by Patricia Mooney-Melvin, Associate Professor,
Loyola University of Chicago, Dept. of History

This paper is presented as part of the H-Urban Seminar on the History of Community Organizing and Community-Based Development in the 1995-1996 academic year. For additional information on the seminar, see our WWW Home Page at
or send e-mail to with the message: GET COMM-ORG ANNOUNCE or send e-mail to Wendy Plotkin at

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We appreciate Patricia Mooney-Melvin making this paper available to the seminar. An introduction to this paper is available at:
Information on earlier scholarship by Professor Mooney-Melvin on this topic and an abstract of an earlier published essay by Professor Mooney-Melvin on the application of the "social unit organization" concept to a Cincinnati neighborhood in 1918-1920, "A Cluster of Interlacing Communities," is available at:
(April 29, 1996)

     Copyright (c) 1996 by Patricia Mooney-Melvin , all
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As the United States entered the 1970s a chorus of noisy neighborhood organizations advocating a variety of programs for local betterment emerged. Slogans such as "Power to the Neighborhoods" and both popular and scholarly articles focusing on "resurgent neighborhoods" captured the spirit of this strident localism. An article in the Christian Science Monitor reported that "a groundswell movement of citizens" existed across the country ready--so it seemed--to rise to the defense of the nation's neighborhoods. [1]

Amid all the enthusiasm for neighborhood development the founder of the National Association of Neighborhoods, Milton Kotler, urged neighborhood proponents to seriously analyze why such localism should be supported. "We must remember," Kotler wrote, "where the neighborhood movement came from and what happened to create the present situation. The neighborhood movement did not fall from heaven yesterday. It began in the 1960s." [2] More recent analysts have pushed that date back to the late 1940s. [3] According to these scholars, the neighborhood movement or revolution grew out of the efforts of ordinary citizens, organizers, local clergy, and government workers to help empower the nation's urban poor. Once organized, these neighborhood residents could begin the process of "converting interests into politically relevant issues," work for the betterment of local conditions, and have a voice in the planning process. The creation of federated coalitions would allow neighborhood residents to break free of the potentially parochial dynamic in campaigns for local betterment and share responsibility for the larger urban community. [4]

Some of those writing about the neighborhood movement rather grudgingly acknowledge that neighborhood organizing was not completely new in either the 1940s or 1960s. These scholars allow that it existed between 1890 and 1920 when "progressives and liberals" created local organizations to confront the challenges associated with turn-of-the-century cities. According to this argument, the emphasis of such organizing was on building community and citizenship through settlement houses and community centers. After 1920, however, these groups abandoned their neighborhood orientation and organizing on the local level disappeared.[5] Not only does this analysis ignore a wide range of organizing efforts during this period such as Cincinnati's Mohawk Brighton Social Unit Organization experiment [6] but this disappearance neatly coincided with the emphasis of sociologists and planners on the metropolitan community as the focal point for the urban community and on the breakdown of the supposed homogeneous areas within cities believed necessary for neighborhood life.[7]

But what happened in between 1920 and the 1940s? The more I examine local life in American cities after 1880, the notion that neighborhoods as well as neighborhood organizing simply disappeared seems to me wrongheaded. It does not square with what I find in my research. It fails to be supported, as well, by the experiences of others. When I talk with people who had reached adulthood during the 1920s, 1930s, or 1940s, they remember the local neighborhood as an important point of reference and they can recall neighborhood organizations active where they lived. I find that if the definition of neighborhood organization between 1890 and 1920 is broadened to include other than settlement houses or community centers, things look somewhat different. Under this broadened definition both neighborhoods and neighborhood organizations persisted through the 1940s and into the 1950s. In addition, these organizations attempted to play a role in the urban planning process, and they often created federations to coordinate action on a city-wide basis.

Among the most ubiquitous of late nineteenth and early twentieth century local organizations were neighborhood improvement associations. While not necessarily always viewed as reformist or progressive as were settlements, they were nonetheless important local organizations. Strictly residential in nature, these organizations focused their activities on local betterment. Despite a myriad of ties that drew them out of the neighborhood, these organizations provided the arena in which residents "demonstrated a commitment to their home district by debating, petitioning, rallying, and lobbying the government about issues affecting the welfare of their neighborhood."[8] More active during some years than others, they often persisted when other locally based organizations seemed to have disappeared. If we explore the activities of these groups, it becomes clear that neighborhoods as well as neighborhood organizations continue to exist between 1920 and 1950 even though the scholarly community has filed away their death certificates.

