ohio River
Flag of Cincinnati
Official seal of Cincinnati
Nickname(s): The Queen City, Cincy, The Tri-State, Porkopolis,[1] The 'Nati, The City of Seven Hills
Motto: Juncta Juvant (Lat. Strength in Unity)
Location in Hamilton County and the state of Ohio.
Location in Hamilton County and the state of Ohio.
Coordinates: 39°6′N 84°31′W / 39.100°N 84.517°W / 39.100; -84.517Coordinates: 39°6′N 84°31′W / 39.100°N 84.517°W / 39.100; -84.517
CountryUnited States
Incorporated1802 (village)
-1819 (city)
 • TypeCouncil-manager government
 • MayorJohn Cranley (D)
 • City79.54 sq mi (206.01 km2)
 • Land77.94 sq mi (201.86 km2)
 • Water1.60 sq mi (4.14 km2)
Elevation482 ft (147 m)
Population (2010)[3]
 • City296,943 (65th in U.S.)
 • Estimate (2013[4])297,517
 • Density3,809.9/sq mi (1,471.0/km2)
 • Urban1,503,262
 • Metro2,114,580 (28th in U.S.)
 • DemonymCincinnatian
Time zoneEST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST)EDT (UTC-4)
Area code513
FIPS code39-15000[5]
GNIS feature ID1066650[6]
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This article is about the city in Ohio. For other uses, see Cincinnati (disambiguation).
City of Cincinnati
Downtown Cincinnati from the Northern Kentucky side of the Ohio River
Downtown Cincinnati from the Northern Kentucky side of the Ohio River
Flag of Cincinnati
Official seal of Cincinnati
Nickname(s): The Queen City, Cincy, The Tri-State, Porkopolis,[1] The 'Nati, The City of Seven Hills
Motto: Juncta Juvant (Lat. Strength in Unity)
Location in Hamilton County and the state of Ohio.
Location in Hamilton County and the state of Ohio.
Coordinates: 39°6′N 84°31′W / 39.100°N 84.517°W / 39.100; -84.517Coordinates: 39°6′N 84°31′W / 39.100°N 84.517°W / 39.100; -84.517
CountryUnited States
Incorporated1802 (village)
-1819 (city)
 • TypeCouncil-manager government
 • MayorJohn Cranley (D)
 • City79.54 sq mi (206.01 km2)
 • Land77.94 sq mi (201.86 km2)
 • Water1.60 sq mi (4.14 km2)
Elevation482 ft (147 m)
Population (2010)[3]
 • City296,943 (65th in U.S.)
 • Estimate (2013[4])297,517
 • Density3,809.9/sq mi (1,471.0/km2)
 • Urban1,503,262
 • Metro2,114,580 (28th in U.S.)
 • DemonymCincinnatian
Time zoneEST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST)EDT (UTC-4)
Area code513
FIPS code39-15000[5]
GNIS feature ID1066650[6]

Cincinnati (/sɪnsɨˈnæti/) is the third largest city in Ohio and the 28th largest city in the United States by metropolitan population and the county seat of Hamilton County.[7] Settled in 1788, the city is located on the border between Ohio and Kentucky at the confluence of the Ohio River and the Licking River. According to the 2010 census,[8] the population of the metropolitan area was 2,214,954 - the 28th largest Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) in the United States and the largest based in Ohio.[9] Residents of Cincinnati are called Cincinnatians.[10]

In the early 19th century, Cincinnati was an American boomtown in the heart of the country to rival the larger coastal cities in size and wealth. Because it is the first major American city founded after the American Revolution as well as the first major inland city in the country, Cincinnati is sometimes thought of as the first purely American city.[11] It developed initially without as much European immigration or influence that was taking place at the same time in eastern cities. However, by the end of the 19th century, with the shift from steamboats to railroads, Cincinnati's growth had slowed considerably and the city became surpassed in population by other inland cities, Chicago and St. Louis.

Cincinnati is home to two major sports teams, the Cincinnati Reds and the Cincinnati Bengals, an important tennis tournament, the Cincinnati Masters, and home to large events such as the Flying Pig Marathon, the Macy's Music Festival, and the WEBN Labor Day Fireworks/Riverfest. The University of Cincinnati traces its foundation to the Medical College of Ohio, which was founded in 1819.[12]

Cincinnati is known for its large collection of historic architecture. Over-the-Rhine, a neighborhood just to the north of Downtown Cincinnati, boasts among the world's largest collections of Italianate architecture, rivaling similar neighborhoods in New York City, Vienna and Munich in size and scope. In the late 1800s, Cincinnati was commonly referred to as 'Paris of America,' mainly due to significant architectural projects, like the Music Hall, the Cincinnatian Hotel, and the Shillito Department Store.[13] Constructed mainly between 1850 and 1900, Over-the-Rhine was the center of life for German immigrants for many years, and is one of the largest historic districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Main article: History of Cincinnati

Cincinnati was founded in late December 1788 when Mathias Denman, Colonel Robert Patterson and Israel Ludlow landed at the spot on the north bank of the Ohio River opposite the mouth of the Licking River. The original surveyor, John Filson (also the author of The Adventures of Colonel Daniel Boon [sic]), named it "Losantiville" from four terms, each of different language, before his death in October 1788 (he was replaced by Israel Ludlow).[14] It means "The town opposite the mouth of the Licking River"; "ville" is French for "city", "anti" is Greek for "opposite", "os" is Latin for "mouth" and "L" was all that was included of "Licking River".[15][16]

