About Cincinnati Architecture: A Brief Introduction

Cincinnati has one of the most impressive collections of historic architecture in the United States. Home buyers and visitors are frequently impressed and even overwhelmed with the quantity and quality of architectural styles in the Queen City.The oldest home in Cincinnati is the Betts House located at 416 Clark Street, which dates from 1804. In the same neighborhood (West End) along Dayton Street is a vast collection of impressive mid-ninteenth century historic town homes, as well as the nineteenth century mayor’s mansion (currently undergoing restoration).

Not far away is the Over-The-Rhine historic district, one of the largest districts in the country recognized by the National Register of Historic Places; this area is currently realizing strong growth and revival. At the center of this neighborhood is Findlay Market, an emporium which has been in continuous existence since the mid-1800s.

Downtown is located below Central Parkway just south of Over-The-Rhine, and features such architectural gems as Fountain Square, the Carew Tower, the Taft Museum, the 1860s Roebling Bridge, and other historic structures. There is enough historic architecture in Cincinnati and across the Ohio River in Northern Kentucky to satisfy even the most jaded architectural buffs for days on end.

With such rich architectural heritage, it is unsurprising that Cincinnati has been the home of many notable architects. One of the most prominent Cincinnati architects is Samuel Hannaford, who designed many of the best-known landmarks around the city. His portfolio boasts such buildings and structures as City Hall, Music Hall, and the Eden Park pumping stations and water tower, as well as hundreds of public buildings and private residences.

As you embark upon a search for your own historic Cincinnati home, or even if you’re just browsing, it is likely that you will be amazed by all of the details and connections you will find along the way. We hope that this site will be a useful aid in starting your exploration.

To aid in your search, below is a list of the architecture styles found in Cincinnati and the years which these homes were built.This list is courtesy of the City of Cincinnati’s website, which also includes links to style descriptions.

Federal: 1815 to 1840
Greek Revival: 1835 to 1860
Renaissance Revival: 1845 to 1885, 1890 to 1915
Gothic Revival: 1850 to 1870
Italian Villa: 1850 to 1870
Italianate: 1865 to 1890
French Second Empire: 1870 to 1895
Victorian Vernacular: 1870 to 1895
Queen Anne and Shingle: 1880 to 1900
Richardsonian Romanesque: 1880 to 1900
Chateau: 1880 to 1905
Swiss Chalet: 1885 to 1910
Colonial Revival: 1895 to 1930
Prairie: 1905 to 1930
Bungalow: 1910 to 1940
Tudor Revival: 1910 to 1940
Spanish Mission: 1910 to 1940
Art Deco and Moderne: 1930 to 1950