The Short Columbus Ohio Ghetto Story
As the Columbus Ohio ghetto resides in Ohio’s capital city, while also being one of the largest metropolitan areas of the Midwest, there is much history within the city’s urban communities.
The East Side
On Columbus’ East Side is a bulk of the city’s urban community as the Columbus Ohio ghetto expands from multiple communities including the King Lincoln neighborhood, or Bronzeville, and into areas of the far East Side along either James Road or Livingston.
Over the years the East Side would become infamous for the old Uzi Alley and Poindexter housing complexes, as well a number other ‘hoods from Trevitt N Atcheson to Elaine Road.
Long before any Crip or Blood affiliation in the city of Columbus, the East Side, especially in the King Lincoln (Bronzeville) neighborhood, was the mecca for the city’s black population during the community’s early days.
King-Lincoln Bronzeville neighborhood was one of the first African-American communities in Columbus as people have been occupying the area since the 1800s. In the beginning, Bronzeville was a mixed community, but as more blacks from the south moved to the north for factory jobs during the 1930s and 1940s, the area expanded.
Areas like Long street and even Mt. Vernon became the heart of the community with entertainment and thriving businesses, especially as segregation led to people only being able to conduct business in their neighborhood.
Unfortunately, by the 1960s, during the days when the country was experiencing urban renewal, the construction of Interstate 71 and Interstate 670 destroyed a large portion of the community and ultimately leading to the areas decline as many were displaced relocated into areas like the South Side, as well as other areas of the city’s East Side.
By the 1970s and 1980s, the East Side of the Columbus Ohio ghetto entered a new generation as the city’s first housing project of Poindexter Village and the apartment complex of Greenbriar, aka Uzi Alley, became reputable communities in Columbus.
*The old Poindexter projects of the Columbus Ohio ghetto before its demolishing.
Eventually ‘hoods of the true East Side would become in the forms of Oak and Wilson, Trevitt N Atcheson, Mount Vernon Plaza, Mound and Berk, Greenway Avenue and many others as the real East Side was located in two separate locations, one being in the historic Bronzeville neighborhood and the other being around Main Street and Franklin Park.
As the community grew, Columbus’ East Side would expand towards the likes of James Road and Livingston, which would become known for certain neighborhoods and communities like Easthaven, Elaine Road, Eastmoor, and others.
Currently, the East Side is continuing to expand as gentrification in the King Lincoln Bronzeville neighborhood, as well other East Side areas along either Main Street or Broad Street, is transforming the community and slowly displacing residents who are unable to continue to live in the area.
Also, a few of the housing complexes have been either demolished or rebuilt with less housing units than before as there has been history of misused federal funds, lack of upkeep and discrimination towards specific tenants.
With the gentrification of the Columbus Ohio ghetto of the East Side, the black population of the area is slowly declining, as the once thriving community of Long Street has become a ghost town, at least until the efforts of rebuilding will revitalize the area.
The South Side
After the construction of the interstate destroyed key sections of the East Side and displaced hundreds from their home many African Americans from the East Side began to reside in the Driving Park neighborhood on the city’s South Side.
Beginning around the 1950s and 1960s, the black community grew on the South Side and eventually expanding from Livingston to Whittier, in neighborhoods like Driving Park and Southern Orchards, and continuing along Lockbourne Road.
Unfortunately, by the later part of the 1970s the South Side began to slowly decline before entering the era of the 1980s and 1990s. As with any city during the 80s and 90s, gangs and street activity made its way into the South Side of Columbus.
Some of Ohio’s most notorious neighborhoods were located along Columbus’ Livingston Avenue, an area that mostly adopted the Los Angeles gang affiliation of the Bloods with ‘hoods like 22nd and Fairwood N Livingston, FNL for short, as well other blocks expanding from Parsons to Alum Creek.
As poverty took over the South Side and helped the community decline between the 1970s and 2000s, gentrification and rebuilding is currently making its way into certain neighborhoods like Southern Orchards, which sits between Parson Avenue and Lockbourne Road and Livingston and Whittier.
With the affluent neighborhoods of German Village and Merion Village neighboring the ‘hoods of the South Side, with just Parsons Avenue separating the two separate areas, the urban neighborhoods east of Parsons are slowly being redeveloped to be combine with the other thriving areas of South Columbus.
The North Side
A legendary community on the North Side of Columbus by the name of the Short North has seen its share of better days as gentrification with the expansion of college housing and other factors has changed the area drastically.
The heart of the Short North neighborhood was located around North 4th Street, a one way street with the unofficial designated area for the legendary ‘hood of the Short North being between 11th Avenue and 5th Avenue.
Separated by Interstate 71 from the rest of the North Side, the Short North’s reputation dates back to the days long before the rise of Bloods and Crips in the streets of the Columbus Ohio ghetto, some might claim since the 1960s or the 1970s.
The Short North was once a haven for out of towners who were looking for an urban setting as they were visiting the city of Columbus for their own personal reason and many would find the Short North a proper setting for their likening.
Due to out of towners finding their way into the community of the Short North neighborhood of Columbus, problems with disrespect against the neighborhood would occur, which allegedly is one of the reasons for the true formation of the Short North Posse.
With North Side of Columbus being the largest side of the city, affiliations of Bloods and Crips and well reputable ‘hoods are scattered throughout North Columbus, and not just in the legendary community of the Short North.
As the community began to change during the 1970s, Bloods and Crips entered the streets of Columbus by the 1980s and 1990s with North Side Columbus ‘hoods adopting the affiliation of the either of the two. Areas like Milo Grogan and Windsor Terrace became some of the North Side’s first gang affiliated neighborhoods in Columbus.
Demolished during the 1990s was an infamous housing project off Cleveland Avenue in South Linden by the name of Windsor Terrace, aka Dub T, and until its rebuilding into the Rosewind apartment complex the ‘hood known as Dub T was one of the most active areas of the North Side.
The largest and the city’s most active community is divided into three parts, North Linden, South Linden, and East Linden. The Linden community is a large area expanding from 11th Avenue to Cooke Road and from Interstate 71 to Sunbury Road with blocks and ‘hoods along Cleveland Avenue, Joyce Ave, and Hudson Street.
History of the North Side Columbus Ohio Community
Before the rise of the Short North and other reputable areas, African Americans originally resided in the American-Addition neighborhood as well parts of the 5th Avenue community in Milo-Grogan, along with a few families being scarce throughout the Short North.
As white flight was occurring, Columbus’ black population took over most of the North Side, beginning with the Short North, South Linden and eventually spreading into neighborhoods as far as North Linden and East Linden.
In recent years, the North Side has been changing with the process of gentrification and the amounts of property vacancies the have been limiting people from being able to purchase or rent housing in areas like the Short North or Milo Grogan.
*Above images are before and after stills of the same location along 4th Avenue in the Short North neighborhood. One was taken around 2013 and the other was taken during 2019, a pure example of gentrification in the community.
In a place like the Short North, there has always been major conflicts with its close vicinity to the Ohio State University which has in turn has caused a number of problems. While not the calmest or quietest area, law enforcement at times have seen to police the Short North community extra harder than other Columbus Ohio ghetto areas, which have led to numerous arrest and multiple indictments.
Another problem is that real estate of the Short North has one of the city’s best locations by being near most of the city’s main attractions, this has caused massive gentrification of the neighborhood as there is very little resemblance of the old community.
Currently, the Short North community has been totally redeveloped with no resemblance of the old community. Also, the urban population of the North Side is constantly growing with an expansion towards Morse Road, if not further into the suburbs of Columbus.
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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.