Columbus, Ohio

Columbus, Ohio
City of Columbus
Images, from top left to right: Downtown Columbus, Ohio Statehouse Capitol Square, University Hall (Ohio State University), Short North, Nationwide Arena, Santa Maria replica
Images, from top left to right: Downtown Columbus, Ohio Statehouse Capitol Square, University Hall (Ohio State University), Short North, Nationwide Arena, Santa Maria replica
Flag of Columbus, Ohio
Flag
Official seal of Columbus, Ohio
Seal
Nicknames: 
The Discovery City,[1] Arch City,[2][3] Indie Art Capital,[4] Cowtown,[5] The Biggest Small Town in America,[6][7][8] Cbus[9]
Location within Franklin County
Location within Franklin County
Columbus is located in Ohio
Columbus
Columbus
Location within Ohio
Columbus is located in the United States
Columbus
Columbus
Location within the United States
Columbus is located in North America
Columbus
Columbus
Location within North America
Coordinates: 39°59′N 82°59′W / 39°59′N 82°59′W / 39.983; -82.983Ohio
CountiesDelaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Pickaway
SettledFebruary 14, 1812
Named forChristopher Columbus
Government
 • MayorAndrew J. Ginther (D)
 • City Council
Area
 • State capital city223.11 sq mi (577.85 km2)
 • Land217.17 sq mi (562.47 km2)
 • Water5.94 sq mi (15.38 km2)
Elevation
902 ft (275 m)
Population
 • State capital city787,033
 • Estimate 
(2018)[13]
892,533
 • RankUS: 14th
 • Density3,960.44/sq mi (1,399.2/km2)
 • Urban
1,368,035 (US: 36th)
 • Metro
2,078,725 (US: 32nd)
 • CSA
2,424,831 (US: 25th)
Demonym(s)Columbusite[14]
Time zoneUTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
Area codes614, 380, 740
FIPS code39-18000
GNIS feature ID1080996[16]
WebsiteCity of Columbus

Columbus (s/ LUM-bəs) is the state capital and the most populous city in the U.S. State of Ohio. With a population of 892,533 as of 2018 estimates,[17] it is the 14th-most populous city in the United States[18][19][20][21] and one of the fastest growing large cities in the nation.[22] This makes Columbus the third-most populous state capital in the US (after Phoenix, Arizona and Austin, Texas) and the second-most populous city in the Midwest (after Chicago, Illinois).[23][24] It is the core city of the Columbus, OH Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses ten counties.[25] With a population of 2,078,725, it is Ohio's second-largest metropolitan area.

Columbus is the county seat of Franklin County.[26] The municipality has also annexed portions of adjoining Delaware, Pickaway and Fairfield counties. Named for explorer[27][28] Christopher Columbus, the city was founded in 1812, at the confluence of the Scioto and Olentangy rivers, and assumed the functions of state capital in 1816.

The city has a diverse economy based on education, government, insurance, banking, defense, aviation, food, clothes, logistics, steel, energy, medical research, health care, hospitality, retail, and technology. Columbus Region is home to the Battelle Memorial Institute, the world's largest private research and development foundation; Chemical Abstracts Service, the world's largest clearinghouse of chemical information; NetJets, the world's largest fractional ownership jet aircraft fleet; and Ohio State University, one of the largest universities in the United States. As of 2018, the city has the headquarters of five corporations in the U.S. Fortune 500: American Electric Power, Cardinal Health, L Brands, Nationwide, and Big Lots, just out of the top 500.[29]

In 2016, Money Magazine ranked Columbus as one of "The 6 Best Big Cities", calling it the best in the Midwest, citing a highly educated workforce and excellent wage growth.[30] In 2012, Columbus was ranked in BusinessWeek's 50 best cities in the United States.[31] In 2013, Forbes gave Columbus an "A" grade as one of the top cities for business in the U.S.,[32] and later that year included the city on its list of Best Places for Business and Careers.[33] Columbus was also ranked as the No. 1 up-and-coming tech city in the nation by Forbes in 2008,[34] and the city was ranked a top-ten city by Relocate America in 2010.[35][36] In 2007, fDi Magazine ranked the city no. 3 in the U.S. for cities of the future,[37] and the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium was rated no. 1 in 2009 by USA Travel Guide.[38]

History

Ohio Country

Map of the Ohio Country between 1775–1794 depicting locations of battles and massacres surrounding the area that would eventually become Ohio.

