December 22, 2022

12 Deep-Dive Cover Stories from 2022 That CityBeat Is Damn Proud Of

CityBeat reports on and feels the heartbeat of Cincinnati every day. From Cincinnati City Council proposals to the latest entertainment news to restaurant openings, citybeat.com is filled with daily stories that matter to readers. But decades ago, CityBeat grew from a demand for deeply reported, home-grown journalism that called out regional problems and highlighted changemakers – an effort that continues today in the cover stories for CityBeat’s print issues. These are some of the staff’s favorites from 2022.
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“Hood Century Modern”
By Jude Noel and Mackenzie Manley, Jan. 26 issue 
Jerald Cooper is best known for running the popular Instagram account Hood Century (@HoodMidCenturyModern), which reveals the architectural history and importance behind otherwise-unassuming locations. From the now-destroyed Crosley Field where the Cincinnati Reds once played to abandoned swimming pools in Cincinnati, Los Angeles, Mexico, Paris and beyond, Cooper talked to CityBeat about how his posts are portals into deeper research. Read CityBeat's cover story to learn how you can get your hands on helpful flash cards designed by Cooper to make you a pro at spotting architectural design styles.
Photo: Aaron Stern

“Hood Century Modern”

By Jude Noel and Mackenzie Manley, Jan. 26 issue
Jerald Cooper is best known for running the popular Instagram account Hood Century (@HoodMidCenturyModern), which reveals the architectural history and importance behind otherwise-unassuming locations. From the now-destroyed Crosley Field where the Cincinnati Reds once played to abandoned swimming pools in Cincinnati, Los Angeles, Mexico, Paris and beyond, Cooper talked to CityBeat about how his posts are portals into deeper research. Read CityBeat's cover story to learn how you can get your hands on helpful flash cards designed by Cooper to make you a pro at spotting architectural design styles.
“Batter Up!”
By Jason Gargano, March 23 issue 
Earlier this year, the Bengals had their first playoff win in more than 30 years before coming up just minutes short during the Super Bowl. The rabid fan response to the Bengals’ success proved that Greater Cincinnati is home to one of most passionate and involved fan bases in sports. But while the Bengals were making history, the Reds were getting ready to launch into what would become one of the team’s worst seasons on record. Read more about the team's abysmal season and why it's weird being a Cincinnati sports fan.
Photo: Cincinnati Reds

“Batter Up!”

By Jason Gargano, March 23 issue
Earlier this year, the Bengals had their first playoff win in more than 30 years before coming up just minutes short during the Super Bowl. The rabid fan response to the Bengals’ success proved that Greater Cincinnati is home to one of most passionate and involved fan bases in sports. But while the Bengals were making history, the Reds were getting ready to launch into what would become one of the team’s worst seasons on record. Read more about the team's abysmal season and why it's weird being a Cincinnati sports fan.
“Over the Overdose”
By, Madeline Fening, April 6 issue 
In February, a bad batch of cocaine laced with fentanyl was going around in downtown Cincinnati. Experts told CityBeat that 35.9% of Ohio’s illicit drugs contained fentanyl in the last quarter of 2021, and supplies of common party drugs — like cocaine — laced with fentanyl had been sneaking up on those who casually take hits. Health officials were increasingly concerned, but Cincinnati’s bartenders were banding together to help prevent overdoses in their establishments. Read CityBeat’s story to learn how bartenders are tackling overdoses in the city by stocking bathrooms with harm reduction supplies.
Photo: CityBeat

“Over the Overdose”

By, Madeline Fening, April 6 issue
In February, a bad batch of cocaine laced with fentanyl was going around in downtown Cincinnati. Experts told CityBeat that 35.9% of Ohio’s illicit drugs contained fentanyl in the last quarter of 2021, and supplies of common party drugs — like cocaine — laced with fentanyl had been sneaking up on those who casually take hits. Health officials were increasingly concerned, but Cincinnati’s bartenders were banding together to help prevent overdoses in their establishments. Read CityBeat’s story to learn how bartenders are tackling overdoses in the city by stocking bathrooms with harm reduction supplies.
“Finding Lost Venues”
By, Jude Noel, April 20 issue 
Released this year, the book Lost Cincinnati Concert Venues of the ‘50s and ‘60s showed how a handful of now-defunct clubs helped some of the most exciting figures in popular music make their mark on the Queen City. With a focus on two decades that saw jazz undergo an experimental renaissance while rock & roll rose to cultural dominance, author and former CityBeat arts and culture editor Steve Rosen dug into the history of iconic venues of the past, like Cincinnati Gardens and Surf Club. Read CityBeat’s story for more about the author’s connection to the Queen City.
Photo: Stu Levy

