City Stories

Columbus, Ohio: The East Side

east side columbus ohio

East Side Columbus Ohio

East Side Columbus represent a bulk of the city’s urban community as the area 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.

Murals in the historic King Lincoln neighborhood of the East Side Columbus.

The neighborhood grew as black families from all over, whether it was small rural towns in Ohio or in multiple southern states, came into the city, eventually making Long Street and the rest of King Lincoln to become one of Ohio’s most thriving black communities.

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.

east side columbus ohio

Above images are the before and after of the once notorious East Side Columbus neighborhood of the old Poindexter housing projects.

Eventually ‘hoods of the true East Side Columbus 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.

Today’s version of Long Street of Columbus East Side’s King Lincoln neighborhood.

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.

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

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