What I want to do in this paper is explore the emergence and activities of these groups in Cincinnati. In so doing, I hope to illustrate that neighborhood organizing "did not drop from heaven in the 1960s" [9] or the 1940s. Instead, it developed as the modern city took shape during the late nineteenth century and continued throughout the period under review here. I will conclude with some observations about why scholars have ignored the existence of such organizations and about where I think these groups fall within the history of the efforts to organize the nation's neighborhoods.

During the nineteenth century rapid social and economic changes negated the prevailing definition of the city as an undifferentiated whole. When confronted with this disparity between the old urban definition and the "new city" of the late nineteenth century with its specialized land use pattern and system of socio-economic segregation, Americans searched for a new definition of the city that corresponded more closely to the segmented urban community around them. Borrowing the organic analogy popular in descriptions of society, Americans portrayed the city as an organism composed of interdependent units or neighborhoods. It is at this point that the neighborhood as a discrete unit formally enters the urban landscape.[10]

Between 1850 and 1910 Cincinnati underwent the transition from the walking city of the nineteenth century to the metropolitan community of the twentieth century. A combination of technological innovations in intracity transportation, population growth, industrial expansion, and successful annexations enlarged city boundaries from a mere six square miles in 1850 to 50.26 square miles by 1910.[11] Central in this process of physical growth was the emergence of a differentiated urban structure in which the expanded central business district of the new city appeared to be surrounded by zones that exhibited distinct residential and/or industrial functions.[12] In Cincinnati, three discernible zones emerged: the Slums, the Zone of Emergence, and the Hilltops.[13]

It was in the Hilltop neighborhoods that local improvement associations first appeared. While not isolated from the rest of the city, for many Hilltop dwellers either worked or had ties in the city, the Hilltops represented residential havens for Cincinnati's economically successful citizens. In order to protect their living spaces and interests, Hilltop residents formed a host of organizations during the late nineteenth century among which were improvement associations. Some of these organizations existed before an area's annexation to Cincinnati, such as the Bond Hill Improvement Association (1892) and the Hyde Park Improvement Association (1893). Other associations grew out of the fight against annexation, while still others emerged after annexation, such as the Westwood Improvement Association (1896). Whenever their formation, these organizations were designed to promote and better conditions in the Hilltop communities. [14] And once operating in the Hilltop suburbs, other Cincinnati neighborhoods and unincorporated areas surrounding the city formed similar organizations to advance their interests.

However, as the author of The Suburbs of Cincinnati remarked as early as 1870, "one bad tendency in individual suburbs [was] to make streets and other improvements without regard to similar enterprises in adjacent territory."[15] By the 1890s, inner-city neighborhoods as well as the suburbs began to find that major improvements affected more than just a single area and that by joining together it was possible to exert greater influence upon city officials responsible for the desired improvements. As a result, after a period of more locally-oriented activities, the various improvement associations entered into a city-wide federation to coordinate efforts that touched common problems. And, following the recognition of common problems came an understanding that a connection between local improvements and the entire metropolitan community existed.

The experience of one of Cincinnati's local improvement associations illustrates the move from local concerns to an appreciation of cooperative action on the part of many local organizations during the period 1880 to 1920 as well as captures the flavor of this type of neighborhood organization. The Westwood Civic Association was an outgrowth of the pre-annexation Westwood, Cheviot and Dent Improvement Association and the post-annexation Westwood Improvement Association and Westwood Businessmen's Club.

