CTM Board of Trustees will meet in a hybrid meeting on Monday, Oct. 2, 2023

Early 6:30 p.m. start will feature candidates and election issues; regular CTM meeting to follow

The public is welcome to attend. Public input on CTM agenda items will be heard after Trustee discussion is complete.  Community members wishing to address the Board on an agenda item should sign up to speak at least 24 hours before start of the meeting by completing this Google form or with an email request directed to the president at contactctm@cliftoncommunity.org. Individual input on agenda items will last no more than two minutes.

Community members may speak on non-agenda issues during the public questions and concerns period at the end of the meeting. Individuals with statements are asked to sign in before the start of the meeting. Such statements should last not more than two minutes and are invited during the public questions and concerns period. Email your request to speak (specify the topic), or to request an agenda item at the next meeting to contactctm@cliftoncommunity.org.


Join in-person: Clifton Recreation Center, 320 McAlpin Avenue  
Join Remotely: https://meet.google.com/qym-wjou-ncx


Join in-person: Clifton Recreation Center, 320 McAlpin Avenue  
Join Remotely: https://meet.google.com/tao-fyqq-sxn

Start TimeTopicTopic Lead
6:30 p.m.Welcome and Roll CallPres. Gerald Checco, Secretary Gee
Candidate/Issue Night
3 minutes per speaker,
2 minutes each for questions
Todd Zinser
David Mann
Kevin Flynn
Sale of Rail
6:45Thane MaynardZoo
6:50Jeanne Strauss DeGroutLibrary
7 p.m.
Bryan Cannon
Eve Bolton
Board of Education
Jan Michelle Kearney
Reggie Harris
Jeff Cramerding
Seth Walsh
Anna Albi
Mark Jeffreys
Victoria Parks
City Council
7:45Approval of August and September CTM minutesSecretary Gee
7:47Treasurer Report, Bi-Annual ReviewTreas. Noonan
7:50Police ReportOfficer Dent
8:05Fire Report
8:10Clifton Recreation Center ReportDirector Fitzpatrick
8:15Clifton Branch Library ReportDirector Strauss DeGrout
8:20Chronicle ReportTrustee Jan Brown Checco
8:25Clifton Area Neighborhood Schools (CANS) ReportJulia Bonfield
8:30Bylaws Discussion
– Clarification of bylaws, language consistency (items B, C, D, E, I, G)
– Board Representation (items A, F, K, M)
– Board flexibility, accountability (items H, L, J, N)
-CTM Member (non-board) proposal (item O)
Trustees Lienhart and Gregg
9 p.m.Report AdHoc Unhoused in Burnet Woods CommitteePeter Block
9:05Other Committee Updates and ReportsVarious
9:10Community Questions/Concerns
– 11/6/2023 at 6 p.m. – Elections
– 11/6/2023 at 7 p.m. – Meeting
Pres. Checco

Reference Documents

Chronicle highlights Clifton’s walkability

The Summer 2023 Clifton Chronicle highlights the neighborhood’s walkability.

The Summer 2023 edition of the Clifton Chronicle, the quarterly newsletter of Clifton Town Meeting, is dedicated to Clifton’s walkability and engaging environment. Of course, these traits are the result of much hard work by neighbors past and present to improve pedestrian safety and preserve Clifton’s historic features, greenspaces and small-business district.

Check out the latest Clifton Chronicle to find guided hikes through parks and by stunning neighborhood gardens as well as news on upcoming events and more.

Chronicle highlights arts and culture in Clifton

The cover of the Spring 2023 Clifton Chronicle includes photography by Helen Adams, Chez Chesak, Paolo, Victor Morales, Gerald Checco, Jan Checco, Amanda Checco, Steve Schuckman, Stephen Mergner, Albert Cesare, Pam Resai, Abby Schwartz, Jason Franz, Adam Mysock, Mark Jeffreys, Siona Benjamin, Collin Fitzpatrick, Brad Shepherd, Beth McCarty, JeeEun Lee, Emalene Benson, Brenda Tarbell, Paige Wideman, and Nick Sorrell. The images highlight the arts and culture offerings in Clifton.

The Spring 2023 edition of the Clifton Chronicle, the quarterly newsletter of Clifton Town Meeting, is dedicated to the arts and culture in a neighborhood that’s long been anchored by the Skirball Museum, the Esquire Theatre, and the Ludlow Garage. More recent additions include Off Ludlow Gallery, Vada Gallery, Manifest, Improve Cincinnati and the Clifton Cultural Arts Center. Of course, neighborhood businesses and public spaces, including Clifton Plaza, the Burnet Woods bandstand and Mt. Storm, are also the site of regular music, art and theater events.

Find articles on all of these offerings, plus features about the architecture in local parks, a past mayor of Clifton, two Clifton artists from the late 19th century, and a variety of updates from community institutions.

Click here to download the spring 2023 edition of the Clifton Chronicle.

Adolph Strauch: Great Garden Design in Clifton & Beyond

By Steve Schuckman

This article was first published in the Summer 2022 Clifton Chronicle.

Adloph Strauch and his family are buried at Spring Grove on an island in the lake near the entrance to the cemetery.

