The Short North
Yesterday, The New York Times described the Arts Belt of the Short North’s Arts District with one key word in mind, “Thriving”. (The Short North Arts Belt Is Thriving.) For the last 27 years, the Gallery Hop has called the mile-long stretch of North High Street home. Growing up in Columbus, High Street (in that same stretch) was a far cry from the trendy chic hot spot (The Continent, anyone? How about a bucket of Northland Mall? City Center, now that—) that the Times painted it as, with my first memories of High Street being in the early ’90s.
1) The Short North Arches- Columbus had many nicknames. One of which was the “Arch City”, where there were arches up and down High Street around the turn of the 20th century. In 2002, 17 new arches were reinstalled along High Street between Poplar Ave. & Smith Place. Sometimes the lights failed to work in sync in the beginning, but the Arches are now synonymous with the Short North, so much that the Short North neighborhood markers have the same universal branding.
Short North Neighborhoods: (West of High Street) Victorian Village, Harrison West, The Circles, and Dennison Place, (East of High Street) Italian Village and Weinland Park
Arts District Boundary: Goodale Street to Fifth Avenue
Short North (as a whole, if you include the aforementioned neighborhoods):
North- The OSU Campus (Weinland Park, Dennison Place, and the Circles are also in the University District)
East- Railroad Tracks east of 4th St./west of Cleveland Ave.
West- Olentangy River
South- Goodale Street
2) The I-670 Cap- I-670 cap (completed in 2003) is a 21st century facade revival of the late Union Station arcade (which was torn down in the middle of the night in 1976). Restaurants and bars are on the cap, and up and down the Arts District.
3) Outdoor Art on High Street- Since 1985, the first Saturday of the month has been known as The Gallery Hop, where the galleries and shops stay up open late. Other communities (namely Delaware, Worthington, Westerville, Grandview Heights) have done things similar to the Gallery Hop, where the shops stay open late on a regular basis. But, the Short North’s Gallery Hop has set the standard.
4) Holiday Hop- The first Saturday of December is the Holiday Hop, in which the Arts District corridor is decked out in Christmas cheer. This picture is of the Christmas Trees on the High Street side of the Victorian Gateway Apartments (which is on the site of the late White Cross Hospital).
5) American Gothic Mural- On Lincoln & High Streets (outside of Jeni’s Ice Cream) is a twist on the Grant Wood painting American Gothic, as done by Mike Altman and Steve Galgas.
6) The Garden Theatre- On High Street, just south of Fifth Avenue, The Garden recently re-opened in the last year after a massive renovation and a restoration of the Garden sign pictured. The Garden Theatre was once a movie theatre, a burlesque theatre, and even a church. Now, it is home to the Short North Stage, a new theatre group in town.
7) Goodale Park & Comfest- Since 1993, the Community Festival (or ComFest) has been in Goodale Park. In the decade prior, the festival was held around the park after moving to Victorian Village from the Ohio State campus. Goodale Park is the city’s first park, donated by Dr. Lincoln Goodale in 1851. The 40th ComFest was back in June.
8) Poplar Park- On the northeast part of the 670 cap lies Poplar Park (or East Poplar Avenue), which is a pedestrian pocket park.
9) The Couch- On High Street, near 4th Avenue, this sculpture is near The Garden Theatre and Skully’s.
10) Cliff Dwellers- Right next to where The Joseph will be, is this mural, which is an homage to Columbus’s native son George Bellows.
11) Harrison West- I did this Phototour back in May of Harrison West. Victorian Village and Italian Village will get their own individual phototours as well.