In 1790, Arthur St. Clair, the governor of the Northwest Territory, changed the name of the settlement to "Cincinnati" in honor of the Society of the Cincinnati, of which he was a member.[17] The Society honored General George Washington, who was considered a latter-day Cincinnatus, the Roman farmer who was called to serve Rome as dictator, an office which he resigned after completing his task of defeating the Aequians in no less than 16 days, and was considered the role model dictator. To this day, Cincinnati, in particular, and Ohio, in general, are homes to a statistically significant number of descendants of Revolutionary War soldiers who were granted lands in the state as payment for their war service.[citation needed]

Germans were among the first settlers. General David Ziegler succeeded General St. Clair in command at Fort Washington and became the mayor of Cincinnati in 1802.[18] Cincinnati was incorporated as a city in 1819. The introduction of steam navigation on the Ohio River in 1811 and the completion of the Miami and Erie Canal helped the city grow to 115,000 residents by 1850.[17]

Cincinnati in 1841 with the Miami and Erie Canal in the foreground

Construction on the Miami and Erie Canal began on July 21, 1825, when it was called the Miami Canal, related to its origin at the Great Miami River. The canal became operational in 1827.[19] In 1827, the canal connected Cincinnati to nearby Middletown; by 1840, it had reached Toledo. The name was changed to the Miami and Erie Canal, signifying the connection between the Great Miami River and Lake Erie.[citation needed]

During this period of rapid expansion, residents of Cincinnati began referring to the city as the "Queen" city. In his poem "Catawba Wine", Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote that the city was "the Queen of the West".

Cincinnati depended on trade with the slave states south of the Ohio River, at a time when growing numbers of African Americans were settling in the state. This led to tensions between anti-abolitionists and citizens in favor of lifting restrictions on blacks codified in the "Black Code" of 1804. There were riots in 1829, where many blacks lost their homes and property, further riots in 1836 in which an abolitionist press was twice destroyed, and more rioting in 1842.[20]

Railroads were the next major form of transportation to come to Cincinnati. In 1836, the Little Miami Railroad was chartered.[21] Construction began soon after, to connect Cincinnati with the Mad River and Lake Erie Railroad, and provide access to the ports of the Sandusky Bay on Lake Erie.[19]

The first sheriff, John Brown, was appointed September 2, 1788. The Ohio Act in 1802 provided for Cincinnati to have a village marshall and James Smith was appointed; the following year the town started a "night watch". In 1819, when Cincinnati was incorporated as a city, the first city marshal, William Ruffin, was appointed. In May 1828, the police force consisted of one captain, one assistant, and five patrolmen. By 1850, the city authorized positions for a police chief and six lieutenants, but it was 1853 before the first police chief, Jacob Keifer, was appointed and he was dismissed after 3 weeks.

Cincinnati accompanied its growth by paying men to act as its fire department in 1853, making the first full-time paid fire department in the United States. It was the first in the world to use steam fire engines.[22]

Six years later, in 1859, Cincinnati laid out six streetcar lines, using horse-drawn cars, making it easier for people to get around the city.[21] By 1872, Cincinnatians could travel on the streetcars within the city and transfer to rail cars for travel to the hill communities. The Cincinnati Inclined Plane Company began transporting people to the top of Mount Auburn that year.[19]

Cincinnati in 1862, a lithograph in Harper's Weekly

The Cincinnati Red Stockings, a baseball team whose name and heritage inspired today's Cincinnati Reds, began their career in the 19th century as well. In 1868, meetings were held at the law offices of Tilden, Sherman, and Moulton to make Cincinnati's baseball team a professional one; it became the first regular professional team in the country in 1869. In its first year, the team won 57 games and tied one, giving it the best winning record of any professional baseball team in history.[21]

During the American Civil War, Cincinnati played a key role as a major source of supplies and troops for the Union Army. It also served as the headquarters for much of the war for the Department of the Ohio, which was charged with the defense of the region, as well as directing the army's offensive into Kentucky and Tennessee. Due to Cincinnati's commerce with slave states and history of settlement by southerners from eastern states, many people in the area were "Southern sympathizers". Some participated in the Copperhead movement in Ohio.[23] In July 1863, the Union Army instituted martial law in Cincinnati due to the imminent danger posed by the Confederate Morgan's Raiders. Bringing the war to the North, they attacked several outlying villages, such as Cheviot and Montgomery.[24][25][26]

The Tyler Davidson Fountain, a symbol of the city, was dedicated in 1871.

In 1879, Procter & Gamble, one of Cincinnati's major soap manufacturers, began marketing Ivory Soap. It was marketed as "light enough to float." After a fire at the first factory, Procter & Gamble moved to a new factory on the Mill Creek and renewed soap production. The area became known as Ivorydale.[27]

In 1884, one of the most severe riots in American history took place in Cincinnati. On Christmas Eve 1883 Joe Palmer and William Berner robbed and murdered their employer, a stable owner named William Kirk. The duo dumped his body near Mill Creek before they were captured. One of the men, William Berner, was spared the gallows in sentencing after his conviction, but the case had provoked outrage and an angry mob formed. The Courthouse Riots began on March 28 when thousands of citizens stormed the county jail and set the Hamilton County Courthouse on fire while seeking Berner. A small group of Hamilton County deputies, led by Sheriff Morton Lytle Hawkins, fought to save the jail from a complete takeover. After losing ground, they succeeded in protecting the inmates from the mob. Two deputies were killed in the conflict, including Captain John Desmond, whose statue stands in the Courthouse lobby. In total, 45 men were killed and 125 injured in the rioting.[28] In 1889, the Cincinnati streetcar system began converting its horsecar lines to electric streetcars.[29]

Cincinnati weathered the Great Depression better than most American cities of its size, largely because of a resurgence in river trade, which was less expensive than rail. The rejuvenation of downtown began in the 1920s and continued into the next decade with the construction of Union Terminal, the post office, and a large Bell Telephone building.[citation needed] The flood of 1937 was one of the worst in the nation's history. Afterward the city built protective flood walls.

