1.2 out of 10

English Woods

39.1399823537675 -84.5541006192365
Great for
  • Cost of Living
  • Lack of Traffic
  • Medical Facilities
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Not great for
  • Childcare
  • Clean & Green
  • Eating Out
  • Gym & Fitness
  • Internet Access
Who lives here?
  • No ratings yet
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Reviews

1/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 1/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Clean & Green 1/5
  • Pest Free 1/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Internet Access 1/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 1/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 1/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 1/5
2yrs+

"English Woods: no homes, no people"

While I was growing up in Cincinnati, I'd always heard bad things about English Woods, as with many public housing neighborhoods, crime, drugs and the like. English Woods pretty much was an entire neighborhood of public housing, which was originally built in the early 1940s. My grandparents lived in not to distant South Fairmount, so I always heard things about English Woods, how bad it was, but it wasn't always so. It seems, in reading about the neighborhood online, that many of the people who grew up there, especially in its early days, have very fond memories of a community they cared about. As the years went on and a culture of drugs and crime invaded, it seems the neighborhood took a turn for the worse...this is the neighborhood I always heard about.

Over the years, general neglect and lack of care by residents took its toll to the point that there was little to do but raze the housing units. The cost of restoration to English Woods was prohibitive and not something the government wanted to undertake, so in 2005 the complex was closed, the remaining residents were moved to other nearby public housing, the community was fenced off, and demolition was slated to begin. In the years since, the community has been reduced to rubble, the worst sign of urban blight.

In early 2012, the Cincinnati Metropolitan housing Authority was awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to develop a comprehensive neighborhood transformation plan for the English Woods and Fairmount neighborhoods. This plan will be used to map out a future for the area where the English Woods complex once stood.

While there are some homes in the areas around the site of English Woods complex, these mostly fall into other neighborhoods, as English Woods pretty much was the public housing complex. There are still some other public housing sites in this area, such as Marquette Manor and Sutter View, both on Sutter Avenue. The English Woods area is easily accessible from Interstate 75 via the Hopple Street exit.
Pros
  • potential for development
Cons
  • demolished abandoned public housing
1/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 1/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 1/5
  • Pest Free 1/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Internet Access 1/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 1/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 1/5
  • Childcare 1/5
2yrs+

"English Woods: Cincinnati's Ghost Town"

Despite having lived in Cincinnati for 21 years, I had never heard of English Woods before beginning this review. After some online research, I was fascinated enough to make a trip out to the eerie, “ghost town” of a neighborhood. What I saw matched online descriptions, but still struck a chord with me.

First, some background--English Woods was built up in the early 1940s as housing projects for WWII military personnel and their families. It was comprised of 82 buildings and 717 units. Over time, the complexes grew shabbier as neglect and laxity took their toll. In the early 2000s, a major debate over whether to demolish the neighborhood broke out between housing authorities and residents of English Woods. Although residents, activists, and various Cincinnati groups opposed demolition, housing authorities determined it would be way too expensive--$92 million--to repair all the damage caused to English Woods properties over the years. In short, much of English Woods was demolished in 2005, leaving a barren and empty neighborhood. Demolition has persisted since 2005, and today English Woods is, essentially, no more.

Driving through English Woods, you’ll see dilapidated fences, empty plots with remnants of concrete foundation, and other small signs of former life here. Overall, though, there’s not much going on. Although the picture I’ve painted here is rather bleak, English Woods is still a fascinating piece of Cincinnati history that tells an amazing story. It’s a great place to visit, explore, and research. Beyond that, though, it’s not exactly a prime living location, as far as I’m concerned. For any adventurers that feel differently, though, I say go for it! Who knows? Maybe with enough interest English Woods can one day be built up into the lively place it once was.
Pros
  • Rich in history
  • Fascinating to explore and research
Cons
  • Many deteriorated properties
  • Mostly abandoned
  • Not much going on at all

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