The Week in Review #2

So last week, the FBI finally released the full crime numbers for 2017 for all cities. How did Columbus fare? Well, it was a decidedly mixed bag. Total murders were their highest ever, at 143, but the rate fell quite short of the record set back in 1991. So far for 2018, murder is behind 2017’s rate by about 22%, so it’s a good improvement, but still not even close to where it should be.

Other violent crime figures 2016 to 2017
-Rape continued its multi-year rise in the city, reaching 919 incidents. This was a 6% increase over 2016.
-Assaults were up 4% over 2016, but in the context of still being one of the lowest totals in the past 30 years.
-Robberies were down almost 8.5% over 2016.
-Despite the rises in most types of violent crime, the drop in robberies meant overall violent crime dropped by about 0.5%.
Property crime figures 2016 to 2017
-Burglaries were down more than 8%.
-Larceny thefts were down about 2.9%
-Motor vehicle thefts were up 17.6%, so not a good trend, but still less than half the rate it was 15-20 years ago.
-Overall property crime was down about 2% versus 2016.

And if you think this year’s been particularly wet, you are right! Through October 1st, Columbus is having its 3rd wettest year on record. Only 1882 and 1890 are ahead of 2018 at this point, and by barely 1″. 2018 at this point is running almost 14″ above normal.
Top 10 Wettest Years Through October 1st
1. 1882: 44.55″
2. 1890: 43.56″
3. 2018: 43.31″
4. 1979: 42.17″
5. 2003: 41.58″
6. 2011: 41.12″
7. 1990: 39.10″
8. 1949: 38.54″
9. 2004: 38.46″
10. 1996: 37.46″
It is surprising how many recent years are on this list. Still with 3 months to go, the pattern could break, but it’s very unlikely that 2018 doesn’t end up in the top 10. Here are the top 10 wettest full years.
1. 2011: 54.96″
2. 1990: 53.16″
3. 1882: 51.30″
4. 1890: 50.73″
5. 2004: 49.27″
6. 1979: 49.17″
7. 2003: 49.03″
8. 1883: 48.88″
9. 1881: 46.99″
10. 2017: 46.61″

Guess it could always be worse.

Columbus in Video History

March 1913 Flood
This video is mostly photos, but still quite interesting.

A video about Columbus being a test market (something that is still true somewhat today) and the impact of Reader’s Digest on Columbus businesses.

Images from OSU Campus, Downtown and more.

Check out this relocation video from when AEP moved its headquarters to Columbus from New York. Total cheese fest. The focus on suburban malls is interesting considering their decline today.

OSU Campus to Downtown near and along High Street.

Ameriflora 1992
Who could forget this event? It was supposed to be a defining event for the city, but ended up very overhyped and not nearly the success that was promised.

May 11, 1995
A Channel 4 news report on gas prices. Ironic that the report is that prices are too high, but I bet everyone would love to see these prices again.

Before and After: March 2013 Edition


Photo taken looking north along South Central Avenue in Franklinton during the flood of January 21-24, 1959.


Present day South Central Avenue in Franklinton.

The 1959 flood was the 2nd worst in the history of Franklinton, after the 1913 disaster. The Frank Road crest on the Scioto River came on January 22, 1959 and was 27.22 ft, 3.22 ft above flood stage and a few feet below the 1913 crest. This crest would not cause serious flooding in Franklinton today, as the Franklinton Floodwall, completed in 2004, will protect the area to crests of up to 30.9 ft. Few people know that, prior to the wall’s completion, federal guidelines prohibited almost all types of construction in Franklinton, a huge reason for the gradual decline it faced after the 1950s.


Avondale Elementary at 157 Avondale Avenue in 1908.


Avondale Elementary, present day. The school was built in 1892.

Avondale Elementary has been a school for its entire 121 year existance. Besides losing it’s rootop finials, the school is largely unchanged and is a beautiful example of late 19th century architecture.


Bellows Avenue school in 1922.


The 1905 school in the present day.

Bellows Elementary was opened in 1905 and was used for that purpose through the 1970s. The building was last renovated in 1972, but was closed as a school between that year and 1984, when Columbus Public Schools sold the property. It has changed hands a few times over the years, the last being in 2002, but nothing has come of it and the building deteriorates a bit more each year. Unfortunately, the location of the school probably proved to be its death, as the interchange of 315 and 70/71 was constructed just to the south, and 315 itself cut off Bellows Avenue. The school narrowly escaped the wrecking ball at that time, but without some type of redevelopment, the property may eventually be lost anyway.


The Columbus Heating and Ventilation Company at 433 W. Town Street on March 25, 1913, during the infamous flood.

The same building 3 years later in 1916, looking a bit spruced up as well as the newer roads that were no doubt damaged in 1913.


And 433 W. Town Street as it looked in 2010. The building was torn down the following year.

The Columbus Heating and Ventilating Company began in 1903 and still exists in the city, although obviously not at its original location. The old building went into severe disrepair and most of the roof had collapsed by the time it was demolished in 2011 as one of the first steps in the area’s rebirth. The area is going through revitalization, and the nearby 400 W. Rich artist live and work space continues to expand. Plans are also in the works for new loft apartments nearby.