The area that became known as Westwood lay on one of the hilltops that rose to the west of Cincinnati's central business district. A primarily farming settlement at first, Westwood soon attracted wealthy residents with ties to Cincinnati. As these residents increased in number they organized a local government and incorporated the Village of Westwood in 1868. Throughout the remainder of the nineteenth century the area prospered and further growth was secured with the establishment of a railroad line that provided regular service between Westwood and Cincinnati.[16]

Westwood's growth and prosperity attracted the attention of Cincinnati's politicians. Like most late nineteenth century cities Cincinnati sought to increase its boundaries through the annexation of surrounding territory. In 1889 Cincinnati's mayor stressed the importance of annexing the rapidly growing suburban population. During the 1894 election Cincinnati voters formally endorsed this position and launched the city on a drive to annex the wealthy, populous suburbs that encircled the city. Five suburban villages were of concern in 1894: Avondale, Clifton, Linwood, Riverside, and Westwood. Despite the outraged protests of these suburbs, Cincinnati capitalized on the recently passed Lillard Law which allowed votes of the city annexing to be counted together with the votes of the target suburbs, a procedure which effectively wiped out any suburban opposition.[17] On January 1, 1896 the former suburbs became part of the City of Cincinnati. [18]

Following annexation, residents of Westwood felt it important to continue to improve their new neighborhood and to maintain a sense of community identity. Prior to annexation Westwood had worked for local improvements through the Westwood, Cheviot and Dent Improvement Association [19] which focused its efforts primarily on securing appropriate railroad ties with Cincinnati and on developing a system of roads in the communities of Westwood, Cheviot, and Dent. [20] After annexation, leading Westwood residents decided to form their own improvement association. As a result, the Westwood Improvement Association (WIA) came into existence in 1896. [21] As one of the association's founding members later remarked, "it was very important that the interests of this part of the city should be looked after closely."[22] The intent of the WIA was to do just that and following its organization the WIA pushed for a variety of improvements that were believed necessary for the development and further enhancement of Westwood.

The WIA soon found that in order to secure certain improvements cooperative action with other groups often helped facilitate its own efforts. This was particularly true in the drive to eliminate four dangerous grade crossings, known as "Dead Man's Crossing," that separated the western part of Cincinnati from the central portion of the city. Westwood had fought for this improvement to no avail since 1888. After years of frustration, the Westwood association joined forces with the North Fairmount Improvement Association and the Central Fairmount Improvement Association in 1897.[23] Together these organizations pressured the city to implement the provisions of a bill passed by the state legislature in 1890 that permitted cities of the first class to construct viaducts "for the purpose of providing against overflow from high water and the dangers of grade crossings of steam railways." [24] Despite such pressure, the city was slow to act.

Finally, on May 10, 1899 a particularly serious accident at the "Crossing" sparked a general public outcry and the three organizations issued a resolution charging the Board of City Affairs with the "murders" of all persons killed at the "Crossing." In response, the Board approved the construction of a viaduct to span the area. By 1901 the Board had authorized the issue of a bond to raise the money for the project and a condemnation order so that the construction could proceed once the money had been secured.[25]

Following the resolution of a series of lawsuits contesting the validity of such bond issues and condemnation procedures the construction of the viaduct finally began. In late 1906 work commenced on the abutments and piers and the steel superstructure was completed in August 1908.[26] At the opening on September 19, 1908 of the Harrison Avenue Viaduct, members of the three improvement associations recognized that the viaduct stood "as a monument of the untiring and unselfish devotion" of the three organizations.[27] Singly each organization had failed in its efforts to move the City of Cincinnati to action between 1888 and 1898. Working together, despite the delays, the three associations were able to secure the completion of the project.

Based on the viaduct experience the Westwood Improvement Association voted to become a member of the Federated Improvement Association (FIA) in 1908.[28] Members of the WIA believed this would facilitate Westwood's future development by systematizing the collective efforts of organizations interested in projects important to Westwood yet impinging upon other Cincinnati communities. In short, the WIA felt that unification would strengthen rather than impede local community development.