Women made 37mm antitank shells for the war in 1942 at Aluminum Industries, Inc. in Cincinnati.

After World War II, Cincinnati unveiled a master plan for urban renewal that resulted in modernization of the inner city. Like other older industrial cities, Cincinnati suffered from economic restructuring and loss of jobs following deindustrialization in the mid-century.[citation needed]

In 1970 and 1975, the city completed Riverfront Stadium and Riverfront Coliseum, respectively, as the Cincinnati Reds baseball team emerged as one of the dominant teams of the decade. In fact, the Big Red Machine of 1975 and 1976 is considered by many to be one of the best baseball teams to ever play the game. Three key players on the team (Johnny Bench, Tony Pérez, and Joe Morgan), as well as manager Sparky Anderson, were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, while a fourth, Pete Rose, still holds the title for the most hits (4,256), singles (3,215), games played (3,562), games played in which his team won (1,971), at-bats (14,053) and outs (10,328) in baseball history. On May 28, 1977 165 persons were killed in a fire at the Beverly Hills Supper Club in nearby Southgate, Kentucky. On December 3, 1979 11 persons were killed in a crowd crush at the entrance of Riverfront Coliseum for a rock concert by the British band The Who.

In 1988, the 200th anniversary of the city's founding, much attention was focused on the city's Year 2000 plan, which involved further revitalization.[citation needed] The completion of several major new development projects enhance the city as it enters the early years of the new millennium. Cincinnati's beloved Bengals and Reds teams both have new, state-of-the-art homes: Paul Brown Stadium, opened in 2000; and the Great American Ball Park, opened in 2003, respectively. Two new museums have opened: the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in 2003, and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in 2004. The Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati is a 100,000 sq. ft., two-story casino that opened on Monday, March 4, 2013.

The City of Cincinnati and Hamilton County are currently developing the Banks - an urban neighborhood along the city's riverfront including restaurants, clubs, offices, and homes with skyline views.


Cincinnati is in the bluegrass region of Ohio.

Cincinnati, a major city of the Ohio Valley, is situated on the north bank of the Ohio River in Hamilton County, which is the extreme southwestern county of the state of Ohio. It is midway by river between the cities of Pittsburgh and Cairo. The city lies opposite the mouth of the Licking River, which fact was apparently the determinant as to its original location.[30]

Cincinnati's core metro area spans parts of southern Ohio and northern Kentucky. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 79.54 square miles (206.01 km2), of which 77.94 square miles (201.86 km2) is land and 1.60 square miles (4.14 km2) is water.[2] The city spreads over a number of hills, bluffs, and low ridges overlooking the Ohio River in the Bluegrass region of the country.[31] Cincinnati is geographically located within the Midwest and is on the far northern periphery of the Upland South. Two-thirds of the American population live within a one-day drive of the city.[32][33][34]

This topography is often used for physical activity. The Steps of Cincinnati provide pedestrians a mode to traverse the many hills in the city. In addition to practical use linking hillside neighborhoods, the 400 stairways provide visitors scenic views of the Cincinnati area.[35]


Cincinnati Museum Center

Downtown Cincinnati is focused around Fountain Square, a public square and event location.

Cincinnati is home to numerous structures that are noteworthy due to their architectural characteristics or historic associations including the Carew Tower, the Scripps Center, the Ingalls Building, Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal, and the Isaac M. Wise Temple.[36]

The city is undergoing significant changes due to new development and private investment, as well as the construction of the long-stalled Banks project, which will include apartments, retail, restaurants, and offices and will stretch from Great American Ball Park to Paul Brown Stadium. Phase 1A is already complete and 100% occupied as of early 2013. Smale Riverfront Park is a development working alongside with The Banks and is Cincinnati's newest park. Nearly $3.5 billion has been invested in the urban core of Cincinnati (including Northern Kentucky). Much has been done by 3CDC. More investment is expected to take place.[citation needed]

Queen City Square opened on January 11, 2011, at 1:11 p.m. EST. The building is the tallest in Cincinnati (surpassing the Carew Tower), and is the third tallest in Ohio, reaching a height of 665 feet.[37] In 2013 the Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati opened, the first casino in the city and fourth in the state of Ohio.

Cincinnati from Mt. Echo park in Price Hill


Cincinnati belongs to a climatic transition zone, at the northern limit of the humid subtropical climate and the southern limit of the humid continental climate zone (Köppen: Cfa/Dfa, respectively).[38] Summers are hot and humid, with significant rainfall in each month and highs reaching 90 °F (32 °C) or above on 21 days per year, often with high dew points and humidity. July is the warmest month, with a daily average temperature of 75.9 °F (24.4 °C).[39] Winters tend to be cold and snowy, with January, the coldest month, averaging at 30.8 °F (−0.7 °C);[39] however, lows reach 0 °F (−18 °C) on an average 2.6 nights annually.[39] An average winter will see around 22.1 inches (56 cm) of snowfall, contributing to the annual 42.5 inches (1,080 mm) of precipitation, with rainfall peaking in spring.[40] Extremes range from −25 °F (−32 °C) on January 18, 1977 up to 108 °F (42 °C) on July 21 and 22, 1934.[41] Severe thunderstorms are common in the warmer months, and tornadoes, while infrequent, are not unknown, with such events striking the Greater Cincinnati area most recently in 1974, 1999, and 2012.


