Random Columbus Photos #2

Photo Date: Unknown, Pre-1910
Location: The southeastern corner watchtower of the Ohio Penitentiary site.

The old Ohio Penitentiary first opened up in 1834. The most iconic building of the complex was that which lined West Spring Street and built during the Civil War. It can be seen in the background of the photo as the light building. The Ohio Pen had an interesting, and occasionally disastrous, life. On April 21, 1930, a massive fire broke out that would kill 322 inmates and become the worst prison fire in United State history. At its peak in 1955, the prison held over 5,200 inmates. After that year, the prison population steadily declined, and in 1984, the prison transferred its final inmates to other facilities, effectively ceasing operations. About 12 years later, a portion of the outer wall collapsed onto some cars, and the city began to aggressively plan a new life for the site. In 1998, despite some protests to save some of the historic buildings, the entire complex was demolished to make way for new development as part of the Arena District. Today, the only reminder of the prison site is that the eastern edge of McPherson Commons park runs along the same line as the original outer wall.

Year in Review 2014: March-May

Development News
-Plans were announced to redevelop Poindexter Village with 350 residential units, as well as community center and park space.
-A new brewery announced it would be moving into space on West Town Street in Franklinton.
-A new 42-unit residential development was announced for Downtown Dublin.
-101 residential units were proposed for 991 Dennison Avenue in Victorian Village.
-Columbus announced plans to use $2.5 billion to build infrastructure to reduce runoff and pollution issues, including creating water gardens and new parks across the city.
-Reeb Elementary on the South Side was announced to be turned into a community center.
-New caps, similar to the existing retail cap on High Street over I-670 were announced to be in the works as part of the 70/71 rebuild. The caps would replace the highway bridges on S. High and S. Third between Downtown and German Village.

-A vacant 1880s building a 140 N. Grant was announced to be renovated into mixed-use and residential.
-40 units of affordable housing was proposed for vacant buildings at Long and Front Downtown.
-Plans to renovate the Citizens Building at the southwest corner of Gay and High Downtown were announced, as well as building a new mixed-use building on the northwest corner.
-Plans were also announced to renovate hundreds of apartments in the Metro West complex behind Westland Mall.

-The Short North Donatos announced plans to rebuild into a new restaurant with 2nd floor patio and additional spaces for more retail.
-The Byers Chevrolet site on West Broad Street in Franklinton was purchased by Nationwide Reality for a potential mixed-use project.
-Casto announced plans for a 152-unit residential complex overlooking the Scioto River near Hayden Road.
-41 new homes were coming to N. Grant Avenue in Weinland Park.
-A small condo development was proposed for Summit in Italian Village.
-Children’s Hospital announced plans for 2 new buildings on Livingston Avenue.
-The Stoddart Block, a historic residential building, would be renovated into micro apartments.

Economic News
-Home sales declined in all 3 months of March-May, as demand far outpaced supply.
-The unemployment rate continued to fall to multi-year lows.
-Columbus was named the 6th most affordable metro in the nation.

Other News
-Columbus’ population was announced to have grown by more than 12,000 people between 2012-2013, and reached a population of 822,553 in 2013.
-Columbus was named one of the top cities for entrepreneurs.
-Columbus was named a top city where people could accomplish their dreams/goals.

Questions Answers: Columbus/Ohio Tornado History

In the second installment of Questions Answered, quite a few searches on my site deal with tornado history. The following link is a perfect source for this. Someone can search by date, location and strength of tornados back to 1950.



2014: Year in Review- February

February was not a super busy month for residential development, as is often the case during the dead of winter, but still offered plenty to be excited about.
-Local business Café Brioso announced plans to expand to Franklinton, in another showing of the newfound popularity of the the downtrodden neighborhood. http://www.columbusunderground.com/cafe-brioso-expanding-to-east-franklinton-cw2014
-Strongwater Food and Spirits opened up in Franklinton as well.
-Work continued on revitalizing the long-declined Metro West apartment complex on the West Side behind Westland Mall.
-A new 4-story, 16-unit apartment building was first proposed for 40-42 W. 3rd Avenue in Victorian Village. As part of the development, the 19th century home on the site would be renovated as well. The site is here: http://goo.gl/maps/y5M1I
-The first renderings for the 7-story, multi-building Hubbard Park Place project in Victorian Village were released here: http://www.columbusunderground.com/wood-companies-unveils-hubbard-park-place-renderings-bw1
-And we heard about the task force that would begin a study to determine the feasibility of a Downtown-Port Columbus passenger rail line. Yay! http://www.columbusunderground.com/new-task-force-will-explore-airport-downtown-rail-connection
-Also on the transportation end, Lyft announced it would begin car-sharing service in Columbus. http://www.columbusunderground.com/lyft-launching-in-columbus-bw1
-Dublin’s Bridge Street Corridor plan got another boost with the announcement of the 392-unit Tuller Flats residential development. http://www.columbusunderground.com/castos-bridge-street-district-proposal-calls-for-392-units-bw1

-It was announced that 2013 had been a busy year in terms of housing construction.
-The Columbus Metro posted an unemployment rate for the month at 5.5%, down half a point from January and down 1.1 points from February 2013.