The Federated Improvement Association was the brainchild of William C. Culkins, a member of the Hyde Park Businessmen's Club, and Joseph J. Castellini, a member of the Evanston Welfare Association. In early 1907 Culkins and Castellini, frustrated by the lack of progress their organizations experienced in a variety of areas, decided to organize a city-wide civic association.[29] In June 1907 seven organizations came together to form the Federated Improvement Association. According to the Federated's newspaper, Civic News, while Cincinnati's associations had "developed a local sentiment keenly alive to the needs of their neighborhoods," they "often found that improvements suggested or needed" demanded the attention of more than just their own particular group. The formation of the FIA was based on the belief that the local groups could "be of mutual assistance" to one another. Through "concerted action," local associations could "extend the scope of their activities."[30]

Once in existence, the Federated operated on two levels. Local organizations focused on identifying and securing improvements for their own localities. The Federated handled larger issues of more general concern to the entire city and coordinated efforts that touched on more than one community.[31] All-in-all, as far as the organizers of the FIA were concerned, the Federated represented the "awakened interest and understanding" on the part of the people of the "responsibility" they possessed in public affairs.[32] Its reliance upon citizen activism indicated that it was part of a larger outburst of civic involvement that appeared in all sorts of communities during the late nineteenth century.[33]

By 1912 the Federated Improvement Association had grown to include thirty-two organizations, each of whom sent three representatives to Federated meetings.[34] Of the organizations involved, most came from the Zone and Hilltop communities and their delegates to the Federated represented a cross section of Cincinnati businesses, professions, ethnic groups, and religious denominations. With few exceptions, however, the leadership of the organization rested in the hands of the delegates representing improvement associations in the Hilltops. [35] Not surprisingly, delegates from the WIA could be counted among some of the more active leaders of the Federated.

As a result of action orchestrated by the FIA, the Westwood Improvement Association, known as the Westwood Civic Association (WCA) after 1911,36 was able to secure lateral sewers to eliminate a sewage problem in Boudinot Creek, the adoption of a plan to create a comprehensive sewer system that would benefit Westwood as well as the rest of the city, proper capacity water pumps, streetcar route changes, contracts for street lighting, and general street improvements.[37] For all these projects the Westwood organization presented its needs before a city-wide forum, joined with other local groups interested in the same issues, and then, under the umbrella of the Federated, offered a unified front toward and exerted increased pressure on the City Council.

Throughout this period the Westwood association was able to maintain its own identity and work for its own needs. Yet during its first twenty-five years of existence it came to recognize the interdependence of urban needs and the utility of organized action. An editorial in 1915 by then Federated Improvement Association President John Markworth, an early member of the WIA, captured the essence of the improvement association experience during this period. According to Markworth, the "certain needs of the particular locality possessed a relationship of an importance more vital to the city at large than to the locality." As a result, it "became necessary to view the matter from a larger and more cosmopolitan standpoint and thus arose the dual relationship of every improvement association, a relationship now universally recognized." There was, Markworth emphasized, "no service that benefits all that doesn't benefit each."[38] Neighborhood improvement associations served as a vehicle to forge a closer relationship between local activism and the larger urban community.[39]

In a city without a plan, local neighborhood organizations, both alone and through cooperative action in city federations, possessed the opportunity to exercise influence over the direct placement or improvement of the city's infrastructure, activities deemed important in virtually all campaigns for local betterment. By 1925 Cincinnati had a plan and, while local neighborhood organizations could lobby for improvements, the focus of the plan and of the City Planning Commission was on the metropolitan unit rather than the local. While the plan suggested the importance of cultivating a sense of community on the neighborhood level, the ultimate goal was to foster a sense of identification with the larger urban community.[40]

Reflecting the influence of social scientists who believed that urban growth and technological development had negated the possibility of identification on the neighborhood level, the plan's focus on the metropolitan community suggested that it was the more logical point of attachment for "atomistic citizens of [an] unbounded society."[41] The neighborhood was dismissed as an important component of the city. The social and economic divisions that characterized life on the local level as well as the mobility that appeared to be an integral aspect of the urban environment, also seemed to suggest to analysts that people thought in terms of a community based on interest rather than place. [42]

However, place remained important. Despite connections to interest groups not associated with a particular locale, people continued to "share a common relation to [their] place of residence." It was where they lived and raised their families.[43] As a result, it is not surprising that organizational life on the neighborhood level existed, albeit different in range and intensity, beyond the 1920s. Unfortunately, I have only begun to scratch the surface of the materials necessary to paint an indepth picture of neighborhood organizational life between 1920 and 1950. As a result, I will briefly relate the activities of four organizations to suggest the way in which neighborhood improvement associations operated after 1920.

