Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Selling Sander Street

St. George and surrounding area (collection of Kevin Grace, Archives and Rare Books) University of Cincinnati.  Used with Permission

Our house was in the block behind the church

In November 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower won re-election against Democrat challenger Adlai Stevenson. The following spring, I was walking a mile farther back and forth to school at St. George because we had moved to Mt. Auburn.

The 1950s saw a lot of changes, and one of those was our street being sold to the University of Cincinnati for construction of a new female dormitory, Sander Hall.

I haven’t been able to find the exact dates of the transactions that caused Sander Street to be sold and demolished, but it was in the mid-’50s. 

In a weird twist of fate, after building the 27-story dormitory, it was demolished in recent years, making national news for being one of the newest buildings in American history to be imploded. It was like Sander Street disappearing all over again.  

You can watch it fall here

I wish I knew how much Dad and Uncle Norb, and the other residents on our street were paid for their homes, but I don’t remember ever hearing the figures.
The city directory tells me that Uncle Norb and Aunt Vera had moved by 1956 to Glendora Street. I don’t remember them moving, which surprises me. I’ve remembered so much. Why wouldn’t I recall my cousins and Aunt and Uncle moving out of the Sander Street House?
I really don’t remember us moving either, just that it was in 1957, because I remember walking from our new home at 123 Inwood Place, through Inwood Park, crossing Vine Street, walking up Hollister Street to McMillan Avenue, and then on up to Calhoun Street, to St. George when I was in the eighth grade, which would have been 1957.  The weather was warm, so it would have been spring.
I also remember missing my Sander Street friends, especially Joanie Leminck, who obviously had to move as well, but I always imagined them still living on the old street long after we’d moved.
Leaving the home we had lived in the longest at that point marked the change from child to young adult for me. It signaled my coming of age, and rather quickly at that. Inwood Place was no Sander Street.

I’d lived on a street that, in the 1950s, children played outside until dark and were safe, few people owned cars and you could skate or ride your bike in middle of the street.
The neighbors all knew each other and congregated outside on the stoops in the evenings. You danced and played outside in your bathing suit in the summer rain. The church and school were a block away as was the corner grocery, the “dime store” (think today’s dollar stores), the local saloon, the library, and the “show,” the neighborhood theater, which is now Bogart's, on Short Vine.

A time where boredom was practically unheard of for kids.

I walked to my Grandma's apartment from Sander Street, and learned to take the city bus downtown by myself.  One year I decided to take ballet classes and rode the bus downtown to the Harris Rosedale School of Dance on Fifth Street.  

I can’t say my childhood was all bad, though some parts were. 

At some point, a kid has to grow up and begin counting the good things and chalking the bad things up as experiences that make you who are today: My experiences made me strong and capable, with a motto that everyone makes mistakes, including our parents. You just have to realize they always did the best they could, and then you have to go out and make a good life for yourself.


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  4. They sold it on October 5th or 6th of 1955, to Richard A. Weiland. Google him.
    I'm guessing that he was connected with the University in some capacity, in order to keep the property in trusted hands until all of the other properties were purchased. The house sold again on October 25th of 1955, to Phillip M. Meyers and Joseph Mendelsohn, and continued to change hands at least once each year until '59. It was finally deeded to the university on Feb. 22, 1962. It appears to have been torn down that year or the one before.

    The houses were gone, but the street stayed there, from Corry down almost Charleton, until 10 or 15 years ago. I used to walk up and down that block regularly in the mid '80s, between Daniels Hall and Calhoun St.
    It's amazing how many homes and commercial buildings were torn down for the UC Eastward expansion, and later the EPA building.

    1. I was born on Sander St. and lived there until I was 2. My family moved to Imperial St. in 1952. It ran between Bishop/Jefferson and Nixon/Lakewood. I walked to St. George for grade school with most of the other kids in the neighborhood. It was a great place to go up. We didn't have much but none of us thought we were poor! It saddens me that it is all gone now. I would love to show my kids where I grew up.

  5. Imperial is another one which is long gone.