A Brief History of Price Hill

Price Hill has been called Cincinnati’s most distinctive suburb. Like all of metropolitan Cincinnati, the neighborhood was originally part of the great Symmes Purchase. Imagine a wilderness of forest and streams, with the bluffs used as lookout posts for Native Americans—an Indian mound stood near where Rapid Run and Overlook Avenues intersect until the early twentieth century. In 1791, William Terry built a log cabin in the midst of a virgin forest that was home to local tribes. Many early prominent citizens followed, settling on the hill and carving out estates from the surrounding wilderness. At that time the area was known as Bold Face Hill or Mt. Harrison.

Rees E. Price, who gave Price Hill the name we know it by today, was the eldest son of a wealthy Welsh merchant who had settled in Cincinnati and invested in land west of the Mill Creek. Rees Price built a brickyard and a sawmill on that land and laid out a subdivision. His sons, John and William Price, built the Incline Plane in 1874 with funds provided by their father. By the time Rees died in 1877, Price Hill was becoming a thriving community.

Many families realized that this western hill was a healthy and pleasant place to live, more than 800 feet above the crowded industrial areas. When the Eighth Street Viaduct was completed in 1893 and the city’s rapid transit system was extended into Price Hill in 1894, the suburb flourished and many new homes were built in the area. The architecture of this period, from the mid-nineteenth century to the early twentieth century, borrowed design characteristics from Greek Revival, Italianate, Queen Anne, and Second Empire styles, just to name a few.

If you walk through Price Hill today, you will still find neatly kept, architecturally beautiful houses with inviting front porches. The porch was a symbol of wealth and welcome, where families and friends gathered. The developers of Glenway Subdivision mandated that each new home have a front porch and that the houses be built close together to prohibit off-street parking, to limit cars in the area, trying to retain the pedestrian lifestyle of the suburb.

Today, Price Hill is known as one of Cincinnati’s greenest communities, not only for our parks and other green spaces, but also for the commitment of many residents to live an ecologically responsible lifestyle. We are proud to live in a neighborhood that values its past, present, and future as much as Price Hill does. We appreciate its beauties and advantages as a place of residence, from the Incline District through the old communities of Cedar Grove and the Village of Warsaw, to the far western reaches of one of Cincinnati’s largest and greenest neighborhoods.