I went on a tour of historic mansions in North Avondale in Cincinnati over the weekend, and I thought you’d like to see some of them.
Avondale was one of the earliest, and toniest, suburbs of Cincinnati. In 1886 Willard Glazier wrote about it in his book Peculiarities of American Cities, calling it a beautiful enclave where “the homes of Cincinnati’s merchant princes and millionaires are found…in elegant cottages, tasteful villas and substantial mansions.”
Avondale itself was modeled on an English town concept with large lots, winding streets, sidewalks, underground utilities, and gaslights that still flicker.
The leading local architects of the Victorian era were hired to design fashionable homes for many wealthy German-Jewish families, who had been excluded from Cincinnati’s social circles and moved to Avondale to establish their own community there.
Racial unrest in Cincinnati in the 1960s caused many residents to leave the suburb.
Some of these mansions sat empty for years or were turned into apartment buildings. But there have since been successful efforts with the North Avondale Neighborhood Association to promote better community relations within this racially integrated community and to restore the homes to their former glory.
The Cincinnati Preservation Association organized the home tour in the Rose Hill area of North Avondale. It was 70 degrees and sunny on Saturday, which was perfect weather for strolling up and down the streets of this lovely neighborhood, taking pictures as we went.
What was really fun about this neighborhood is how different each home is from its neighbors (unlike new suburbs, where all the houses look essentially the same with minor changes). The ones in the Rose Hill neighborhood each had their own distinct personality.
I’ll share more fabulous houses from our tour in the next post, including the mansions we actually walked through. Do you have a favorite of the ones I’ve shown you so far? I really like this one because it reminds me of the Father of the Bride house:
P.S. You can see more houses from our walking tour of North Avondale here.
I love this area of town. I didn’t know they were having a home tour, or I would have done it! Instead I took the kids to the zoo. Lucky for them 🙂 I would take the cottage with the garden or either of the first 2 white house. I couldn’t decide between the one with the front porch, or the one with the side sun room. Decisions, decisions 😉
I LOVE the white house with the gas light hat rack in front! It just screams Happy family home.
i find myself drawn to the house in the 5th photo down. I’d love to know more about that one!
I like houses #5 and #10 quite a bit. I’m so glad you spent mother’s day doing something that you (and we) enjoy.
Wow…so great…also love the 5th photo!
Kathy Koops says
Great blogging…but did you really take those pictures yesterday in the midst of the rain?
The white house is my favorite!
Hi, Kathy! Maybe I wasn’t clear about that. It was my Mother’s Day gift from my husband (tix to the home tour), but the actual tour was Saturday, not Sunday–thank goodness! Sunday would’ve been a washout, but Saturday was gorgeous. -Julia 🙂
The Fun Times Guide To Homebuilding says
Thanks for sharing. Great stuff!
Love the house with the gaslight in front. If you’re ever in Columbus, you would love driving through Bexley. Love your blog!
I was so sorry to miss this tour … darn kids and soccer games! I love this area too. Thanks for the pictures. What a great hubby to give you the gift of a house tour!
There is no way I could pick just one. I love interesting historical architecture. The top ones on my list would be 4, 5 & 10. This looks like a really fun day!
melissa lewis - off the wall says
Oh these house are divine. I agree, I love when I pull into an established neighborhood where all the homes have their own look and personality. There are so many being developed now where they all look the same. I’m a stickler for “out of the box.”
ps- I am adding you to my blogroll now!
Oooohh those are so awesome
These are some beautiful homes. I find it very relaxing to tour homes. It’s fun to dream up the people that live in the homes and think about their lifestyles!
courtney @ nesting instincts says
I could walk all day in a neighborhood like that – I don’t even like to exercise! 🙂 beautiful.
Sybil Law says
I grew up in North Avondale!
Do you ever go on Observatory or Hershel- by Ault Park? That entire street blows my mind. Character!
I love all your pictures. gazing upon homes and gardens are one of my most favourite things to do. Especially old homes, castles, and all their magnificent garden glory.
thanks for the very awesome pictures. certainly a very beautiful place.
Lisa in Australia says
If I was given 1 of these houses for free, BUT had to choose which one… I think it would take me weeks to decide as I LOVE so many of them. Very beautiful. Lovely pictures too.
All the houses you show are just devine, I look forward to my Sundays on the sofa with my mug of coffee going through all the gorgeous pictures you show, they all have so much character, its nice to see homes with so many different stlyes, thanks for sharing. I just want them all!!
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