The area including modern-day Columbus once comprised the Ohio Country,[39] under the nominal control of the French colonial empire through the Viceroyalty of New France from 1663 until 1763. In the 18th century, European traders flocked to the area, attracted by the fur trade.[40]

The area was often caught between warring factions, including American Indian and European interests. In the 1740s, Pennsylvania traders overran the territory until the French forcibly evicted them.[41] In the early 1750s, the Ohio Company sent George Washington to the Ohio Country to survey. Fighting for control of the territory in the French and Indian War (1754-1763) became part of the international Seven Years' War (1756-1763). During this period, the region routinely suffered turmoil, massacres, and battles. The 1763 Treaty of Paris ceded the Ohio Country to the British Empire.

Virginia Military District

After the American Revolution, the Virginia Military District became part of Ohio Country as a territory of Virginia. Colonists from the East Coast moved in, but rather than finding an empty frontier, they encountered people of the Miami, Delaware, Wyandot, Shawnee, and Mingo nations, as well as European traders. The tribes resisted expansion by the fledgling United States, leading to years of bitter conflict. The decisive Battle of Fallen Timbers resulted in the Treaty of Greenville, which finally opened the way for new settlements. By 1797, a young surveyor from Virginia named Lucas Sullivant had founded a permanent settlement on the west bank of the forks of the Scioto River and Olentangy River. An admirer of Benjamin Franklin, Sullivant chose to name his frontier village "Franklinton".[42] The location was desirable for its proximity to navigable rivers—but Sullivant was initially foiled when, in 1798, a large flood wiped out the new settlement.[43] He persevered, and the village was rebuilt.

19th Century

Old City Hall, completed in 1872 and burned in 1921

After Ohio achieved statehood in 1803, political infighting among prominent Ohio leaders led to the state capital moving from Chillicothe to Zanesville and back again. Desiring to settle on a location, the state legislature considered Franklinton, Dublin, Worthington, and Delaware before compromising on a plan to build a new city in the state's center, near major transportation routes, primarily rivers. Named in honor of Christopher Columbus, the city was founded on February 14, 1812, on the "High Banks opposite Franklinton at the Forks of the Scioto most known as Wolf's Ridge."[44] At the time, this area was a dense forestland, used only as a hunting ground.[45]

The "Burough of Columbus" [sic] was officially established on February 10, 1816.[46] Nine people were elected to fill the various positions of Mayor, Treasurer, and several others. In 1816-1817, Jarvis W. Pike would serve as the 1st Mayor. Although the recent War of 1812 had brought prosperity to the area, the subsequent recession and conflicting claims to the land threatened the new town's success. Early conditions were abysmal with frequent bouts of fevers and an outbreak of cholera in 1833.[47]

The National Road reached Columbus from Baltimore in 1831, which complemented the city's new link to the Ohio and Erie Canal and facilitated a population boom.[48] A wave of European immigrants led to the creation of two ethnic enclaves on the city's outskirts. A large Irish population settled in the north along Naghten Street (presently Nationwide Boulevard), while the Germans took advantage of the cheap land to the south, creating a community that came to be known as the Das Alte Südende (The Old South End). Columbus's German population constructed numerous breweries, Trinity Lutheran Seminary, and Capital University.[49]

The Great Southern Hotel in downtown Columbus was completed in 1897

With a population of 3,500, Columbus was officially chartered as a city on March 3, 1834. On that day the legislature carried out a special act, which granted legislative authority to the city council and judicial authority to the mayor. Elections were held in April of that year, with voters choosing one John Brooks as the first mayor.[50] Columbus annexed the then-separate city of Franklinton in 1837.[51]

In 1850, the Columbus and Xenia Railroad became the first railroad into the city, followed by the Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati Railroad in 1851. The two railroads built a joint Union Station on the east side of High Street just north of Naghten (then called North Public Lane). Rail traffic into Columbus increased—by 1875, eight railroads served Columbus, and the rail companies built a new, more elaborate station.[52]

On January 7, 1857, the Ohio Statehouse finally opened after 18 years of construction.[53]

Columbus native James Thurber, subject of TIME Magazine's July 9, 1951, cover

Before the abolition of slavery in the South in 1863, the Underground Railroad was active in Columbus; led, in part, by James Preston Poindexter.[54] Poindexter arrived in Columbus in the 1830s and became a Baptist Preacher and leader in the city's African-American community until the turn of the century.[55]

During the Civil War, Columbus was a major base for the volunteer Union Army. It housed 26,000 troops and held up to 9,000 Confederate prisoners of war at Camp Chase, at what is now the Hilltop neighborhood of west Columbus. Over 2,000 Confederate soldiers remain buried at the site, making it one of the North's largest Confederate cemeteries.[56] North of Columbus, along the Delaware Road, the Regular Army established Camp Thomas, where the 18th U.S. Infantry organized and trained.

