St. James Pocket Park

Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation > St. James Pocket Park

St. James Pocket Park

The St James Cut Through was an old public place designed in the 1970’s plaza, used by residents to get from the residential section of the neighborhood to the business district. But, it was also used for negative activities such as drug dealing, an outdoor bathroom and public drinking.  The cut-through was filled with trash, overgrown weeds, illegally parked cars and the street lights had been shot out.

The conventional safety recommendation was to fence off the space to cut off the negative activity.  However, this would also prevent well meaning residents from using the most efficient route to get to the business district, including the grocery store and the pharmacy. Instead, during the NEP, WHRF partnered with WHAC, WHBG and the City of Cincinnati to clean up the cut-through, install  lighting and block car access with the use of jersey barriers. Later, WHRF partnered with MKSK to design the pocket park.  Through a series of community work days, the cut through was painted bright colors, new creative lighting was installed, new trees and better landscaping were planted and a little free library was installed on a kiosk.

The Cut Through was recently home to the Scholar House Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Cincinnati Scholar House project coming soon to Walnut Hills. The Cut Through is smack-dab in the middle of the new development, which will provide housing and on-site daycare for single parents enrolled in full-time coursework at a post-secondary education institution. While we're sad to see it go, this project will fill a great need in our WH and Cincy communities.

To read more on the Scholar House project see:, and below for some photos from the Ceremony. To view the full album, find us on our Facebook here.