In the early 1900s Columbus was known as the Arch City. Redevelopment in the Short North started in the mid 1970s, when “urban homesteaders” began buying cheap houses in the area and fixing them up. Wood Companies first projects were a double at 99 West Second and then renovation of First Avenue School, which became First Avenue Office Building. In 2002, new Short North arches were installed similar to those that existed at the turn of the century.
The Short North is now one of the most popular and artistic districts in the city of Columbus. The dining choices are diverse and extensive enough to satisfy any craving. The shopping choices in the district are equally as expansive, as they contain anywhere from fashion, new and vintage, to both new and antique collectible gifts and furniture.
The art galleries, of which there are many, span the gamut from contemporary to classical, and feature a wide range of artists. The monthly Gallery Hop event which takes place the first Saturday of every month is unique to the Columbus area and draws visitors from all over Ohio.
The nightlife and entertainment in the Short North is rich and eventful, with booming happy hours, karaoke evenings, and many musical shows and theatres. In 1986 the entire Short North area was awarded an “All American City” designation for its public-private partnership in the area’s revitalization.
An historic district located in the north side of Columbus, Ohio, adjacent to the central business district. This district was one of Columbus’ first suburbs, annexed to the city of Columbus in 1862.
In the early 1970’s, residents of Italian Village took action against the deteriorating physical condition of the area, and the threat of having more and more historic buildings demolished. Residents and property owners who felt a sense of community and had visions of an improved neighborhood, formed the Italian Village Society in 1972, and a year later, the Italian Village Commission was established by Columbus City Council.
In 1986, the entire Short North Area (Italian Village, Victorian Village, and the High Street Commercial District) was awarded an “All American City” designation for its public-private partnership in the revitalization of the area.
Several sections of Italian Village were recently listed on the National Register of Historic places, and yet another section is currently being considered for listing.
There are always events which the Italian Village neighborhood holds, such as a Free Outdoor Movie Night. Further, there are many beautiful new and existing parks and gardens in the district perfect for spending time with friends or playing with a favorite pet.
Designated a Preserve America neighborhood by the White House, German Village is both a destination for many visitors and tourists and a place thousands call home. Just south of the heart of downtown Columbus, German Village will captivate you with its century-old homes, meticulously kept gardens, fascinating architecture and friendly brand of hometown hospitality from longtime residents who care about their homes and preserving the heritage that is German Village.
The area was in serious decline throughout the first half of the 20th century, due first to anti-German sentiment during World War I, and later to the closing of the local breweries during Prohibition. Concerned citizens managed to save its historic architecture from demolition in the 1960s, namely by getting the area listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The German Village Society presently has over 1,000 preservationists dedicated to maintaining the historic quality of the buildings and neighborhood, and German Village is currently considered one of the most desirable areas to live in the city.
German Village has a commercial strip mainly centered along Third Street, with a variety of locally-owned restaurants—such as Katzinger’s Delicatessen—and the 32-room Book Loft bookstore, as well as the St. Mary Catholic Church, constructed in 1868. German Village is mostly a residential neighborhood of sturdy, red-brick, working-class cottages with wrought iron fences, along tree-lined, brick-paved streets.
At the southern end of German Village is Schiller Park, named after Friedrich Schiller, which was once a community meeting ground for the German settlement. It is now the site of recreational facilities, gardens and an amphitheater, which hosts free live performances of Shakespearean plays during the summer months courtesy of the Actor’s Theatre. German Village is also the home of the first Max & Erma’s.
Prior to 1870, the Victorian Village Area was several large farms owned by the Neil, Hubbard, and Starr families. Dr. Lincoln Goodale, who came to Ohio in 1788, donated a forty-acre tract of land to the city for use as a public park in 1851. It was one of the first tracts of land in the United States to be set aside for a public park. Goodale Park was landscaped and developed in the 1870s. The first lake added to the park was constructed in 1874, and it still remains.
Over a century later and still intact in Victorian Village are some of the finest examples of domestic architecture of the Victorian Era. Examples of styles represented include Italianate Queen Anne, Second Empire, Carpenter-Stick and Four Square. Many homes incorporated details borrowed from various other styles and consequently features typical of Tudor, Shingle Style, Gothic Revival, Greek Revival, and Richardsonian Romanesque are also included.
This district also unique as it is also comprised a community of diverse groups. Lifestyles, occupations, incomes, and educational levels were varied. Doctors, lawyers, craftsmen, and merchants built their homes there. This social mixture is reflected in the rich variety of architecture.