Historical population
Est. 2013297,5170.2%
Population 1810-1970.[43]
Population 1980-2000.[44][45]
Population 2010.[46] Population 2013.[47]

For several decades the Census Bureau had been reporting a steady decline in the city's population. But according to the Census Bureau's 2006 estimates, the population was 332,252, representing an increase from 331,310 in 2005.[48] Despite the fact that this change was due to an official challenge by the city however, Mayor Mark Mallory has repeatedly argued that the city's population is actually at 378,259 after a drill-down study was performed by an independent, non-profit group based in Washington, D.C.[49]

The Cincinnati-MiddletownWilmington Metropolitan Statistical Area has a population of 2,155,137 people, making it the 24th largest MSA in the country. It includes the Ohio counties of Hamilton, Butler, Warren, Clermont, and Brown, as well as the Kentucky counties of Boone, Bracken, Campbell, Gallatin, Grant, Kenton, and Pendleton, and the Indiana counties of Dearborn, Franklin, and Ohio.

Race relations[edit]

Because of its location on the Ohio River, Cincinnati was a border town between a state that allowed slavery, Kentucky, and one that did not, Ohio, before the Civil War. Some residents of Cincinnati played a major role in abolitionism. Many fugitive slaves used the Ohio River at Cincinnati to escape to the North. Cincinnati had numerous stations on the Underground Railroad, as well as slave catchers.

In 1829, a riot broke out as anti-abolitionists attacked blacks in the city. As a result, 1,200 blacks left the city and resettled in Canada.[50] The riot and its refugees were a topic of discussion throughout the nation, and at the first Negro Convention held in 1830 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Riots also occurred in 1836 and 1841.[50] In 1836, a mob of 700 anti-abolitionists again attacked black neighborhoods, as well as a press run by James M. Birney, publisher of the anti-slavery weekly The Philanthropist.[51] Tensions further increased after passage in 1850 of the Fugitive Slave Act.

Harriet Beecher Stowe lived in Cincinnati for a time, met escaped slaves, and used their stories as a basis for her watershed novel Uncle Tom's Cabin. Levi Coffin made the Cincinnati area the center of his anti-slavery efforts in 1847.[52] Today, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, located on the Cincinnati riverfront in the middle of "The Banks" area between Great American Ballpark and Paul Brown Stadium, commemorates this era.

Cincinnati has historically been predominantly white.[53] In 1940, the Census Bureau reported Cincinnati's population as 12.2% black and 87.8% white.[53]

In the second half of the 20th century, Cincinnati, along with other rust belt cities, underwent a vast demographic transformation. Predominantly white, working-class families that had filled the urban core during the European immigration boom in the 19th century moved to the suburbs. Blacks, fleeing the oppression of the Jim Crow South in hopes of better socioeconomic opportunity, filled these older city neighborhoods. Racial tensions boiled over in 1968 with the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. when riots occurred in Cincinnati along with nearly every major U.S. city. In April 2001, racially charged riots occurred after police shot and killed a black man, Timothy Thomas during a foot pursuit.[54]

2010 census[edit]

As of the census[3] of 2010, there were 296,943 people, 133,420 households, and 62,319 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,809.9 inhabitants per square mile (1,471.0 /km2). There were 161,095 housing units at an average density of 2,066.9 per square mile (798.0 /km2). The racial makeup of the city was 49.3% White, 44.8% African American, 0.3% Native American, 1.8% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.2% from other races, and 2.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.8% of the population.

There were 133,420 households of which 25.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 23.2% were married couples living together, 19.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.4% had a male householder with no wife present, and 53.3% were non-families. 43.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.12 and the average family size was 3.00.

The median age in the city was 32.5 years. 22.1% of residents were under the age of 18; 14.6% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 28.4% were from 25 to 44; 24.1% were from 45 to 64; and 10.8% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.0% male and 52.0% female.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 331,285 people, 148,095 households, and 72,566 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,249.0 people per square mile (1,640.5/km²). There were 166,012 housing units at an average density of 2,129.2 per square mile (822.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 52.97% White, 42.92% African American, 0.21% Native American, 1.55% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.63% from other races, and 1.68% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latinos of any race were 1.28% of the population. The top 4 largest ancestries include German (19.8%), Irish (10.4%), English (5.4%), Italian (3.5%).

There were 148,095 households out of which 25.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 26.6% were married couples living together, 18.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 51.0% were non-families. 42.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.15 and the average family size was 3.02.

In the city the population was spread out with 24.5% under 18, 12.9% from 18 to 24, 31.6% from 25 to 44, 18.7% from 45 to 64, and 12.3% who were 65 or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 89.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $29,493, and the median income for a family was $37,543. Males had a median income of $33,063 versus $26,946 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,962. About 18.2% of families and 21.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 32.0% of those under age 18 and 14.8% of those age 65 or over.


Procter & Gamble is one of many corporations based in Cincinnati.
Scripps Center in downtown Cincinnati.

Many major and diverse corporations have their head offices in Cincinnati, for example: Procter & Gamble, The Kroger Company, Macy's, Inc. (owner of Macy's and Bloomingdale's), Benziger Brothers, American Financial Group, First Group, Convergys, Omnicare, Great American Insurance Company, Fifth Third Bank, Vantiv, Western & Southern Financial Group, The E. W. Scripps Company, Cincom Systems, Cincinnati Bell, Dunnhumby USA, and Kao Corporation's United States division.

The Cincinnati area is also home to Ashland Inc. (neighboring city of Covington), General Cable Corporation (suburb of Highland Heights), GE Aviation (suburb of Evendale), United States Playing Card Company (suburb of Erlanger), Cintas (suburb of Mason), AK Steel Holding (suburb of West Chester), Cincinnati Financial (suburb of Fairfield), Columbia Sussex (suburb of Crestview Hills) and Sunny Delight Beverages Co. (suburb of Blue Ash). Toyota also has many operations in the Cincinnati area with U.S. headquarters of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America (suburb of Erlanger) and Toyota Boshoku America.

