City Stories

Columbus, Ohio: The North Side

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The Short Columbus Ohio Ghetto Story

North Side Columbus Ohio

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.

Today’s gentrified community of the Short North. Once a section of the North Side Columbus Ohio ghetto many feared, has drastically changed from previous years.

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.

Within the Linden Columbus Ohio neighborhood is the former Windsor Terrace housing complex, which was embedded deep within the streets of 'Columbus Ohio ghetto'.

Within the Linden Columbus Ohio neighborhood is the former Windsor Terrace housing complex, which was embedded deep within the streets of Columbus Ohio ghetto. Today the community is known as the Rosewind housing complex.

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.

An image of a vacant home within the heart of the Linden Columbus Ohio ghetto neighborhood.

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.