Franklin Park: The Neighborhood
When most people think of Franklin Park, they think of the park itself. Not of the neighborhood that surrounds the park. Yes, Franklin Park is a neighborhood within the Near East Side of Columbus, surrounded by Olde Towne East to the West, Bexley to the East, and the Woodland Park neighborhood to the North, Franklin Park was built sometime after the Civil War, as the Ohio State Fair was held here in the 1870s and 1880s, before moving to its current location (which is between the University District and Linden) in 1886.
1) Welcome to Franklin Park
Boundaries (In Case You Don’t Know):
North- Broad Street
East- Alum Creek (the body of water, not the street)
West- Wilson Avenue
South- Main Street
2) Asian Footbridge in Franklin Park
3) The Late Fair Alternative Elementary School- Closed in 2010 due to declining enrollment, this was a neighborhood school in the neighborhood, just west of the Park itself.
4) Waterfall in Franklin Park
5) Pedestrian Bridge over Alum Creek- This bridge (just off Nelson Road) connects Academy Park (named after Columbus Academy, which was in the area until 1968) with Wolfe Park (named after the Wolfe family dynasty), which was built in 1922. Next to the Academy Park side of the bridge, is a marker commemorating Major Taylor, a cyclist who died broke.
6) Teresa Dowd School (Oak Street between Latta and Miller Avenues)- This was on the campus of the former Franklin Alternative Middle School, now abandoned.
7) Franklin Park Conservatory
8) “War- It Is All Hell”- Lancaster native William Tecumseh Sherman went through Atlanta and burned it down. In 1880 at the then-Ohio State Fairgrounds, he said this famous quote.
9) Pope John XXIII School (ok, it’s not in the boundaries, but close by on Berkeley Rd. & Mound St.)- This is an abandoned Catholic school on Berkeley Rd. & Mound Street, right next to the abandoned former Holy Rosary Parish (which merged with St. John the Evangelist Parish in the Old Oaks neighborhood in the early 1970s).
10) Franklin Park Caretaker’s House (1820 Franklin Park South, between Fairwood and Rhoads Avenues)- This is the Caretaker’s House. Before the Scott’s MiracleGro Community Garden Campus was built, this was an abandoned house, and I was wondering who lived here…nobody. Caretaker’s houses are few and far between now.