Revitalization of the area was sparked in the 1960’s and 1970’s. The City of Columbus officially recognized “Victorian Village” and declared it an historic district. The district appears today much as it did during its peak years and survives as an excellent example of a nineteenth century neighborhood. Thanks to the hard work of many historical preservation pioneers, the current Victorian Village is again an attractive, livable, and affordable urban area. Its history and architecture make it unique, richly diversified and still able to accommodate a wide variety of income levels and social backgrounds.
Since its inception in 1997, the Arena District has developed into one of the brightest new spots in Columbus. Visitors flock to the unique restaurants and bars that give the Arena District its distinct, lively atmosphere. In the Arena District, passersby can stop and enjoy anything from an Italian dinner at Buca di Beppo, enjoy the feel of an authentic Irish pub at O’Shaughnessy’s Public House, or try the seasonal beer and multi-ethnic dishes at Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant. Further, with two nightclubs playing live music weekly, there is no shortage of entertainment.
The centerpiece of the Arena District is Nationwide Arena. This state-of-the-art facility is home to the Columbus Blue Jackets, Ohio’s only NHL team. This venue is equipped for everything from sports events to concerts. Performers such as U2, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill have held concerts to awaiting audiences.
Voted the best concert venue in Columbus by CitySearch.com, ExpressLive! also resides in the Arena District and is one of the largest indoor/outdoor concert venues in the United States. The building hosts a variety of seating configurations ranging from an indoor, 500-seat cabaret to an outdoor concert holding 5,000. This venue has already brought in the biggest names in the music industry while providing an intimate, club-like atmosphere for fans to enjoy their favorite bands and performers.
Located near the heart of downtown Columbus, the Arena District is within walking distance of several downtown attractions, including the Columbus Convention Center, the Short North and the North Market. For those who need a break, the Arena District also boasts a three-acre park, called McFerson Commons, which features the historic Union Station Arch along with a new Downtown riverfront park.
Columbus is the 15th largest city in the United States and is within 550 miles of more than half of the nation’s population, making it a top weekend destination. The City of Columbus won the U.S. Department of Transportation ( USDOT ) $40 million Smart City Challenge in June, 2016. Implementing a holistic vision for how technology can help all residents move more easily and to access opportunity. https://www.columbus.gov/
East and West Broad St. and North and South High St. are the main arterials downtown; “Broad and High” where they meet is often considered the center of downtown. With the Statehouse at that corner and several state office towers nearby, it is one of the prettiest spots in downtown Columbus.
From the lighted arches over High Street to pictures of buildings like Union Station, downtown Columbus was alive at night. Downtown is still the city’s geographic center, and the City of Columbus Trade and Development Department Website lists downtown as the heart of entertainment with 1.8 million attendees at CAPA, museum, and other downtown events, and the host of numerous festivals.
In its planning stage, the project was known as the University Gateway Center. As the project moved into its construction phase, Campus Partners consulted with stakeholders and conducted focus groups to develop a permanent name for the project. “South Campus Gateway” was chosen in 2003 because the name reflected the historic reference to the area as “South Campus” and the project’s purpose as a “gateway” to the university and the neighborhood.
South Campus Gateway, which opened in August 2005, is a dynamic blend of entertainment, restaurants, retail, offices, apartments and parking within a series of buildings whose architectural quality exemplifies the best in “Main Street” urban design. Campus Partners developed Gateway to serve one of the nation’s largest collegiate markets and some of Columbus’s most diverse urban neighborhoods. The project’s success and scale will be an important catalyst for revitalization on High Street and in the neighborhoods of the University District.
The Gateway site of 7.5 acres stretches for three city blocks along High Street, the “Main Street” of Columbus, adjacent to the southeast corner of The Ohio State University campus at 11th Avenue. The development is a mixed-use project with about 225,000 square feet of entertainment, restaurant and retail space, 88,000 square feet of office space, 184 apartments and a 1,200-space parking garage.
Anchoring more than two dozen retail tenants are a flagship Barnes & Noble university bookstore, a grocery specializing in natural and organic foods, an eight-screen art cinema and an array of unique restaurants.
Gateway is not a “mall,” but a distinct collection of one-of-a-kind local and start-up businesses side-by-side with familiar national stores in a pedestrian friendly environment. Gateway’s retail anchor is Barnes & Noble-The Ohio State University Bookstore, one of the largest bookstores in the Midwest.