Ravenna, OH- Historic Satellite Suburb of Akron, OH

This evaluation includes just the pre WWII urban fabric of Ravenna. That is more or less the entire with of the Town between the north and south railroad tracks.

Ravenna was founded in 1799 and is named after Ravenna, Italy. Ravenna grew pretty quickly in the 1800s reaching almost 2K residents by the Civic War. Historically it was know for producing some of the highest quality hearses in the Country, hired to escort Presidents McKinley and Garfield to their final resting place. Rail service arrived in Ravena via the Cleveland and Pittsburgh Railroad in 1851. In 1877, the Quaker Oats Company was established in Ravenna with the familiar Quaker Oats logo patented in in the City. The City reached 4K residents in 1900. Thanks to this decent sized population in the 1800s Ravenna hosts an Italianate styled heavy Commercial District. The City’s population continued to modestly climb in the 1900s reaching 7K in 1920 and 8.5K in 1940. Population peaked at 12K in 1990 and has since slowly declined to 11,300 souls. Ravenna is also well know for its Balloon Festival that occurs around mid- September.

Ravenna is a mixed-bag when it comes to quality urbanism. There is a good compact Downtown core along Main St and a couple blocks off, but the quality of Main Street quickly becomes auto centric outside the Dwtn core. Quality historic residential is also pretty limited and population density is very low. Ravenna does have solid retail and cultural amenities and a decent # of good walkable schools. The City, however, lacks quality public transit, bike amenities, housing diversity (esp. rentals), and is a very homogenous White community. 

Click here to view my Ravenna Album on Flickr

URBAN STRENGTHS:

* Decent grided and connected streets. Better in the core of Dwtn.
* Great economic diversity and decent generational diversity.
* Good # of schools and generally pretty well rated. High Schools is located a bit outside of Town and really isn’t very walkable.
* Some dedicated affordable housing in Ravenna.
* Good tree canopy.
* Lovely historic commercial bldgs. Residential is a bit uninspiring.
* Good urban massing in the Dwtn core but falls a part outside of the core along OH-59.
* Good cultural amenities including solid # and variety of food & beverage bizs, a major cineplex, a local dance and music school, a small conference center, and a couple local museums.
* Solid retail amenities including several supermarkets & drug stores, a couple dollar stores, lots of banks, plenty of boutiques, lots of gift shops, a couple antique stores, a toy store, a local hardware store, plenty of dessert shops, a couple gyms, a local library & post office, several churches, and a local hospital and lots of doctor’s offices sits just north of the Dwtn area. 

URBAN WEAKNESSES:

* Very low density for an urban area.
* So so sidewalk and ADA curb cuts.
* Pretty poor public transit.
* Some bus service to dwtn Akron but pretty  limited. Only a 20 min drive.
* Some nice regional recreational bike paths on the edges of Dwtn but nothing penetrates its.
* Poor racial diversity as this is over 90% White.
* For sale housing is pretty limited to affordable and moderately priced hsg. 2-beds sell btwn 50K-200K, 3 & 4 Beds btwn 85K-300K.
* Rentals are pretty limited but affordable.
* Limited modern infill and what does exist is very auto centric.

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