MTM Cincinnati: Mt. Adams

On a hill overlooking downtown Cincinnati sits one of the city’s most popular neighborhoods:  Mt. Adams.

Why is it so popular? For starters, check out the view.


Mt. Adams is one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods.  Originally named “Mt. Ida,” it was renamed in honor of John Quincy Adams after he paid a visit to Cincinnati in 1843.  While a popular destination for party goers and creative types looking for a unique neighborhood, it was considered a wasteland in the city’s early days.  Nicholas Longworth, a name long associated with Ohio politics like the Tafts, owned the land and originally donated it to the local astronomical society.  The Cincinnati Observatory actually is located in Ault Park, atop another local “Mount,” this one Mt. Lookout.

Dominating the the hill is the original observatory, which became Holy Cross Monastery.  The Monastery closed in 1977, but is a beloved local landmark.  Downtown office workers often use it as a halfway mark for lunchtime runs when looking for hill work.  Every Good Friday, many faithful walk the steps from the base of the hill to the monastery, doing the Stations of the Cross along the way.

These days, residents live in refurbished row houses reminiscent of some San Francisco neighborhoods.  In the blocks surrounding the Monastery is an entertainment district that includes Tavern on the Hill, Longworth Hall, a wine shop, and a Thai place.  The only chain present on Mt. Adams is local convenience store and ice cream parlor United Dairy Farmers.

Surrounding Mt. Adams are four more great reasons to visit the neighborhood:  Krohn Conservatory, Playhouse in the Park, the Cincinnati Art Museum, and Edan Park, one of the most beautiful parks in Cincinnati.

More at the My Town Monday blog.


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