Altogether, nine Fortune 500 companies and fifteen Fortune 1000 companies have headquarters in the Cincinnati area. With nine Fortune 500 company headquarters in Cincinnati, the region ranks in the United States Top 10 markets for number of Fortune 500 headquarters per million residents, higher than New York, Boston, Chicago or Los Angeles.[55] In addition to Fortune 500 headquarters, 400 Fortune 500 companies have a presence in Cincinnati.[55] Cincinnati has three Fortune Global 500 companies; three of the five Global 500 companies in the state of Ohio.[56]

The largest employer in Cincinnati, Kroger, has 17,000 employees. The University of Cincinnati is the second largest, with 15,162 employees.[57]

Arts and culture[edit]

Main article: Culture in Cincinnati
Approximately 500,000 attend Taste of Cincinnati annually, making Taste one of the nation's largest street festivals.[58]

Cincinnati's culture is influenced by its history of German and Irish immigration and its geographical position on the border of the Southern United States and Midwestern United States. Cincinnati was a major destination for German immigrants. In 1830, residents of German roots made up 5 percent of the population, ten years later the number rose to 30 percent.[59] By 1900, over 60 percent of its population was of German background.[60]

Cincinnati's Jewish community was developed by immigrants from England and Germany who made the city a center of Reform Judaism.

Findlay Market, Ohio's oldest still-functioning market

Cincinnati is identified with several unique foods. "Cincinnati chili" is commonly served by several independent chains, including Skyline Chili, Gold Star Chili, Price Hill Chili, Empress Chili, Camp Washington Chili, and Dixie Chili and Deli. Cincinnati has been called the "Chili Capital of America" and "the World" because it has more chili restaurants per capita than any other city in the nation or world.[61][62] Goetta is a meat product popular in Cincinnati consisting of sausage and pinhead oatmeal, usually fried and eaten as a breakfast food. Cincinnati also has many gourmet restaurants. Until 2005, when the restaurant closed, The Maisonette carried the distinction of being Mobil Travel Guide's longest running five-star restaurant in the country for 41 consecutive years. Jean-Robert de Cavel has opened four new restaurants in the area since 2001, including Jean-Robert's at Pigall's which closed in March 2009. Cincinnati's German heritage is evidenced by the many restaurants that specialize in schnitzels and Bavarian cooking. Another element of German culture remains audible in the local vernacular; some residents use the word please when asking a speaker to repeat a statement. This usage is taken from the German word for please, bitte (a shortening of the formal, "Wie bitte?" or "How please?" rendered word for word from German into English), which is used in this sense.[63]

Findlay Market is Ohio's oldest continuously operated public market and one of Cincinnati's most famous institutions. The market is the last remaining market among the many that once served Cincinnati.

In August 2008, Forbes magazine ranked Cincinnati as tenth in a list of "America's Hard-Drinking Cities."[64]


Theatre has existed professionally in Cincinnati since at least as early as the 1800s and is as vibrant as ever in the city itself and its surrounding suburbs. A few of the professional companies based in Cincinnati include Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, the Know Theatre of Cincinnati, Stage First Cincinnati, Cincinnati Public Theatre, Cincinnati Opera, The Performance Gallery and Clear Stage Cincinnati. The city is also home to Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park which hosts many regional premiers and the Aronoff Center which plays host to many traveling Broadway shows each year via Broadway Across America. The city also is home to numerous community theatres such as the Cincinnati Young People's Theatre, the Showboat Majestic (which is the last surviving showboat in the United States and possibly the world), and the Mariemont Players along with other community theatres.


Cincinnati is home to numerous festivals and events throughout the year, including:

The city plays host to numerous musical and theater operations, operates a park system currently ranked 4th in the country boasting that any city resident is within 1 mile (1.6 km) of a park, and has a diverse dining culture. Cincinnati's Fountain Square serves as one of the cultural cornerstones of the region. The city was the United States' first hoster of the World Choir Games in 2012. The city is home to several large performing arts venues, including the Cincinnati Music Hall and Aronoff Center for the Performing Arts (which features Procter & Gamble Hall, Jarson-Kaplan Theatre and Fifth-Third Bank Theatre).


Cincinnati has received accolades for its quality of life:


Main article: Sports in Cincinnati

Cincinnati has seven major sports venues, two major league teams, six minor league teams, and five college institutions with their own sports teams. It is home to baseball's Reds, who were named for America's first professional baseball team, the Cincinnati Red Stockings;[80][81][82] the Bengals of the National Football League; and the historic international men's and women's tennis tournament, The A.T.P. Masters Series Cincinnati Masters. The most notable minor league team is the Cincinnati Cyclones, a AA level professional hockey team. The team is a member of the ECHL. Founded in 1990, the team first played their games in the Cincinnati Gardens and now play at U.S. Bank Arena. They are the reigning ECHL Kelly Cup Champions, having won the 2010 Kelly Cup Finals in five games over the Idaho Steelheads, and currently enjoy their 2nd championship reign in three seasons. It is also home to three professional soccer teams, two outdoor teams, the Cincinnati Kings (men's) and Cincinnati LadyHawks (women's), and one indoor team, the Cincinnati Excite (men's). On Opening Day, Cincinnati has the distinction of holding the "traditional opener" in baseball each year, due to its baseball history. Many children in Cincinnati skip school on Opening Day, which is commonly thought of as a city holiday.[83]

Fans often refer to the city and its teams as "Cincy" for short. Even the Reds' official website uses that name frequently.[84]