The Bond Hill Improvement Association came into existence in 1892 to secure a variety of improvements for the Village of Bond Hill. At some point after annexation to Cincinnati in 1903, the organization changed its name to the Bond Hill Wefare Assocation (BHWA) and, as did its predecessor, championed a variety of campaigns for local betterment. Like many other organizations, the Association found that strength in numbers could be beneficial. By 1911 the BHWA had joined forces with the Federated Iprovement Association in the fight for streetcar service. Although the battle proved much longer than either organization would have expected, the combined pressure of both groups finally resulted in the construction and operation of the Bond Hill streetcar line in December 1916.[44]

During the 1920s and 1930s, as the area experienced a surge of growth, the Bond Hill Welfare Association worked hard for the community. Committees focused their efforts on issues relating to sewers, street lighting, transportation, and the library as well as on entertainment and recreation. In 1936 the organization changed its name once again, this time to Bond Hill Civic Association. Membership continued to grow and reached 600 by 1937. As late as 1952, the association continued to work for the citizens of Bond Hill.[45]

Residents of Clifton Heights organized into the Clifton Heights Welfare Association (CHWA) in 1910 "to promote the municipal, business and civic interests" of their neighborhood. Like the Bond Hill organization, the CHWA joined the Federated Improvement Association and participated in a variety of cooperative projects. As in other communities, streetcar problems demand its attention well into the 1920s. However, the association was involved in a variety of other issues as well. A list of committees in 1938 suggests that the CHWA felt it important to monitor the condition of local streets, sidewalks, and sewers, the level of fire and police protection, the operation of utilities, and the condition of local parks and playgrounds. Although primarily concerned with its own community, it helped out during the 1937 flood. After the entrance of the United States in World War II, the organization encouraged active participation in the war effort and helped the neighborhood become one of the leaders in the sale of war bonds.[46] The Price Hill Civic and Business Men's Club began in 1897 as the Price Hill Businessmen's Club. After a fitfull beginning, the organization stabilized by 1915 and vigorously championed the general betterment of Price Hill. Like its counterparts in other neighborhoods, it worked to secure adequate streetcar service and could count as one of its achievements the extension of the Warsaw Avenue streetcar line. Like the Westwood Civic Association, it supported the building of viaducts, such as the Eighth Street Viaduct, to connect the hillside community to the central portion of the city. Throughout the 1920s and the 1930s, it worked for such things as street improvements and a sewer project of special importance to the western section of the community. The Club possessed over 1,000 members in 1937.[47]

And finally, a short profile of the Riverside Civic and Welfare Club will conclude this brief survey of neighborhood improvement association activities between 1920 and 1950. In 1947, neighborhood residents organized the Riverside Club to encourage cooperative action within the community for a variety of projects. One of its earliest efforts focused on the improvement of River Road. While the neighborhood supported the idea of improvement, many residents objected to different elements of the proposed development. Over the course of the construction, the Club served as the vehicle for channeling neighborhood concerns to the various agencies (both city and state) involved in the River Road Project.[48]

So, what does all this mean? At the very least, I believe, it suggests that the neighborhood remained a point of identification for urban residents after 1920. To say this does not deny the fact that the neighborhood was not, if it ever had been, a closed community. Neighborhood residents possessed a web of attachments that bound them to a variety of different organizations and interest groups well beyond the confines of the neighborhood. Nonetheless, the communities in which people reside provide an important basis for collective action. As John Davis has argued in a recent study of collective action and the neighborhood, "[p]lace bound `communities' do act--sometimes out of a common interest in improving local safety, services, or amenity; sometimes out of a special interest in protecting local property values; sometimes because not to act is to acquiesce in the community's own destruction." Locality-based action does not necessarily mean that all parties have all the same interests; different relationships to and uses of property in any given neighborhood will shape the limits of neighborhood mobilization. The main point, however, is that it is very difficult to ignore the conditions in which we live or the fact of place.[49] In the context of my argument, what this means is that the neighborhood and neighborhood organizations persist, even if they fall out of favor with urban analysts.

