Columbus Neighborhoods is one of the most visible and significant components of the Columbus Bicentennial celebration. A multimedia, public engagement project, it captures the history and cultural significance of the many communities that make up Columbus. The project includes six major local documentaries, an interactive web component, columbusneighborhoods.org, radio news and talk specials, town hall forums, community storytelling days, and online educational resources for schools.
In February 2013, Columbus Neighborhoods was put back in production with six more communities to be featured through 2015.
The South Side of Columbus, a working-class community that once supported four thriving foundries, will be the first documentary to premiere this fall. The next five neighborhoods to be chronicled are Clintonville, Worthington, Bexley, The Tri-Villages (Upper Arlington, Marble Cliff and Grandview Heights), and ‘New Americans’ which will look at Columbus’ growing immigrant population.
This site holds the instructional resources culled from the documentaries—short digital learning objects classified into topics aligned to targeted academic standards. The video segments are supported by lesson plans—annotated and ready for easy retrieval and integration across curricula.
Downtown & Franklinton
Columbus’s historical roots are firmly planted in Franklinton, Central Ohio’s first settlement, and the downtown area, the seat of state government. It’s the story of determined pioneers, devastating floods, a vision for a state capital rising from higher ground, and flourishing theatres, churches, businesses, and government buildings. View the lesson plans and videos.
One of the nation’s early and most successful urban revitalization campaigns, this charming and vital neighborhood was once home to working-class German immigrants. Now its brick streets, beautiful gardens, and delightful architecture are hallmarks of one of the country’s most prestigious urban addresses. View the lesson plans and videos.
The story of one of the city’s most vibrant and exciting neighborhoods includes the tale of the arches, the rise—and abrupt fall—of Union Station, an incredible reunion of Civil War soldiers, the transformation of a tough, gritty neighborhood to an arts district, and the emergence of local festivals and traditions that have become part of the Short North’s character. View the lesson plans and videos.
Once the cultural and commercial heart of Columbus for African Americans, this neighborhood is poised for rebirth. The restoration of the Lincoln Theatre allows the space to join the King Arts Complex in shaping and developing this historic neighborhood. View the lesson plans and videos.
Olde Towne East
From the 1890s to the 1920s, Olde Towne East was the place to live in Columbus—where the barons of industry and business built their dream houses. The area went through a period of decline when people moved to the suburbs, but today the neighborhood is experiencing a resurgence powered by residents motivated to renovate residences and revitalize the neighborhood— to make Olde Towne East a thriving community again. View the lesson plans and videos.
Town meets gown in this urban area encompassing the neighborhoods around The Ohio State University. The Old North was the first neighborhood here, and a series of remarkable transformations has seen this area change from farm to campus to streetcar suburbs to a center of education, recreation, and culture. View the lesson plans and videos.
Support for the creation of Columbus Neighborhood instructional resources is provided by the Ohio Humanities Council.
Columbus Neighborhoods classroom resources were developed in partnership with Columbus City Schools.
Instructional Resource Development Team
- Matthew I. Doran, High School Social Studies Coordinator
- Karen Fiedler, K-8 Social Studies Coordinator
- Doreen Uhas-Sauer, History Speaks, Project Director