By virtue of the Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act, the Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College (which became Ohio State University) founded in 1870 on the former estate of William and Hannah Neil.[57]

Waterford Tower, shadowed by the Miranova Condominiums in downtown Columbus.

By the end of the 19th century, Columbus was home to several major manufacturing businesses. The city became known as the "Buggy Capital of the World," thanks to the two dozen buggy factories—notably the Columbus Buggy Company, founded in 1875 by C.D. Firestone.[58] The Columbus Consolidated Brewing Company also rose to prominence during this time and might have achieved even greater success were it not for the Anti-Saloon League in neighboring Westerville.[59] In the steel industry, a forward-thinking man named Samuel P. Bush presided over the Buckeye Steel Castings Company. Columbus was also a popular location for labor organizations. In 1886, Samuel Gompers founded the American Federation of Labor in Druid's Hall on S. Fourth Street, and in 1890 the United Mine Workers of America was founded at old City Hall.[60] In 1894, James Thurber, who would go on to an illustrious literary career in Paris and New York City, was born in the city. Today the Ohio State's theater department has a performance center named in his honor, and his youthful home near the Discovery District is on the National Register of Historic Places.

20th century to the present

Street arches returned to the Short North in late 2002

"The Columbus Experiment" was an environmental project in 1908, which involved construction of the first water plant in the world to apply filtration and softening, designed and invented by two brothers, Clarence and Charles Hoover. Those working to construct the project included Jeremiah O'Shaughnessy, name-bearer of the Columbus metropolitan area's O'Shaughnessy Dam. This invention helped drastically reduce typhoid deaths. The essential design is still used today.[61]

Columbus earned one of its nicknames, The Arch City, because of the dozens of wooden arches that spanned High Street at the turn of the 20th century. The arches illuminated the thoroughfare and eventually became the means by which electric power was provided to the new streetcars. The city tore down the arches and replaced them with cluster lights in 1914 but reconstructed them from metal in the Short North district in 2002 for their unique historical interest.[62]

On March 25, 1913, the Great Flood of 1913 devastated the neighborhood of Franklinton, leaving over ninety people dead and thousands of West Side residents homeless. To prevent flooding, the Army Corps of Engineers recommended widening the Scioto River through downtown, constructing new bridges, and building a retaining wall along its banks. With the strength of the post-World War I economy, a construction boom occurred in the 1920s, resulting in a new Civic center, the Ohio Theatre, the American Insurance Union Citadel, and, to the north, a massive new Ohio Stadium.[63] Although the American Professional Football Association was founded in Canton in 1920, its head offices moved to Columbus in 1921 to the New Hayden Building and remained in the city until 1941. In 1922, the association's name was changed to the National Football League.[64] A decade later, in 1931, at a convention in the city, the Jehovah's Witnesses took that name by which they are known today.

The effects of the Great Depression were less severe in Columbus, as the city's diversified economy helped it fare better than its Rust Belt neighbors. World War II brought many new jobs and another population surge. This time, most new arrivals were migrants from the "extraordinarily depressed rural areas" of Appalachia, who would soon account for more than a third of Columbus's growing population.[65] In 1948, the Town and Country Shopping Center opened in suburban Whitehall, and it is now regarded as one of the first modern shopping centers in the United States.[66]

Columbus artist James Mason's French Topiary Gardens at the Old Deaf School Park, constructed in 1989 in downtown, was conceptually conceived from Georges Seurat's A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.[67]

The construction of the interstate highway signaled the arrival of rapid suburb development in central Ohio. To protect the city's tax base from this suburbanization, Columbus adopted a policy of linking sewer and water hookups to annexation to the city.[68] By the early 1990s, Columbus had grown to become Ohio's largest city in land area and in population.

Efforts to revitalize downtown Columbus have had some success in recent decades,[69] though like most major American cities, some architectural heritage was lost in the process. In the 1970s, landmarks such as Union Station and the Neil House Hotel were razed to construct high-rise offices and big retail space. The National City Bank building was constructed in 1977, as well as the Nationwide Plazas and other towers that sprouted during this period. The construction of the Greater Columbus Convention Center has brought major conventions and trade shows to the city. The Scioto Mile is a showcase park being developed along the riverfront, an area that already had the Miranova Corporate Center and The Condominiums at North Bank Park. Corporate interests have developed Capitol Square, including the local NBC affiliate at the corner of Broad and High.