The scholarly community's propensity to see neighborhood organizations as part of progressive movements, I think, also has obscured the persistence of neighborhood life beyond 1920. Neighborhood improvement associations fall within an approach to the study of community organizing--called neighborhood maintenance--that has been relatively ignored except in the one major historical study on neighborhood organizing in the United States. This approach defines the community explicitly in residential terms. In general, members of the upper or middle class organize behind an elected spokesperson in order to fight for better services or to combat threats to property values or neighborhood homogeneity. Not only are the constituents and the desired results of neighborhood improvement associations different from those of the two dominant approaches to the study of community organizing--social work and political activist--but these associations are often conservative, resisting rather than promoting progressive social action.[50]

In a number of recent studies, if these associations are mentioned at all, they are presented in the most negative terms. Despite their efforts to promote enhancement, something on the agenda of many neighborhood organizations dating from the time of the neighborhood revolution, neighborhood improvement associations are painted only as the purveyors of the dark side of neighborhood activism. [51] Clearly one aspect of the neighborhood experience for Cincinnati's improvement associations, as is the case in other cities, is protection. Although apparent before 1920, this tendency become more pronounced after 1920 as the urban community underwent significant environmental and demographic change. Middle-class neighborhoods such as Westwood during the period under review rallied against population shifts that brought those of less means or those of a different race into their neighborhoods. [52] This approach to dealing with change, no matter how personally reprehensible, does not negate that fact that these efforts represent neighborhood organization.

If we accept the reality of locality-based organization and the fact that neighborhood residents do not always organize around and support progressive issues, we can learn more about the nature of the urban neighborhood. In addition, we can gain a deeper understanding of the public nature of place and what it means within the larger urban structure. And finally, if we better understand the historic neighborhood and how it has changed over time, it will be possible to better assess the state of the neighborhood life and its relationship to today's urban community. The neighborhood movement did not drop from heaven in the 1960s or the 1940s. Instead, it grew out of the forces of urban change as well as the efforts of numerous communities to exert control over their environments since the emergence of the modern city in the late nineteenth century.


[1] Stewart Dill McBride, "A Nation of Neighborhoods" Series, Christian Science Monitor, September 9, 1977.

[2] Milton Kotler, "The Purpose of Neighborhood Planning," South Atlantic Urban Studies 4 (1979): 29.

[3] See, for example, John Clayton Thomas, Between Citizen and City: Neighborhood Organizations and Urban Politics in Cincinnati (Lawrence: Univ. Press of Kansas, 1986), 3 and Michael R. Williams, Neighborhood Organizations: Seeds of a New Urban Life (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1985), xi.

[4] Thomas, Citizen and City, 20-21; Kotler, "Purpose of Planning," 27-31; Williams, Neighborhood Organizations, 8,73.

[5] Williams, Neighborhood Organizations, 29-30, 71. This view also represents a relatively limited understanding of what many settlements and community centers attempted to do during this period. For a different view see Patricia Mooney Melvin, The Organic City: Urban Definition and Neighborhood Organization 1880-1920 (Lexington: Univ. Press of Kentucky, 1978), 11-26.

[6] Melvin, Organic City.

[7] See Zane L. Miller, "The Role and Concept of Neighborhood in American Cities," in Community Organization for Urban Social Change: A Historical Perspective, eds. Robert Fisher and Peter Romanofsky (Westport,CT: Greenwood Press, 1981), 3-32; Zane L. Miller, "Pluralizing America: Walter Prescott Webb, Chicago School Sociology, and Cultural Regionalism," in Essays on Sunbelt Cities and Recent Urban America, eds. Robert B. Fairbanks and Kathleen Underwood (College Station: Texas A&M Press, 1990), 162-165; Williams, Neighborhood Organizations, 30; and John D. Fairfield, The Mysteries of the Great City: The Politics of Urban Design, 1877-1937. (Columbus: Ohio State Univ. Press, 1993).

[8] Alexander von Hoffman, Local Attachments: The Making of an American Urban Neighborhood, 1850 to 1920 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1994), 168.

[9] Kotler, "Purpose of Planning," 29.