February continued the historic winter of 2013-2014. The 15.9″ of snow that fell during the month was the 6th snowiest on record, and the 7.1″ that fell on the 4th was the 7th highest daily February total since 1879. Even more, the 7.1″ daily was part of a 2-day single storm that produced the 3rd largest February snowstorm at 10.6″.
Temperatures for the month were also cold, coming in 6.9 degrees below normal. This was the 20th coldest February of all time.

Cool Link of the Day: Mapping Commuting Patterns

Curious to know how people get to work in every county in the United States? Use the following link to find out.

The map was constructed using 2013 data, so it’s fairly recent. As for Franklin County? Here’s the breakdown:

Drive Alone: 82%
Carpool: 8%
Public Transit: 2%
Walk: 2%
Bicycle: 1%
Taxi or Other: 1%
Work from Home: 4%

The numbers are overwhelmingly auto-centric, as they are nearly everywhere, but what the numbers don’t show are any trends.

Random Columbus Photos #1

Photo Date: January 15, 1936
Location: Parkwood Avenue, East Linden

This random street scene photo was taken during the frigid winter of 1935-36. I couldn’t pinpoint exactly where the photo was taken, only that the style of homes indicates that it was taken looking north between Earl and Denune Avenues. Little has changed on Parkwood in the last 79 years. The area still looks and feels a little rural, and there are still no sidewalks. The one change, however, is that the roads are no longer dirt.

The day of the photo was fairly mild, with highs in the mid-40s. The next day, however, a snowstorm struck that dropped about 5″ of snow, and just a week later, temperatures hit 16 degrees below zero.

Questions Answered- Columbus Zip Codes

Every week, people visiting the site do searches looking for specific information and on questions they have. Sometimes I’ll have the information available, sometimes I don’t. In this occasional series, I’ll choose a previously uncovered topic and try to put something together.

The first one is super easy. One of the most popular searches is for a Columbus zip code map. Take your pick.

This link has Ohio’s map which you can scroll down and print any version.

Here’s an individual zip code list with maps for each.

And here’s a link for a map in which you can find out just about any kind of information for each zip code.

And if those links aren’t good enough, here are some basic maps.

Hope that helps!

2014: Year in Review- January

This kind of post seems obligatory at this time of year. I thought about making just one big post, but there was so much that happened this year that I decided to break it up by month. This review won’t include every single piece of news, just the highlights. First up, of course, is January.

-The Columbus Zoo began to push for a permanent levy to help pay for upgrades at its existing facility, as well as for adding a new expansion attraction at the Scioto Peninsula Downtown http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2014/01/09/zoo-wants-vote-on-bigger-permanent-property-tax.html
-Redevelopment of the Barrett Middle School site in Merion Village began to make news. http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/home_and_garden/2014/01/12/caughtmiddle.html The project should begin sometime this spring, though the exact number of residential units and layout has changed some.
-Columbus adopted Complete Streets. http://www.columbusunderground.com/new-complete-streets-thoroughfare-plan-could-have-big-impact-bw1 This set of standards guides the development of the street layout and design throughout the city. This includes including multi-use and bike paths, as well as better signaling and access for pedestrians.
-A new 40-unit apartment complex was proposed for 122 Parsons Avenue in Olde Towne East. However, very little news has been heard about this project since, as it may be waiting for work on the Parsons section of the 70/71 rebuild to move along first. http://www.columbusunderground.com/forums/topic/new-ote-apartment-complex-proposal-parsons-gustavus
-OSU announced plans to renovate several buildings in order to create a sort-of tech campus that partnered with IBM’s new analytics center in Dublin. http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2014/01/23/osu-in-line-for-53m-from-state.html
-And on the West Side, the huge apartment complex off Georgesville Road once known as Lincoln Park West, was announced to get a major makeover, with the demolition of a few hundred units while the rest would get a high-end renovation. This complex had long been very run down and the site of tragic arson fires, crime and high vacancy. http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/blog/2014/01/204-apartments-at-former-lincoln-park.html

-Columbus was named one of the nation’s top Opportunity Cities. http://finance.yahoo.com/news/america-s-new-opportunity-cities-222209099.html
-Columbus was named one of the top 7 Intelligent Communities in the world. http://www.columbusunderground.com/forums/topic/top7-intelligent-communities-of-2014-aka-were-smart-again
-Columbus was predicted to have one of the nation’s best economic performances of 2014. http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2014/01/22/cities-face-a-good-but-not-great-economic-outlook-for-2014/ The numbers won’t be out for a few months on how the city/metro actually performed, however.
-A study came out detailing how future growth in Columbus would radically alter where people lived and in what type of home and environment they lived. The consensus? Young and urban. http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/dlovaas/discovering_a_new_housing_futu.html
-The unemployment rate rose to 6% in January from December 2013, as it usually rises after seasonal employees are laid off. However, this was 1.1 percentage points lower than the previous January.