Cincinnati BengalsFootball1968National Football League, AFCPaul Brown Stadium
Cincinnati RedsBaseball1882MLB, National LeagueGreat American Ball Park
Cincinnati CyclonesIce hockey1990ECHLU.S. Bank Arena
Florence FreedomBaseball1994Frontier LeagueChampion Window Field
Cincinnati RollergirlsRoller derby2005Women's Flat Track Derby AssociationCincinnati Gardens
Cincinnati KingsSoccer2005USL Premier Development LeagueTown and Country Sports Club
Cincinnati Kings Indoor TeamIndoor Soccer2008Professional Arena Soccer LeagueCincinnati Gardens
Cincinnati CommandosIndoor Football2010Ultimate Indoor Football LeagueCincinnati Gardens
Cincinnati RevolutionUltimate Frisbee2011American Ultimate Disc League, Midwest ConferenceSheakley Athletic Center
Cincinnati SaintsSoccer2013Professional Arena Soccer LeagueTri-County Soccerplex


City of Cincinnati

The city is governed by a nine-member city council, whose members are elected at large. Prior to 1924, city council was elected through a system of wards. The ward system was subject to corruption and as with any one-party dominance, abuses arose. From the 1880s to the 1920s, the Republican Party dominated city politics, with the political machine of "Boss" Cox exerting control.

A reform movement arose in 1923, led by another Republican, Murray Seasongood. Seasongood founded the Charter Committee, which used ballot initiatives in 1924 to replace the ward system with the current at-large system. They also gained approval by voters for a city manager form of government. From 1924 to 1957, the council was selected by proportional representation. Beginning in 1957, all candidates ran in a single race and the top nine vote-getters were elected (the "9-X system"). The mayor was selected by the council. In 1977, thirty-three-year-old Jerry Springer, later a notable television talk show host, was chosen to serve one year as mayor.[85]

Residents continued to work to improve their system. To have their votes count more, starting in 1987, the top vote-getter in the city council election was automatically selected as mayor. Starting in 1999, the mayor was elected separately in a general election for the first time. The city manager's role in government was reduced. These reforms were referred to as the "strong mayor" reforms, to make the city government accountable to voters. Cincinnati politics include the participation of the Charter Party, the party with the third-longest history of winning in local elections.

The current mayor of Cincinnati is John Cranley. The nine-member city council is composed of Vice-Mayor David Mann and Councilmembers Yvette Simpson (President Pro-Tem), Kevin Flynn, Amy Murray, Chris Seelbach, P.G. Sittenfeld, Christopher Smitherman, Charlie Winburn, Wendell Young [86]

Fire department[edit]

Cincinnati Fire & EMS Department (CFD)
Operational Area
CountryUnited States
State Ohio
Agency Overview
Fire chiefRichard A. Braun[87]
Facilities & Equipment
Stations26 (13 ALS, 13 BLS)
Rescues4 BLS
Ambulances6 ALS
Airport crash1

The city of Cincinnati is protected by the paid, professional firefighters of the city of Cincinnati Fire & EMS Department(CFD). Organized in 1853, the Cincinnati Fire & EMS Department is the oldest paid, professional fire department in the United States.[88] The Cincinnati Fire & EMS Department currently operates out of 26 Fire Stations, located throughout the city in 4 Districts, each commanded by a District Chief.[89][90][91]


The Cincinnati Fire & EMS Department is organized into 4 Bureaus of Operation: Operations,[90] Personnel and Training,[92] Administrative Services,[93] and Fire Prevention.[94] Each Bureau is commanded by an Assistant Chief, who in turn reports to the Chief of Department.

Fire Station Locations and Apparatus[edit]

Below is a complete listing of all fire station and apparatus locations in the city of Cincinnati according to District.[95][96][97][98][99]

Engine CompanyLadder CompanySpecial UnitChiefDistrictAddress
Engine 2Ladder 2Rescue 2(EMS Supervisor)418 E. Seymour
Engine 3Ladder 3Ambulance 3(ALS)District 11386 E. 9th St.
Engine 518 McMicken Ave.
Engine 742078 Sutton Rd.
Engine 845901 Montgomery Rd.
Engine 9Squad 9, Ambulance 9(ALS)34400 Reading Rd.
Engine 12Ambulance 12(ALS)33001 Spring Grove
Engine 14Squad 14, Rescue 14(BLS), Engine 14B(E.O.D. Unit/Bomb Squad), Bomb Squad Support Unit, Mask Service UnitDeputy Chief1430 Central
Engine 17Ladder 17Ambulance 17(ALS), Foam 17District 222101 W. 8th St.
Engine 18Ladder 18Crash Rescue 18, Crash Rescue 19, Foam 18, Fuel Unit4478 Wilmer Ave.
Engine 19Ladder 19Ambulance 19(ALS)12846 Vine St.
Engine 20Ladder 20District 331668 Blue Rock St.
Engine 21Ladder 2122131 State Ave.
Engine 23Ladder 23Ambulance 23(ALS)11623 Madison Rd.
Engine 24Ladder 24Rescue 24(BLS)24526 Glenway Ave.
Engine 29Ladder 292592 W. Liberty St.
Engine 31Ladder 31District 444401 Marburg Ave.
Engine 32Ladder 32ALS 32, Foam 323644 Forest Ave.
Engine 341301 Ludlow Ave.
Engine 3532487 Harrison Ave.
Engine 372310 Lilienthals St.
Engine 38Rescue 38(BLS)3730 Circle Ave.
Engine 46Rescue 46(BLS)42731 Erie Ave.
Engine 4945917 Prentice St.
Engine 5026558 Parkland Ave.
Engine 5135801 Hamilton Ave.


Main article: Crime in Cincinnati
Crime increased after the 2001 riots, but has been decreasing since.

