Elements of Urbanism: Columbus, Ohio

July 31, 2012 26 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Metro Jacksonville visits a peer community with a vibrant downtown in Central Ohio: Columbus


As Metro Jacksonville's resident urban planner, the vibrancy of Columbus' Short North district is what I envision a vibrant Main Street (Springfield), Edgewood Avenue (Murray Hill), Park Street (Brooklyn) or A. Philip Randolph Boulevard (Eastside) to resemble.

The Short North is a neighborhood in Columbus, Ohio, United States, centered on the main strip of High Street immediately north of downtown and extending until just south of the Ohio State University campus area. It is an easy walk from the convention center or Nationwide Arena district to the north. The Short North is often crowded on weekends, particularly during the monthly "Gallery Hop" and other local and downtown events.

The Short North is heavily populated with art galleries, specialty shops, pubs, nightclubs, and coffee houses. Most of its tightly packed brick buildings date from at least the early 20th century, with traditional storefronts along High Street (often with brightly painted murals on their side walls), and old apartment buildings and rowhouses and newer condominium developments in the surrounding blocks. The city installed 17 lighted metal archways extending across High Street throughout the Short North, reminiscent of such arches present in the area in the early 1900s.

The area is also known to be a very gay and lesbian friendly neighborhood and many gay nightclubs and bars are located the area and is the location of the annual Columbus gay pride parade.

The Ohio State University was established in 1870 and currently has an enrollment of 56,867 students in Columbus.  The 1,764-acre main campus is approximately 2.5 miles north of downtown COlumbus.  Short North is located between OSU and downtown Columbus, with High Street as the main thoroughfare.

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