January 2014 continued what December 2013 had started. Snowfall was nearly 2x above normal and temperatures were almost 7 degrees below normal. The month tied for the 15th coldest January and the 16th snowiest. The coldest low was -11 and the low hit 0 or below 7 times, the most since 1994. The biggest snow event occurred on the 25th-26th with 8.3″. This was the 10th largest January snowstorm of all time. Snow depth reached at least 1″ on 19 days.

2013 Census Tract Estimates

The Census released updated tract estimates for 2013, and they showed some interesting things. There are 285 census tracts that make up Franklin County.

First, let’s take a look at the Franklin County trends 2000-2013.

In regards to the above map, it’s a mix of both the 2013 official estimates and some that I did. For example, the official estimates had the Downtown tracts 30 and 40 losing population, as well as most of the Short North. That’s rather absurd considering the level of residential construction in these areas, as well as population estimates the city has done in the last few years for Downtown. In fact, the 2013 official estimates have Downtown tract population BELOW 2010. That’s just not the reality. So I looked over the tracts and adjusted them according to their long-term growth/decline trends. Most of them I left alone, but some adjustments had to be made. However, I was very conservative with any changes, and several tracts that the official estimates showed gains, I actually had losses.

Here are all the tracts that grew by at least 300 people between 2010 and 2013 in Franklin County, as well as their locations.

Blacklick #7395: +1,609
Dublin #6230: +1,214
Columbus-West Side #7951: +1,002
Columbus-Northwest #6372: +966
Columbus Northeast #6931: +963
Hilliard #7921: +955
Columbus-East Side #9361: +952
Columbus-West Side #8350: +951
Columbus-Northwest: #6384: +949
Dublin #6220: +933
Columbus-West Side #8141: +921
Columbus-Easton #7551: +793
Columbus-Southeast #9373: +749
Hilliard #7933: +688
Minerva Park #7112: +675
Columbus-South Side #8340: +652
Hilliard #7954: +643
Columbus North Side #7044: +636
Columbus Northeast #7132: +615
Columbus Northwest #6396: +557
Dublin #6386: +549
Columbus North Side #6921: +540
Columbus Northwest #6393: +492
Columbus-West Side: +489
Gahanna #7492: +473
New Albany #7209: +472
Columbus-Hilltop #8321: +466
Columbus-Southeast #9374: +455
Grove City #9740: +441
Columbus Northeast #6945: +438
Hillard #7931: +432
Columbus-West Side #7812: +427
Columbus-South Side #9590: +411
Columbus-South Side #8710: +407
Hilliard #10602: +407
Columbus-South Side #8822: +403
Whitehall #9230: +398
Columbus-West Side #8163: +397
Columbus-East Side #9362: +389
Columbus-Downtown #30: +387
Hilliard #7953: +382
Columbus-West Side #6330: +371
Columbus-Northwest #6387: +361
Columbus-East Side #9322: +352
Columbus-South Side #8825: +349
Columbus-Southwest #8161: +346
West Side-Marble Cliff #43: +345
Columbus-Southwest #8370: +340
Grandview #85: +332
Columbus-Downtown #40: +321
Hilliard #7922: +320
Dublin #6371: +312
Grove City #9751: +304
Columbus-Campus Area #13: +303

As far as the core of the city, the 1950 boundaries, here are the results.

There are 78 tracts that make up the original 1950 city boundary. Using the official estimates, 38 of the 78 tracts grew between 2010-2013, yet had a total loss of 3,229. However, again, it had all the Downtown and adjacent tracts inexplicably losing population, yet the opposite is occurring in these areas. For Downtown, the combined loss was about 370, and for the Short North, it had the loss at more than 700.

Using my adjusted estimates, 35 tracts are growing, adding 1,166 people 2010-2013. Most of the gains were made in the Downtown and adjacent tracts, and some of the losses were simply not as steep. For example, the official estimates had tract #10, in the Campus area, losing nearly 1,300 people since 2010, which is a ridiculous loss, especially considering it grew by almost 8% 2000-2010. In fact, most of the largest losses from the official estimates were around Campus and the Short North. Nonsense.