“Finding Lost Venues”

By, Jude Noel, April 20 issue
Released this year, the book Lost Cincinnati Concert Venues of the ‘50s and ‘60s showed how a handful of now-defunct clubs helped some of the most exciting figures in popular music make their mark on the Queen City. With a focus on two decades that saw jazz undergo an experimental renaissance while rock & roll rose to cultural dominance, author and former CityBeat arts and culture editor Steve Rosen dug into the history of iconic venues of the past, like Cincinnati Gardens and Surf Club. Read CityBeat’s story for more about the author’s connection to the Queen City.
“Landmark Limbo”
By, Maija Zummo, May 4 issue 
With the sale and probable redevelopment of the Terrace Plaza Hotel imminent in the spring, preservationists pushed to make the contested hotel a designated local landmark, though Cincinnati City Council eventually shot it down. The mixed-use skyscraper features a mostly windowless seven-story base, once home to department stores Bond and JCPenney, with a 12-story structure on top. In a city stuffed with romantic and ornate Italianate architecture, the Terrace Plaza’s unadorned modernist facade had always painted a striking contrast. Read CityBeat’s story to learn about the Terrace Plaza’s national significance.
Photo: Ezra Stoller/Esto

“Landmark Limbo”

By, Maija Zummo, May 4 issue
With the sale and probable redevelopment of the Terrace Plaza Hotel imminent in the spring, preservationists pushed to make the contested hotel a designated local landmark, though Cincinnati City Council eventually shot it down. The mixed-use skyscraper features a mostly windowless seven-story base, once home to department stores Bond and JCPenney, with a 12-story structure on top. In a city stuffed with romantic and ornate Italianate architecture, the Terrace Plaza’s unadorned modernist facade had always painted a striking contrast. Read CityBeat’s story to learn about the Terrace Plaza’s national significance.
“London Calling”
By, Mackenzie Manley, June 15 issue 
Traveling from London, the Fashion & Sensibility exhibition at the Taft Museum of Art featured costumes from a number of acclaimed film adaptations of Jane Austen’s beloved novels, including Pride & Prejudice, Emma, Sense & Sensibility and more. The expansive exhibition included the dusters, capes, tailcoats, trimmed bonnets and suits that helped bring to life beloved characters such as Emma Woodhouse, Elizabeth Bennet, the Dashwood Sisters, Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, Fanny Price, Colonel Brandon and more. Check out CityBeat’s story for photos of the famous pieces.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

“London Calling”

By, Mackenzie Manley, June 15 issue
Traveling from London, the Fashion & Sensibility exhibition at the Taft Museum of Art featured costumes from a number of acclaimed film adaptations of Jane Austen’s beloved novels, including Pride & Prejudice, Emma, Sense & Sensibility and more. The expansive exhibition included the dusters, capes, tailcoats, trimmed bonnets and suits that helped bring to life beloved characters such as Emma Woodhouse, Elizabeth Bennet, the Dashwood Sisters, Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, Fanny Price, Colonel Brandon and more. Check out CityBeat’s story for photos of the famous pieces.
“Aborted”
By, CityBeat Staff, June 29 issue 
In a landmark decision on June 24, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, eliminating the federal protection of a patient’s right to decide to terminate a pregnancy. In the decision on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Justice Samuel Alito followed the same language and logic he’d written in the leaked draft opinion that Politico published on May 2. Alito — an originalist who is part of a majority conservative court — wrote that the U.S. Constitution does not explicitly spell out the right to an abortion, an unenumerated right. The decision sparked economic, health and social concerns as well as a continued wave of action from both anti-choice lawmakers and pro-choice advocates. Read CityBeat’s cover series on the cascade of impact caused by the Supreme Court decision, including a spike in vasectomies.
Illustration: Jordan Kay