A chance meeting in London in 1851 began a relationship that shaped the way we experience parks and gardens in Cincinnati. Robert Bonner Bowler (owner of a Clifton estate that became Mt. Storm Park) was visiting the World Exposition at London’s Crystal Palace when he met Adolph Strauch, a Prussian gardener. During their garden tour conversation, Bowler invited Strauch to visit him in Cincinnatiif he was ever in America. Not long after, Strauch indeed did visit America. While waiting to change trains in Cincinnati for a cross-country trip, he recalled Bowler’s offer. He visited Bowler, who in turn invited him to stay to design the landscape of his estate. The master gardener decided that Cincinnati would be his new home, and the restas they sayis history.

Strauch (1822-1883) had studied in Vienna and worked at the Schonbrunn Palace gardens. The form and beauty he introduced at Bowler’s estate was noticed, and many wealthy Cincinnati residents contracted Strauch to redesign their own properties. It seemed everyone wanted a Strauch design, which eliminated fences and created flowing landscapes of lawns with stands of trees that framed views. He designed the grounds of Henry Probasco’s estate at Oakwood and George Schoenberger’s estate at Scarlet Oaks, among others. Though these landscapes are long gone, Probasco’s house remains on West Cliff Drive, and Schoenberger’s remains at Scarlet Oaks. 

Just three years after settling in Cincinnati in 1851, Strauch was hired to redesign and redefine the landscape in Spring Grove Cemetery, where he later became superintendent in 1859. His hand can be seen in the winding roads, lakes, the groupings of plantings, and his open lawn design, which became a model for other “garden” cemeteries that followed. He eliminated fencing and railings between plots to create a free-flowing design of space that he called a “landscape lawn plan,” introducing plants from around the world. He also designed other important cemeteries, including Forest Lawn in Buffalo and Oak Woods in Chicago. While still working at Spring Grove, Strauch became superintendent of parks (1871-1875) and designed Eden Park and Burnet Woods. 

Due in large part to Strauch’s work, Clifton became known as a garden spot of America, and our hilltop community took on the look of a single large park. An 1875 publication described Clifton as “…hill, dale, lawn, ravine, field and forest, interspersed with bright evergreens and shrubbery, blossom with shady nooks and sunny glades in which nestle the roomy, cool verandas and graveled walks of the fine homes of Clifton.” Strauch talked of his own designs as expressing “cheerfulness, luxuriance of growth, shade, solitude and repose amid scenery designed to imitate rural nature.” Other than the “Temple of Love” – an elegant domed landmark that covers the cistern over a reservoir that watered the gardens and greenhouses of the Bowler estate – little remains of Strauch’s landscape design there today. A recent effort to rejuvenate the park’s landscaping is inspired by the precepts of Strauch’s work.

The Clifton & Ludlow Crossroads of the 1890s

By Geoff Gelke, The History Buffs

This article was first published in the Summer 2022 Clifton Chronicle.

What could be more iconic to Clifton than the intersection of Clifton and Ludlow avenues?  It wasn’t always as it appears today. Let’s time-travel corner to corner:

Cincinnati Gas and Coke Company, office and agent’s home

The Southwest Corner: The beautiful Beaux Arts Firehouse No. 34 was built in 1906, designed by architect Harry Hake to house the fire vehicles and horses serving Clifton. The earlier firehouse had been included in the town hall/school complex located at Clifton and Central (now McAlpin) avenues. The complex was becoming so run down that Mr. Balsch – resident of the grand McDonald mansion next door – complained that he wouldn’t send his son there. Hence the impetus to build a new school in 1905, and a new firehouse in 1906. To relocate the firehouse to Clifton and Ludlow, an 1883 building designed by famed architect Samuel Hannaford was demolished. The Hannaford structure had been home to the Cincinnati Gas & Coke Company and its district agent George Dury and family.

The Northwest Corner:  The three-story commercial red brick building dates to the 1880s, when attorney Joseph Bley’s offices were on the first floor. Soon after came Adolf Meyer’s grocery store with modifications to the first floor exterior into the commercial appearance of today, with Meyer’s initials above a corner front door. The grocery was succeeded for decades by Dow Drugs until Adrian Durban Florist settled into their remarkably colorful shop.

The Northeast Corner: Built in the 1880s as a drug store for Byrne and Company Drugs with apartments above, this handsome Dutch Colonial building later housed Stier Drugs in 1907. Modernizations to the store’s exterior are reflected in the recently restored Art Deco logo. Stier thrived into the 1950s before finally transitioning in 1966 to our famed Skyline Chili parlor. 

The Southeast Corner: The Diggs Fountain and Burnet Woods trailhead at the foot of the hill were not always there. Examine the old 1891 property lines map – this area was full of buildings! The home and stables of road contractor Thomas J. Howard were accompanied by at least six additional residences leading up to the park’s entrance on Brookline. One resident of note was Frederick Bissinger, the famous candy manufacturer. Around 1905 to 1907, Cincinnati Parks purchased and rezoned this triangular-shaped four-acre parcel. Down went the buildings and in went the plantings! An 1870s gift of woodlands made to the city from Clifton barons Robert Burnet and William Groesbeck, the parkland honored patriarch and Cincinnati icon Jacob Burnet. Burnet Woods originally covered 170 acres, whittled to about half that by the turn of the century by an ever-expanding University of Cincinnati campus. Today Burnet Woods covers about 90 acres. Cincinnati Parks made up for the loss of greenspace elsewhere in their system at other properties, including Ault Park.

Map of Clifton and Ludlow avenues in 1891