Columbus Ohio


True Story on the Columbus Ohio Ghetto

In the era of the 1980s and 1990s, the streets of the Columbus Ohio ghetto had some of the most legendary neighborhoods in the Midwest, like the North Side’s Short North, the South Side’s Livingston Avenue, the East Side’s Uzi Alley, and the West Side’s South Park.

columbus ohio ghetto

To understand the true story of the streets, the community, and the Columbus Ohio ghetto, the history is important on how the city became what it is today, by telling the story of each side of town.


East Side

The story of the Columbus Ohio ghetto begins on the East Side in the Bronzeville (King-Lincoln Bronzeville) community. The neighborhood grew as blacks from all over came into the city, whether it was small rural towns in Ohio or states in the south.

This section of the city was one of the most thriving black communities in the state, but sadly the community changed after the building of highways Interstate 71 and Interstate 670, as the construction destroyed many homes and businesses in the area.

The East Side went from being a historic thriving community to being the home of some of the city’s roughest neighborhoods in the Columbus Ohio ghetto. Columbus’ first housing project of Poindexter Village or the legendary Greenbriar Apartments, which became known as Uzi Alley in the 80s and 90s, are just two examples of the streets of the East Side.

columbus ohio ghetto

Poindexter Housing Complex

After the controversy with apartment complexes being prejudice to certain tenants, the misuse of federal funds, the lack of upkeep, and an overall gentrification of community, these two complexes of Greenbriar and Poindexter Village were eventually demolished or closed.

With gentrification changing the areas of the Near East Side, whether it is Main Street or the King-Lincoln Bronzeville community, the East Side’s black population is slowly declining. The once heart of the East Side, Long Street has become more of a ghost town compared to its glory days.

The community is furthering into the far East Side, with Livingston Avenue and James Road being the main streets around neighborhoods of Elaine Road or Easthaven.

Today the original East Side is mainly centered around Mt. Vernon, Atcheson Street and a few blocks around Main Street and Franklin Park.

South Side

After the highway destroyed parts of the historic East Side community, many blacks families were forced to relocate into the Driving Park neighborhood of Livingston Avenue.

Generations later, the South Side streets became known for blocks like 22nd and FNL (Fairwood N Livingston) or housing complexes like Smith Road and Lincoln Park.

columbus ohio ghetto

South Side


North Side

On the North Side, some of the first all-black communities were the American-Addition neighborhood, as well as parts of the 5th Avenue community neighborhood of Milo-Grogan and the Short North.

As white flight was occurring, the Columbus Ohio black population took over most of the North Side, beginning with Milo-Grogan and the Short North, and eventually spreading into the Linden neighborhoods, going as far as Weber Road.

columbus ohio ghetto

Short North with gentrification in the backgroud

The North Side community is one of the biggest sides in the city with blocks all throughout the area. Communities like the Short North, home to the Short North Posse that have been around for years, were originally starting out as a source of protection for their community from outsiders.

Outside of the Short North, the Windsor Terrace or Dub T projects, streets in Linden along Cleveland Avenue, and Milo-Grogan, make up the majority of the North Side communities, along with Brittany Hills, Brentnell, Agler Road, and blocks in the East Linden area.

West Side

The West Side known as the Hilltop always had a small African-American population. While today the Hilltop area is mostly known for a low to middle-income community filled with Hispanic, white, and black families.

The two most known communities of the West Side was the Riverside-Bradley Homes and the Sullivant Gardens / South Park projects. The Riverside-Bradley projects was one of the many housing projects in Columbus that came to be demolished.

The Future

In the story of every city, the talk of gentrification is changing many communities throughout the country, with no exception to the city of Columbus, Ohio.

Neighborhoods like Short North, the near East Side, or the Franklinton neighborhood have been the most sought after communities, with a close to distance to the Ohio State University in the Short North neighborhood, the Downtown area that is close to the East Side, and the COSI center in the West Side’s Franklinton area.

columbus ohio ghetto

As stated above, many communities have been rebuilt or torn down. Windsor Terrace has become the Rosewind apartments, the South Side’s Lincoln Park projects was sold to a private investor and is no longer a public housing complex, and the city’s first housing project of Poindexter Village has been completely shut down.

With all of the changes, many people are moving further from the inner city to communities as far as Morse Road or even into areas near Reynoldsburg of the East Side.


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*Note: All information is provided through people of the community, outside sources, and research.  Some information might not be current and/or 100% accurate.