[10] See Kenneth A. Scherzer, The Unbounded Community: Neighborhood Life and Social Structure in New York City, 1830-1875 (Durham, 1992) for the emergence of a sense of neighborhood before the development of the new city of the late nineteenth century. For a more detailed explanation of the development of the new city see Melvin, Organic City, 11-26. David Schuyler, in The New Urban Landscape: The Redefinition of City Form in Nineteenth-Century America (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1986), also argues that a different conception of the city emerged in the late nineteenth century as the city ceased to resemble what Americans believed it to be earlier in the century. Harold Platt suggests as well that the process of urbanization in the late nineteenth century involved a "conceptual change" that resulted in the redefinition of the city into metropolitan terms. This redefinition reflected the transformation of urban space from the compact city of the early nineteenth century to the "fragmented patchwork of urban neighborhoods and suburban districts" that characterized the city at the end of the century. See Harold L. Platt, City Building in the New South: The Growth of Public Services in Houston, Texas, 1830-1910 (Philadelphia: Temple Univ. Press, 1983), 184-208.

[11] Cincinnati Bureau of Governmental Research, A Survey Defining the Boundaries of the Cincinnati Region, Report No. 43 (Cincinnati, 1943), 6-8.

[12] Joel A. Tarr, "From City to Suburb: The `Moral' Influence of Transportation Technology," in American Urban History: An Interpretative Reader With Commentaries, 2nd ed., ed. A.B. Callow (New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1973), 205.

[13] See Zane L. Miller, "Boss Cox and the Municipal Reformers: Cincinnati Progressivism, 1880-1914," (Ph.D. dissertation, Univ. of Chicago, 1966) for a fuller discussion of the Slums, Zone, and Hilltop breakdown for this period.

[14] Zane L. Miller, Boss Cox's Cincinnati: Urban Politics in the Progressive Era (New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1968), 46-55. Bond Hill Civic Association, 1892-1901 Minute Book, Cincinnati Historical Society, Cincinnati, Ohio; John S. Synder, "Suburb and Neighborhood: Hydge Park (Cincinnati, Ohio) 1877-1948," (M.A. thesis, Univ. of Cincinnati, 1981), 59; Westwood Improvement Association Minute Book, February 4, 1896, Robert Brodbeck, Collection of Westwood and the Westwood Civic Association, Inc., 1865-1979, Cincinnati Historical Society, Cincinnati, Ohio.

[15] Sidney D. Maxwell, The Suburbs of Cincinnati (Cincinnati, 1870; reprint ed. New York: Arno Press, 1974), 139.

[16] Lyle Koehler, Westwood in Cincinnati: Community, Continuity, and Change (Cincinnati, 1981), 46-47, 60-62.

[17] Hamilton County Research Foundation, The Story of Annexation (Cincinnati, 1955), 8; and Miller, Boss Cox's Cincinnati, 107-108. The vote for annexation was 49,467 for to 4,467 opposed.

[18] Cincinnati, Ohio. Codification of Ordinances of the City of Cincinnati, 1911, 8th Supplement (Cincinnati, 1918), 130.

[19] Koehler, Westwood, 62, 81.

[20] Placard: "Railroad!! Important Meeting for Decisive Action--Westwood, Cheviot and Dent Improvement Association," May 5, 1877, Robert Brodbeck, Collection of Westwood and the Westwood Civic Association, Inc., 1865-1979, Cincinnati Historical Society, Cincinnati, Ohio.

[21] Westwood Improvement Association Minute Book, February 4, 1896.

[22] Westwood Improvement Association Minute Book, February 2, 1903, Robert Brodbeck, Collection of Westwood and the Westwood Civic Association, Inc., 1865-1979, Cincinnati, Ohio.

[23] Westwood Improvement Association Minute Book, March 29, 1897, Robert Brodbeck, Collection of Westwood and the Westwood Civic Association, Inc., 1865-1979, Cincinnati Historical Society, Cincinnati, Ohio.

[24] The State of Ohio, General and Local Acts Passed and Joint Resolutions Adopted by the General Assembly, 1890 (Columbus, Ohio), 89-92.

