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Cincinnati Museum Center

Shaping Our City:
1920 to Today

Venture through time to explore the Cincinnati region from 1920 to the present day. From trains and cars to hyperloops and rideshare systems, Cincinnati’s transportation story is still being written. Explore historic vehicles and objects, maps, photographs, media and interactive elements to see how Cincinnati’s urban design has both connected and divided the city and its people, and peek into the future at what the next transportation breakthrough may be.

ADVENTURE ROADMAP

Shape the City

1920 to 1950

Click each box to reveal the topics you will explore in this virtual field trip.

1950 to 1980

Now and Next

MEET THE EXPERTS

Meet the experts from Cincinnati Museum Center and partnering learning institutions that will be guiding your virtual adventure!

Citizen of the Muscogee Nation
Greater Cincinnati Native American Coalition

April Hester

Executive Director, Greater Cincinnati Native American Coalition

Jheri Neri

Education & Outreach Manager, Red Bike Go Program

Elese Daniel

President, Hyperloop UC

Jake Gerbracht

Vice President, Hyperloop UC

Jacqueline Barney

Supervising Transportation Planner

Reggie Victor

Director, Tri-State Trails

Wade Johnston

Manager, Transportation Initiatives, Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber 

Pete Metz

Cincinnati Museum Center

Archivists and Researchers

Cincinnati Museum Center

Learning Team & Youth Program Volunteers

Cincinnati Community

Edna Lindsey, Lana Mitchell, Emily Spicer, Hannah Thomas

WCPO Television Journalist

Hasker Nelson, Jr.

Scholar and Professor

Dr. Vibert White

SHAPING THE CITY


Use the interactive video below to explore how the region has changed over time.

General Photo Collection

Click the video icon to learn more!

Learn more about Shaping Our City.

LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT


Hover cursor over map for larger view.

Land Acknowledgment
Click the video icon to learn more!

Greater Cincinnati Native American Coalition
Click the video icon to learn more!

1920 to 1950


Making Connections

As types of transportation change, the networks that support them take time to catch up. In the early 1900s, Cincinnati travelers had a problem: their systems of transportation weren’t working together. A plan was needed to meet the city’s growing needs more efficiently.  

Click the photo icon to learn more!

Learn more about Shaping Our City.

CINCINNATI SUBWAY


Images courtesy of the Archives and Rare Books Library, University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati History Library and Archives

Click the video or photo icons to learn more!

Cincinnati's Lost Subway

Tunnel Construction

Tunnel Construction

CINCINNATI SUBWAY

Lease Campaign - Hover over image and map to see magnification.

Images courtesy of the Archives and Rare Books Library, University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati History Library and Archives


CINCINNATI SUBWAY

Subway Route Map - Hover over map to see magnification.

Images courtesy of the Archives and Rare Books Library, University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati History Library and Archives


CINCINNATI SUBWAY

Intended Route - Hover over map to see magnification.

Images courtesy of the Archives and Rare Books Library, University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati History Library and Archives


CINCINNATI SUBWAY

Completed Route - Hover over map to see magnification.

Images courtesy of the Archives and Rare Books Library, University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati History Library and Archives


Click on the icons to explore more about this area.

Click on the image below to launch Union Terminal Digital Concourse - Interactive

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Pullman Porters and Redcaps


Pullman porters served travelers on train journeys. Formed in 1925 by A. Philip Randolph, the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters became the first labor union led by African Americans and a major player in the Civil Rights Movement.  

Click the photo icon to learn more!

Click the video icon to learn more!

Video provided by Hasker Nelson/WCPO & Cincinnati History Library & Archives

Click on the image below to launch You Decide - Making Connections - Interactive

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1950 to 1980


As car ownership increased with automobiles costing less, the number of people riding public transit decreased from 45 million in 1960 to 25 million in 1970.

Click the photo icon to learn more!

Learn more about Shaping Our City.

Click on the icons to explore more about this area.

West End


Freeman Avenue

In 1948, the Cincinnati City Planning Commission’s redevelopment plan tore down more than 3,000 West End buildings and forced 65 percent of the 40,000 residents to move, which severely impacted the neighborhood’s community. When thinking about how transportation shapes the city, it’s important to consider who benefits and who is impacted.

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Seventh Street

Gest Street

Richmond Street

Oehler Street

The Changing West End and Housing Issues


Growing Suburbs

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Memories of West End and Union Terminal

Memories of Housing in Avondale

Public Transportation


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Click on the image below to launch You Decide - Driving Change - Interactive

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Now and Next


Transportation is still changing today! Our everyday personal choices have an impact on which transportation options stay around and how they impact our communities and environment. Each generation of Cincinnatians has used transportation to solve needs, but those solutions also brought new challenges.

Click the photo icon to learn more!

Learn more about Shaping Our City.

Click on the icons to explore more about this area.

Ways of Connecting Cont.


City Planner

Click the video icons to learn more!

Connecting the City with Trails

Future of Busses

Fast Forward

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How We Shape the City

Travel Through Time - Shape the City

Click on the image below to launch You Decide - Fast Forward - Interactive

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THANK YOU FOR VISITING

Thank you for exploring Shaping Our City: 1920 to Today at Cincinnati Museum Center. To discover more, check out our other virtual field trips and a wide array of online resources, including Ohio History Day, CMC’s interviews with WMKV, and our curator-led blog, Off the Shelf, all found on www.cincymuseum.org. 


To discover more about Cincinnati’s transportation history, we encourage you to reserve
Shaping our City: First Settlement to 1920.

To explore CMC’s epic exhibits, such as Shaping Our City, in-person, click the button below to purchase tickets. *Due to COVID-19, some exhibits may be closed. Please check www.cincymuseum.org prior to visiting for the most up-to-date list of open experiences.

To reserve other Virtual Field Trip experiences, click the button below to explore CMC’s current offerings! Remember to always check back, as we frequently add new experiences. 

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