“Aborted”

By, CityBeat Staff, June 29 issue
In a landmark decision on June 24, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, eliminating the federal protection of a patient’s right to decide to terminate a pregnancy. In the decision on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Justice Samuel Alito followed the same language and logic he’d written in the leaked draft opinion that Politico published on May 2. Alito — an originalist who is part of a majority conservative court — wrote that the U.S. Constitution does not explicitly spell out the right to an abortion, an unenumerated right. The decision sparked economic, health and social concerns as well as a continued wave of action from both anti-choice lawmakers and pro-choice advocates. Read CityBeat’s cover series on the cascade of impact caused by the Supreme Court decision, including a spike in vasectomies.
“Book It”
By, Allison Babka, Lauren Serge and Lindsay Wielonski, Aug, 10 issue 
Educators have said that during a child’s early years, a lack of proximity to reading materials or to adults who read can cause learning problems down the line. But locals who are part of the Little Free Library program are tackling this problem with small book structures that are multiplying throughout Greater Cincinnati. Check out some of CityBeat’s favorite mini libraries from around town and learn about a few folks who are using them to build communities around books.
Photo: Allison Babka

“Book It”

By, Allison Babka, Lauren Serge and Lindsay Wielonski, Aug, 10 issue
Educators have said that during a child’s early years, a lack of proximity to reading materials or to adults who read can cause learning problems down the line. But locals who are part of the Little Free Library program are tackling this problem with small book structures that are multiplying throughout Greater Cincinnati. Check out some of CityBeat’s favorite mini libraries from around town and learn about a few folks who are using them to build communities around books.
“The King Thing”
By, Katie Griffith, Sept. 7 issue 
The shell of the former King Records complex sat vacant in Evanston for years, sadly without much national public acknowledgement of how the label, artists and producers shaped both the music of the time and the future of rock & roll and soul. But then The King Records Legacy Foundation launched in 2021 as a collaboration between City of Cincinnati officials, the neighborhood of Evanston and former King Records recording artists Otis Williams, Philip Paul, Bootsy Collins and others, and there was new hope for the site. Williams’ son Kent Butts is the executive director of the foundation that’s trying to preserve the studio’s history. Read CityBeat’s story to learn more about the sprawling, important legacy that the King Records Legacy Foundation is trying to highlight.
Photo illustration: Sean Bieri

“The King Thing”

By, Katie Griffith, Sept. 7 issue
The shell of the former King Records complex sat vacant in Evanston for years, sadly without much national public acknowledgement of how the label, artists and producers shaped both the music of the time and the future of rock & roll and soul. But then The King Records Legacy Foundation launched in 2021 as a collaboration between City of Cincinnati officials, the neighborhood of Evanston and former King Records recording artists Otis Williams, Philip Paul, Bootsy Collins and others, and there was new hope for the site. Williams’ son Kent Butts is the executive director of the foundation that’s trying to preserve the studio’s history. Read CityBeat’s story to learn more about the sprawling, important legacy that the King Records Legacy Foundation is trying to highlight.
“Friday Night Lights ”
By, Michael Asher, Sept. 21 issue 
Students from the media production division at the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music work outside the classroom to produce and direct television broadcasts that air live on ESPN+. It’s a unique opportunity – no other school in the American Athletic Conference (AAC) uses student media teams linked to a curriculum to produce live feeds for the network – that over just a couple of years already has generated jobs for program alums at ESPN, with the Bengals and at other big-name sports entities. Read CityBeat’s story to learn how the partnership between UC and ESPN came to be.
Photo: Michael Asher

“Friday Night Lights ”

By, Michael Asher, Sept. 21 issue
Students from the media production division at the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music work outside the classroom to produce and direct television broadcasts that air live on ESPN+. It’s a unique opportunity – no other school in the American Athletic Conference (AAC) uses student media teams linked to a curriculum to produce live feeds for the network – that over just a couple of years already has generated jobs for program alums at ESPN, with the Bengals and at other big-name sports entities. Read CityBeat’s story to learn how the partnership between UC and ESPN came to be.