Sites of Black History

About the Project

This project seeks to increase awareness and preservation of sites and structures that tell the story of the Black experience in Cincinnati.  

The historic preservation movement has made substantial progress in preserving and commemorating the places that reflect the history of white America.  Less focus has been placed on the sites associated with the history of African American communities.  

Only 2% of the 95,000 entries on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) focus on the experience of Black Americans. Cincinnati has a similar deficit.  While there is increasing recognition of places such as Greystone Ballroom at Music Hall, the Manse Hotel in Walnut Hills, and King Records studios in Evanston, these important sites are only a small part of a much, much larger untold history.  

How to Get Involved

Want to help CPA Identify Black Historic Sites? Please answer the questions in this Google Form to start!

To ensure we are seeking input from those most impacted, please help us connect with communities of color by emailing our Black Sites Researcher, Deqah Wetzel at Deqah@cincinnatipreservation.org

Examples of Significant Themes in Black History

The Green Book

The historical significance of Green Book sites is unparalleled and provides us with a meaningful glimpse of what autonomy meant to Black families during Jim Crow segregation. The Green Book was first published in 1936 by New York City mailman Victor Hugo Green and ran until the mid 1960s. Full CPA article coming soon…

Former Edgemont Inn also known as Harriet Beecher Stowe House in Walnut Hills

Education

Eckstein School 

This former segregated school possesses significant historical information that can teach us a lot about how African American students received education during Jim Crow segregation. In September 2021, CPA purchased this building in order to save it from demolition. 

Eckstein School - Provided by Robert Fleischel
Children work on diorama at Eckstein School

Churches

St. Mark Church

Although Evanston was not a majority African American community when St. Mark was constructed in 1916, over time, the neighborhood’s social, physical, and economic landscape transformed. By the mid-20th century, urban renewal practices in the city led Evanston and surrounding neighborhoods to become predominantly Black. In turn, St. Mark’s Black parish grew. As a result, St. Mark is now as much a cultural resource as it is religious.  

 

Although Evanston was not a majority African American community when St. Mark was constructed in 1916, over time, the neighborhood’s social, physical, and economic landscape transformed. By the mid-20th century, urban renewal practices in the city led Evanston and surrounding neighborhoods to become predominantly Black. In turn, St. Mark’s Black parish grew. As a result, St. Mark is now as much a cultural resource as it is religious.  

 
St. Marks - An Evanston Landmark

Want to learn more about Black Historic Sites in Cincinnati, look no further:

CPA’s Black History Speaker Series

CPA Articles on Local Black History

    • Owl’s Nest Park Pavilion in Evanston – A park property. A community staple. However you describe it, this impressive pavilion may not have been designed by a Black architect, but it is located in a community of color and deserves to be preserved. Click the link for more information on this property.
    • Dr. Lucy Orintha Oxley: Family Medicine Trailblazer – This incredibly resilient African American female doctor overcame unfathomable odds to become a medical practitioner in Cincinnati. Read the article to learn more.