In the early 19th century, Cincinnati was an American boom town in the heart of the country to rival the larger coastal cities in size and wealth. Because it is the first major American city founded after the American Revolution as well as the first major inland city in the country, Cincinnati is sometimes thought of as the first purely American city. It developed initially without as much European immigration or influence that was taking place at the same time in eastern cities. However, by the end of the 19th century, with the shift from steamboats to railroads, Cincinnati's growth had slowed considerably and the city became surpassed in population by other inland cities, Chicago and St. Louis.
Cincinnati is home to two major sports teams, the Cincinnati Reds and the Cincinnati Bengals, an important tennis tournament, the Cincinnati Masters, and home to large events such as the Flying Pig Marathon, the Macy's Music Festival, and the Thanksgiving Day race. The University of Cincinnati traces its foundation to the Medical College of Ohio, which was founded in 1819.
Cincinnati is known for its large collection of historic architecture. Over-the-Rhine, a neighborhood just to the north of Downtown Cincinnati, boasts among the world's largest collections of Italianate architecture, rivaling similar neighborhoods in New York City, Vienna and Munich in size and scope. In the late 1800s, Cincinnati was commonly referred to as 'Paris of America,' mainly due to significant architectural projects, like the Music Hall, the Cincinnatian Hotel, and the Shillito Department Store. Constructed mainly between 1850 and 1900, Over-the-Rhine was the center of life for German immigrants for many years, and is one of the largest historic districts listed on the National Register of