The 2010 United States foreclosure crisis forced the city to purchase numerous foreclosed, vacant properties to renovate or demolish them–at a cost of tens of millions of dollars. As of February 2011, Columbus had 6,117 vacant properties, according to city officials.[70]

Charles Lindbergh visited in 1928 for an aviation campaign.

Aviation

In 1907, 14-year-old Cromwell Dixon built the SkyCycle, a pedal-powered blimp, which he flew at Driving Park.[71] Three years later, one of the Wright Brothers' exhibition pilots, Phillip Parmalee, conducted the world's first commercial cargo flight when he flew two packages containing 88 kilograms of silk 70 miles (110 km) from Dayton to Columbus in a Wright Model B.[72]

Military aviators from Columbus distinguished themselves during World War I. Six Columbus pilots, led by top ace Eddie Rickenbacker, achieved forty-two "kills" – a full 10% of all US aerial victories in the war, and more than the aviators of any other American city.[73]

After the war, John Glenn Columbus International Airport became the axis of a coordinated rail-to-air transcontinental system that moved passengers from the East Coast to the West. TAT, which later became TWA, provided commercial service, following Charles Lindbergh's promotion of Columbus to the nation for such a hub. Following the failure of a bond levy in 1927 to build the airport, Lindbergh campaigned in the city in 1928, and the next bond levy passed that year.[71] On July 8, 1929, the airport opened for business with the inaugural TAT west-bound flight from Columbus to Waynoka, Oklahoma. Among the 19 passengers on that flight was Amelia Earhart,[71] with Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone attending the opening ceremonies.[71]

In 1964, Ohio native Geraldine Fredritz Mock became the first woman to fly solo around the world, leaving from Columbus and piloting the Spirit of Columbus. Her flight lasted nearly a month and set a record for speed for planes under 3,858 pounds (1,750 kg).[74]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Columbus, Ohio
aragonés: Columbus (Ohio)
asturianu: Columbus (Ohio)
azərbaycanca: Kolumbus (Ohayo)
تۆرکجه: کولمبوس
bamanankan: Columbus (Ohio)
বাংলা: কলম্বাস
Bân-lâm-gú: Columbus (Ohio)
беларуская: Калумбус
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Каламбус
български: Кълъмбъс
brezhoneg: Columbus (Ohio)
català: Columbus
čeština: Columbus (Ohio)
Diné bizaad: Bįįhtó
eesti: Columbus
Ελληνικά: Κολόμπους
emiliàn e rumagnòl: Culùmbus (Ohio)
español: Columbus (Ohio)
Esperanto: Columbus (Ohio)
estremeñu: Columbus (Ohio)
føroyskt: Columbus
français: Columbus (Ohio)
Gàidhlig: Columbus, Ohio
galego: Columbus
Hausa: Columbus
hrvatski: Columbus, Ohio
Bahasa Indonesia: Columbus, Ohio
interlingua: Columbus (Ohio)
Interlingue: Columbus (Ohio)
íslenska: Columbus (Ohio)
italiano: Columbus (Ohio)
Kapampangan: Columbus, Ohio
kernowek: Columbus, Ohio
Kiswahili: Columbus, Ohio
Kreyòl ayisyen: Columbus, Ohio
кырык мары: Колумбус (Огайо)
Latina: Columbopolis
latviešu: Kolumbusa
Ligure: Columbus
Malagasy: Columbus, Ohio
მარგალური: კოლუმბუსი
Bahasa Melayu: Columbus, Ohio
Nederlands: Columbus (Ohio)
नेपाल भाषा: कोलम्बस, ओहायो
Napulitano: Columbus (Ohio)
нохчийн: Колумбус
norsk nynorsk: Columbus i Ohio
पालि: कोलम्बस
Papiamentu: Columbus (Ohio)
Piemontèis: Columbus (Ohio)
polski: Columbus
português: Columbus (Ohio)
română: Columbus, Ohio
Runa Simi: Columbus (Ohio)
саха тыла: Колумбус
संस्कृतम्: कोलम्बस्
sardu: Columbus
Seeltersk: Columbus (Ohio)
sicilianu: Columbus (Ohio)
Simple English: Columbus, Ohio
slovenčina: Columbus (Ohio)
slovenščina: Columbus, Ohio
ślůnski: Columbus (Ohio)
Soomaaliga: Kolumbus, Ohio
српски / srpski: Коламбус
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Columbus, Ohio
татарча/tatarça: Коламбус
Türkçe: Columbus, Ohio
українська: Колумбус (Огайо)
ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche: Kolumbu, Oxéo
Tiếng Việt: Columbus, Ohio
Volapük: Columbus (Ohio)
Yorùbá: Columbus, Ohio
žemaitėška: Kolumbs