[25] "West Cincinnati Business Association Company, The Westwood Businessmen's Club, The Westwood Improvement Association, and the North Fairmount Improvement Association, "Opening of the Harrison Street Viaduct Souvenir, Cincinnati, 1908," Cincinnati Historical Society, Cincinnati, Ohio; Koehler, Westwood, 83.

[26] West Cincinnati, "Opening"; Koehler, Westwood, 84.

[27] West Cincinnati, "Opening."

[28] Westwood Improvement Association Minute Book, August 3, 1908, Robert Brodbeck, Collection of Westwood and the Westwood Civic Association, Inc., Cincinnati Historical Society, Cincinnati, Ohio.

[29] Federated Civic Association, Thirtieth Anniversary Souvenir and History (Cincinnati, 1937), 31.

[30] The Civic News, October 1911.

[31] Ibid.

[32] Ibid.

[33] Miller, Boss Cox's Cincinnati, 113-114; Melvin, The Organic City, 11-26.

[34] The Civic News, February 1912.

[35] Miller, Boss Cox's Cincinnati, 116.

[36] In 1911 the WIA merged with the Westwood Businessmen's Club and the organization changed its name to the Westwood Civic Association. Westwood Improvement Association Minute Book, February 11, 1911, Robert Brodbeck, Collection of Westwood and the Westwood Civic Association, Inc., 1865-1979, Cincinnati Historical Society, Cincinnati, Ohio.

[37] Cincinnati Times-Star, April 21, 1911, November 17, 1911, January 10, 1912; The Commercial Tribune, September 29, 1911; The Civic News, November, 1911; Twin City Journal, February 23, 1912.

[38] Federated News, April 1915.

[39] Barbara M. Posadas, "Suburb Into Neighborhood: The Transformation of Urban Identity on Chicago's Periphery - Irving Park as a Case Study," Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society 76 (Autumn 1983): 174.

[40] Koehler, Westwood, 99-104; Synder, "Suburb and Neighborhood," 139-140; Zane L. Miller and Bruce Tucker, "The Revolt Against Cultural Determinism and the Meaning of Community Action: A View for Cincinnati," Prospects 16 (1990): 413-417.

[41] Von Hoffman, Local Attachments, xvii.

[42] Williams, Neighborhood Organizations, 30-31.

[43] John Emmeus Davis, Contested Ground: Collective Action and the Urban Neighborhood (Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press, 1991), 6.

[44] Bond Hill Civic Association, 1892-1901 Minute Book; The Civic News, October-November 1991; Commercial Tribune, July 21, 1911; The Cincinnati Traction Company Dope Book, The Cincinnati Traction Company Records, 1858-1955, Cincinnati Historical Society, Cincinnati, Ohio.

[45] Bond Hill Civic Association, 1926-1936 Minute Book, Cincinnati Historical Society, Cincinnati, Ohio; Federated Civic Association, Thirtieth Anniversary, 55; Federated Civic Associations, 1952 Year Book.

[46] Clifton Heights-Fairview Association Papers, 1919-1952, Cincinnati Historical Society, Cincinnati, Ohio; North Cincinnati Review, August 1926; Rachel Gilbert Brown, [History of Clifton Heights-Fairview c.1853-1980, n.d., Cincinnati Historical Society, Cincinnati, Ohio.

[47] Federated Civic Association, Thirtieth Anniversary, 63-64; Price Hill Civic Club Papers, 1915-Present, Cincinnati Historical Society, Cincinnati, Ohio; The Price Hill Chirper, April 3, 1926.

[48] Bernard Dittly, Russ Hess,, Riverside Pride: A History of the Civic and Welfare Club, Inc. (Cincinnati: Cincinnati Historical Society, 1982).

[49] Davis, Contested Ground, 5-7, 257-258, 307-310.

[50] Robert Fisher, Let the People Decide: Neighborhood Organizing in America (Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1984), 73-75; Robert Fisher, "`Be on the Lookout': Neighborhood Civic Clubs in Houston," The Houston Review 6 (1984): 105-106.

[51] Thomas, Citizen and City, 3-5; Davis, Contested Ground, 109; Williams, Neighborhood Organizations, 30.

[52] Koehler, Westwood, 112-113.