Mar. 2006

Good ol' Newport, KY. It's a historic little burg, that Newport is.

One brisk day in 2006, I took the ol' bikey Roads Scholaring in the city's southeast sector. This is one of the saddest batch of road photos I'll ever post. The city abused eminent domain to illegally seize most houses in the far southeast so they could be turned over to a private developer, who has threatened to build a Wal-Mart (despite earlier promises to the contrary). By the time these pictures were taken, however, much of the damage was already done, as the properties had already been seized or demolished. I was left asking myself, "What in the world happened down here?" When I took these photos, the neighborhood already looked like a deserted war zone, and the few buildings still standing were boarded up for good. These structures and numerous lots where houses once stood not many months earlier were marked with signs that warned "NO TRESPASSING - CITY PROPERTY."

Hey stupidheads, it's not city property, because the city acquired it illegally (at a price far less than what it was worth). So poo poo poo on you!

I took most of these pictures so we can keep the memory of what remained of this neighborhood alive, though I was too late to get photos of the history that was already lost.

The pic above is looking north on Grand Avenue towards the junction with Burnet Avenue, which is just before that boarded-up house.

We're facing east, as Grand Avenue runs horizontally in the foreground, while Burnet is straight ahead. Burnet is only slightly longer than that house is from front to back, and it slopes slightly downhill to that guardrail, so this photo makes it hard to see at all. When I saw this, I couldn't even believe this was Burnet, for its surroundings had declined just in the 3 years or so since I had last seen it. Three years earlier the area around this street was still thriving as a residential neighborhood. Now it's unrecognizable, and there wasn't a soul in sight.

Burnet has its own history that's fascinated me for years. You can see I-471 running horizontally on the hill in the background. Burnet continues in Woodlawn on the other side of I-471; until about 1978, that stretch used to connect to the stretch that now ends at the guardrail. From where the guardrail is now, Burnet continued downhill into a densely wooded area known as Spooky Hollow. There the now-defunct Lourdes Lane branched off to the left. Burnet would have had to go up a very steep hill to meet the current Woodlawn section, but I believe that block of Burnet was closed to make way for I-471 even before Lourdes was torn down. That was as far back as I can remember, so I'm not absolutely certain of that though. I guess they piled fill dirt into this spectacular valley to build I-471. No trace of Spooky Hollow is known to still exist.

Facing north on Grand, as Park Avenue forks off to the left. That house on the left looks pretty new, doesn't it? Welp, guess what? It's condemned too, just like all the older houses. It's practically a brand new house, and already it's meeting its demise!

The destroyment continues, my friends! The old Ohio Avenue is straight ahead off Chesapeake Avenue. This street runs along the west side of I-471 and hits a dead end about where it appears to end in this picture. This road used to angle to the left and connect with the Ohio Avenue that still stands east of the freeway. In this pic, there's only one house even still standing on this street, but it wasn't much earlier that there were a few other houses on the right-hand side of the road. They were clearly visible from southbound I-471. I had thought at least one or two of them were fine old flat-roofed houses, but that may have just been an illusion. But by the time I took this photo, this street was closed - probably forever.

Looking west on Chesapeake, the aforementioned Ohio Avenue branches off to the left. You see more perfectly good houses that are boarded up. Think of how happy some of these houses made their residents, and how happy these houses could have made new residents in the future. Contrast this with the proposed Hogg-Mart, which will bring nothing but misery.

Back on Grand Avenue, this pile of garbage probably used to be someone's home. You see I-471 in the background.

Another trash pile on Grand Avenue. I know this was a house, because the two largest pieces of debris are doors. Behind the trees you see the rampy-poo from KY 1120 to southbound I-471. The north edge of Spooky Hollow was here, and Waterworks Road ran about where the ramp is now.

Facing south on Grand. This stretch of Grand was once a very important road. You'd never know it from the deplorable condition it's in now. Up ahead there's a semi trailer sitting right out in the roadway for no apparent reason. This photo is the last of the ones I took in that neighborhood.

This more urbanized neighborhood is in much better shape than the one to the east. I took this picture from 10th Street where it passes over the rail line near Park Avenue. This shows the part of Park that used to hit 10th before the overpass was rebuilt in the mid-'00s but now curves around into an alley. The skyline of Cincinnati is seen in the background.

This scene looks much more interesting in real life than in a flat photo. This is 10th Street at the part of Park Avenue that goes to Grand Avenue. We're looking west, right at the aforementioned overpass over the railroad. The overpass is the stretch that has the brick wall on the left. This scene is most interesting because you can see for many blocks down 10th Street - though this isn't as easy to see in this photo. The land furthest off in the distance is 4 miles away in Fort Wright.

This pic is dedicated to Bush's cultists who babble about how photographing rail lines is a threat to national security (which it isn't). The only reason I took this beautiful photo was to spit in the face of those who support harassing transit hobbyists for the "crime" of photographing railroads. If innocent photos like this offend the right-wing thought police, tough. The picture faces southwest from the 10th Street overpass. Those power lines and sheds give this scene kind of a quaint and out-of-the-way look.

Finally, one of my favorite perennial Roads Scholaring sites. This is 9th Street as it becomes Wildcat Drive - the former Incinerator Road. I was interested in this road as a youth because it had a funny name and because one map marked it as unpaved - though it's now paved, as you can see. But I don't think I ever got to see this road until I was at least 27. This isolated road leads to some city maintenance garages and now ends at 6th Street.

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