OF THE 1800'S
WAS JUST THAT, A TOWN ON THE HILL TOPS.
Before the 1850's Clifton had been the province of several grand garden estates with views to the valued farmlands in the river & creek valleys below. Much of Clifton's park-like nature has been preserved to this day. Around the vaguely demarcated Clifton boundaries you will find Burnet Woods (89.4 acres), Mount Storm Park (57 acres), Edgewood Grove (25 acres), The Cincinnati Zoo, The University of Cincinnati, The Hebrew Union College, and Cincinnati State. Within Clifton's center you will find Rawson Woods & Bird Preserve (11 acres), several remaining Castle Estates, and Clifton's own Elementary School.
Clifton's "Village Square" is situated along Ludlow Avenue in the southern section of Clifton. Here you will encounter the widest variety of artist, street musician, pseudo-intellectuals, professors, doctors, bohemians, students, yeppies, hippies, punks, entrepreneurs, tourist, of all ages/nationalities/races. No matter who (or what) you are, you could never appear out of place in Clifton. If variety is the spice of life, then Clifton is a gourmet's spice cabinet. Clifton has an active community group, The Clifton Town Meeting (CTM), which recently has help successfully lead the community to the completion of a new public fountain plaza on Ludlow Avenue.
Clifton was officially incorporated in 1850, before Burnet Woods had been established as a Park (1872), and before The University of Cincinnati had fully moved into the Burnet Woods location that it now occupies (1895). In 1896 the Village of Clifton was annexed by the City of Cincinnati. Clifton still retains it's name and its village character. Much of what makes Cincinnati unique is the fact that many villages such as Clifton have been annexed into the larger city, making Cincinnati more a collection of small communities, rather than an overbearing metropolis.
Within a 15 minuet walk from the center of Clifton you can encounter, The University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati State, The Hebrew Union College, The Cincinnati Zoo, 6 hospitals, 3 large parks, uncounted churches, and commanding hillside views of the City of Cincinnati. Along Ludlow there are two of Cincinnati's originals: Skyline Chili (open extremely late), and Graeters Ice Cream shop. Also along Ludlow, there are many Mom & Pop shops, The Esquire (a little art theater), the local grocery, 3 excellent Indian restaurants, 1 outstanding Thai restaurant, 3 great Mexican restaurants, many import shops, a Mediterranean and an Asian grocery, a coffee shop, a pharmacy, a florist, a yogurt shop, a Subway, a 24 Hr convenience store, a Hamilton County Branch Library, etc. etc. etc. While you will see the likes of Bentleys, Jags, BMWs, Rusted-out Metros, VW Bugs, Miatas, Escorts, Cavaliers, Pick-ups, (and so on), you really don't need a car to live in Clifton. Though you will find your bike enthusiast (ie. nuts . . . of which I am one . . . oh ya, there are also two bike shops), you don't even need a bike to be within reach of everything in Clifton. All you really need for transportation in Clifton is one pair of well worn-in, comfortable shoes.
If you do have a car, Clifton is situated between Interstate-71, Interstate-75 and the Norwood Lateral, near the beginning of Interstate-74. What does this all mean . . . EASY ACCESS to everything from the center of Cincinnati. Downtown and the River are only a 10 minuet drive (or Bus trip). While some of Cincinnati's neighborhoods are isolated to their own corner of town, Clifton is centered at the intersection of all corners of the Queen City.
In 1875, Clifton became one of America's earliest locations to install the warm gentle glow of Gaslight Street Lamps (and home interior gaslights as well), and the majority of Clifton is still known as The Gaslight District of Cincinnati.