The largest law enforcement agency in the region is the Cincinnati Police Department, with more than 1,000 sworn officers. The Hamilton County Sheriff operates the Hamilton County Justice Center, the county jail.

Before the riot of 2001, Cincinnati's overall crime rate was dropping steadily and had reached its lowest point since 1992.[100] After the riot, violent crime increased, and in 2005 Cincinnati was ranked as the 20th most dangerous city in America.[101] The police force "work slowdown" correlated with this increase. For the first four months of 2007, incidents of violent crime were 15.3 percent lower than they had been in the first four months of 2006. Children's Hospital saw a 78 percent decrease in gunshot wounds, and University Hospital had a 17 percent drop.[102] In May and June 2006, together with the Hamilton County Sheriff, the Cincinnati Police Department created a task force of twenty deputies in Over-the-Rhine that helped reduce crime in downtown Cincinnati by 29% .[citation needed] This substantial decrease had still not reduced crime to levels before the 2001 riots.

The city attempted to reduce gun violence by using the Out of the Crossfire program at University Hospital, a rehabilitation program for patients with gunshot wounds.[103] Former Mayor Mark Mallory is a member of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition,[104] a bi-partisan group with a stated goal of "making the public safer by getting illegal guns off the streets." 2007 saw 68 homicides, nearly a 25% drop from 2006; however, this was still higher than homicide figures in the year 2000.[105] By May 2008, violent crime was down by 12% compared to the same period in 2007; however, by year end, homicides increased 10% from the 2007.[106] As of December 12, 2009 there had been 60 homicides in the city of Cincinnati.[107] In 2009, the CQ Press ranked Cincinnati the 19th most dangerous city in the United States.[108]

In 2010, there were 72 reported homicides.[109] This decreased to 66 reported homicides the next year,[110] and then to 53 in 2012. In 2013, homicide rate saw 41% increase from 2012 with 75.[111]


University of Cincinnati's McMicken Hall

The Cincinnati Public School (CPS) district includes 16 high schools accepting students on a city-wide basis. The district includes public Montessori schools, including the first public Montessori high school established in the United States, Clark Montessori.[112] Cincinnati Public Schools' top rated school is Walnut Hills High School, ranked 34th on Newsweek's list of best public schools. Walnut Hills offers 28 Advanced Placement courses, highly ranked athletic teams, a wind ensemble that has performed in Carnegie Hall, and its marching band has performed in the London New Year's Day Parade. Cincinnati is also home to the first Kindergarten - 12th Grade Arts School in the country, The School for Creative and Performing Arts.

 Four story brick and steel building before blue sky and clouds with trees and grass in foreground
The School for Creative and Performing Arts.

The Cincinnati area has one of the highest private school attendance rates in the United States; Hamilton County ranks second only to St. Louis County, Missouri among the country's 100 largest counties.[113][114]

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati accounts for numerous high schools in metro Cincinnati; ten of which are single-sex: four all-male,[115] and six all-female.[116] Cincinnati is also home to the all-girl RITSS (Regional Institute for Torah and Secular Studies) high school, a small Orthodox Jewish institution and the Hebrew Union College- Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) founded by Isaac Mayer Wise.[117]

Northern Kentucky University's Dorothy Westerman Hermann Natural Science Center

Cincinnati is home to the University of Cincinnati and Xavier University. The University of Cincinnati, often referred to as "UC", is one of the United States' major graduate research institutions in engineering, music, architecture, classical archaeology, and psychology. The University of Cincinnati Medical Center is highly regarded, as well as the College Conservatory of Music, which has many notable alumni, including Kathleen Battle, Al Hirt and Faith Prince. Xavier, a Jesuit university, was at one time affiliated with The Athenaeum of Ohio, the seminary of the Cincinnati Archdiocese.

The Greater Cincinnati area has Miami University (one of the original "Public Ivies"), and Northern Kentucky University campus in Highland Heights, Kentucky, 8 miles (13 km) SSE of downtown. NKU is connected with downtown Cincinnati via the radiating-spoke interstate system: Daniel Carter Beard Bridge and I-471 which puts this newest public university of Commonwealth of Kentucky within convenient reach of the Cincinnati city population. Antonelli College, a career training school, is based in Cincinnati with several satellite campuses in Ohio and Mississippi. Cincinnati State is a community college which includes the Midwest Culinary School. Also located in Cincinnati are Cincinnati Christian University, and Chatfield College, a Catholic two-year college, located in Downtown.

In 2009, Cincinnati was listed fourth on CNN's Top 10 cities for new grads.[118]

The city also has an extensive library system, both public and university. The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County is the third largest public library nationally.[119]

Media and music[edit]

Main article: Media in Cincinnati
Cincinnati's Tall Stacks Festival

Cincinnati is served by The Cincinnati Enquirer, a daily newspaper. The city is home to several alternative, weekly, and monthly publications, as well as twelve television stations and many radio stations. Free weekly print magazine publications include CityBeat[120] and Metromix, which have a local events and entertainment focus.

