Over-the-Rhine is a neighborhood in Cincinnati. Historically, Over-the-Rhine has been a working-class neighborhood. It is also believed to be one of the largest, most intact urban historic districts in the United States.
The neighborhood’s distinctive name comes from its builders and early residents, German immigrants of the mid-19th century. Many walked to work across bridges over the Miami and Erie Canal, which separated the area from downtown Cincinnati. The canal was nicknamed “the Rhine” in reference to the river Rhine in Germany, and the newly settled area north of the canal as “Over the Rhine”. In German, the district was called über den Rhein.
Built in the nineteenth century during a period of extensive German immigration, Over-the-Rhine changed as many residents moved to the suburbs following World War 2. The city and area had lost many of the industrial jobs which once supported its workers. By the end of the century, the area was notable for the poverty of remaining residents. In this time period residents united and created many life-saving organizations. Following social unrest in 2001, the neighborhood has since been the focus of millions of dollars of redevelopment.