The Betts-Longworth Historic District boundaries and conservation guidelines were adopted by the Cincinnati City Council on May 26, 1982. The district is named after two of the area’s original property owners, William Betts and Nicholas Longworth. Both owned large tracts of land, which were subdivided in the 1830s and sold as individual lots.
The district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983 because of a potential archaeological site within its boundaries. The Old Jewish Cemetery of Cincinnati (Chestnut Street) founded in 1821 is recognized as the oldest Jewish cemetery west of Pennsylvania. The Betts House located on Clark Street was built in 1804 and is the oldest brick house in Ohio.
The majority of the district’s historic buildings and residences date from the late 19th century. The district is recognized for its Italianate style of architecture, which was popular in Cincinnati for about 30 years, starting at the time of the Civil War. It also was listed on the National Register of Historic Places because of its Federal, Italianate and Queen Anne architecture. There are a large number of preserved residences built in these, and Greek Revival, architectural styles.
The Betts-Longworth Historic District in Cincinnati combines historic preservation and new development to successfully revitalize a small downtown neighborhood. Now a thriving low-, middle- and high-income neighborhood, the project promotes socioeconomic diversity and stability in an area that once was on the verge of complete demolition. By the end of 1993, the district included 240 rehabilitated apartment units; 77 single-family homes; 20,000 square feet of rehabilitated office space; 4,000 square feet of rehabilitated retail space; and 370 parking spaces.