A Rage in Harlem was filmed entirely in the Cincinnati neighborhood of Over the Rhine because of its similarity to 1950s Harlem. Movies that were filmed in part in Cincinnati include The Best Years of Our Lives (aerial footage early in the film), Ides of March, Fresh Horses, The Asphalt Jungle (the opening is shot from the Public Landing and takes place in Cincinnati although only Boone County, Kentucky is mentioned), Rain Man, Airborne, Grimm Reality, Little Man Tate, City of Hope, An Innocent Man, Tango & Cash, A Mom for Christmas, Lost in Yonkers, Summer Catch, Artworks, Dreamer, Elizabethtown, Jimmy and Judy, Eight Men Out, Milk Money,Traffic, The Pride of Jesse Hallam, The Great Buck Howard, In Too Deep, Seven Below Public Eye, The Last Late Night,[121] and The Mighty.[122] In addition, Wild Hogs is set, though not filmed, in Cincinnati.[123]

The Cincinnati skyline was prominently featured in the opening and closing sequences of the daytime drama The Edge of Night from its start in 1956 until 1980, when it was replaced by the Los Angeles skyline; the cityscape was the stand-in for the show's setting, Monticello. Procter & Gamble, the show's producer, is based in Cincinnati. The sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati and its sequel/spin-off The New WKRP in Cincinnati featured the city's skyline and other exterior shots in its credits, although was not filmed in Cincinnati. The city's skyline has also appeared in an April Fool's episode of The Drew Carey Show, which was set in Carey's hometown of Cleveland. 3 Doors Down's music video "It's Not My Time" was filmed in Cincinnati, and features the skyline and Fountain Square. Also, Harry's Law, the NBC legal dramedy created by David E. Kelley and starring Kathy Bates, was set in Cincinnati.[124]

Cincinnati has given rise to popular musicians and singers Doris Day, Dinah Shore, Fats Waller, Rosemary Clooney, Bootsy Collins, The Isley Brothers, Merle Travis, Hank Ballard, Otis Williams, Mood, Midnight Star, The Afghan Whigs, Over the Rhine, Blessid Union of Souls, Freddie Meyer, 98 Degrees, The Greenhornes, The Deele, Enduser, Heartless Bastards, The Dopamines, Adrian Belew, The National, Foxy Shazam, Why?, and Walk the Moon, and alternative hip hop producer Hi-Tek calls the Greater Cincinnati region home. Andy Biersack, the lead vocalist for the rock band Black Veil Brides, was born in Cincinnati.

WCET channel 48, now known as CET, is the nation's oldest licensed public television station (License #1, issued in 1951).[125]

The Cincinnati May Festival Chorus is an amateur choir that has been in existence since 1880. Music Director James Conlon and Chorus Director Robert Porco lead the Chorus through an extensive repertoire of classical music. The May Festival Chorus is the mainstay of the oldest continuous choral festival in the Western Hemisphere. Cincinnati's Music Hall was built specifically to house the May Festival. The city is home to the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Opera, Cincinnati Boychoir and Cincinnati Ballet. The Greater Cincinnati area is also home to several regional orchestras and youth orchestras, including the Starling Chamber Orchestra and the Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra.

The Hollows series of books by Kim Harrison is an urban fantasy that takes place in Cincinnati. American Girl's Kit Kittredge sub-series also took place in the city, although the film based on it was shot in Toronto.

Cincinnati also has its own chapter (or "Tent") of The Sons of the Desert (The Laurel and Hardy Appreciation Society), which meets several times per year.[126]

A previous mayor of Cincinnati, Mark Mallory, was featured on CBS's Undercover Boss.

The Cincinnati Police Department was featured on TLC's Police Women of Cincinnati and on A&E's reality show The First 48.


Public transit[edit]

Greater Cincinnati transit map

Cincinnati is served by the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA), the Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky (TANK) and the Clermont Transportation Connection. SORTA and TANK primarily operate 40 foot diesel buses, though some lines are served by longer articulated or hybrid engine buses.

Cincinnati is served by Amtrak's Cardinal line which makes three weekly trips in each direction between Chicago and New York City through Cincinnati Union Terminal.

Cincinnati is also currently constructing a streetcar line in Downtown and Over-the-Rhine. The Cincinnati Streetcar is a modern streetcar system designed to link major employment centers in Downtown and Uptown, connecting through Cincinnati's historic Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. It will operate 18 hours a day, 365 days a year.[127][128]

With a recommendation from the Cincinnati Bike Share Feasability Study completed in September 2012, Cincinnati is currently installing Phase 1 of the Red Bike system in the downtown, OTR and Uptown neighborhoods estimated to open to the public in September 2014. Phase 2 of the project is planned for Northern Kentucky sometime in 2015.[129]


The Daniel Carter Beard Bridge is more commonly called the "Big Mac" bridge because of its resemblance to McDonald's iconic arches.

The city has a river ferry and many bridges, particularly between Downtown and Northern Kentucky, including John Roebling's Roebling Suspension Bridge, which was the model for the Brooklyn Bridge, also designed by Roebling, the Brent Spence Bridge for I-71 and I-75, the "Big Mac" bridge (pictured right), and the pedestrian-only Purple People Bridge.

The Anderson Ferry has been in continuous operation since 1817.[130]


The city is served by Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (IATA: CVG) 13 miles southwest and across the river in Hebron, Kentucky. The airport was the longtime major hub for Delta Airlines from the 1980s until the mid-2000s.

Other area airports include Lunken Airport, a municipal airfield used for smaller business jets and private planes; the Butler County Regional Airport, located between Fairfield and Hamilton, and a smaller airport located in Harrison, Ohio.


Expressways of Greater Cincinnati

The city has an outer-belt, Interstate 275 (which is the longest circle highway in the country), and a spur, Interstate 471, to Kentucky. It is also served by Interstate 71, Interstate 74, Interstate 75 and numerous U.S. highways: US 22, US 25, US 27, US 42, US 50, US 52, and US 127.

Notable people[edit]

Sister cities[edit]

Cincinnati has nine[131] sister cities.[132]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Official records for Cincinnati kept at downtown from January 1871 to March 1915, at the Cincinnati Abbe Observatory just north of downtown from April 1915 to March 1947, and at KCVG near Hebron, Kentucky since April 1947. For more information, see Threadex and History of Weather Observations Cincinnati, Ohio 1789–1947


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Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]