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—  City  —
Images, from top left to right: Downtown Columbus, Ohio Statehouse Capitol Square, University Hall, Short North, Nationwide Arena, Santa Maria replica


Nickname(s): The Discovery City, Arch City, C-bus, Cowtown[citation needed]
Columbus is located in Ohio
Location in the state of Ohio, USA
Columbus is located in the USA
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 39°59′00″N 82°59′00″W / 39.9833333°N 82.9833333°W / 39.9833333; -82.9833333
Country United States
State Ohio
Counties Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin
 - Mayor Michael B. Coleman (D)
 - City 212.6 sq mi (550.5 km2)
 - Land 210.3 sq mi (544.6 km2)
 - Water 2.3 sq mi (5.9 km2)
Elevation 902 ft (275 m)
Population (2008)[1][2]
 - City 754,885 (16th)
 Density 3,556.1/sq mi (1,373.0/km2)
 Metro 1,773,120 (32nd)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 43085, 43201, 43202, 43203, 43204, 43205, 43206, 43207, 43209, 43210, 43211, 43212, 43213, 43214, 43215, 43216, 43217, 43218, 43219, 43220, 43221, 43222, 43223, 43224, 43226, 43227, 43228, 43229, 43230, 43231, 43232, 43234, 43235, 43236
Area code(s) 614
FIPS code 39-18000[3]
GNIS feature ID 1080996[4]

Columbus is the capital and largest city in the U.S. state of Ohio, and the state's third largest metropolitan area, behind Cleveland and Cincinnati. It is the county seat of Franklin County,[5] although parts of the city also extend into Delaware and Fairfield counties. Named for explorer 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 population was 711,470 at the 2000 census. In 2008, Columbus was the 16th largest city in the United States, with 754,885 residents, and was also the 32nd largest metropolitan area, the fourth largest city in the Midwest, and the third most populous state capital in the U.S. According to the U.S. Census, the metropolitan area has a population of 1,773,120, and the Combined Statistical Area (which also includes Marion and Chillicothe) has a population of 1,982,252.[6] Columbus is located within 550 miles (890 km) of half of the population of the United States.[7]

The city has a diverse economy based on education, insurance, banking, fashion, defense, aviation, food, logistics, steel, energy, medical research, health care, hospitality, retail, and technology.



Evidence of ancient mound-building societies abounds in the region near the confluence of the Scioto and Olentangy rivers. Mound Street, located in downtown Columbus, was so named because of its proximity to a large Native American burial mound.[8] Numerous other earthworks were found throughout the area, including a surviving edifice on McKinley Avenue.[9] Those ancient civilizations had long since faded into history when European explorers began moving into the region south of Lake Erie.

Rather than an empty frontier, however, they encountered people of the Miami, Delaware, Wyandot, Shawnee, and Mingo nations. These tribes resisted expansion by the fledgling United States, resulting in 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. An admirer of Benjamin Franklin, Sullivant chose to name his frontier village "Franklinton."[10] Although the location was desirable in its proximity to navigable rivers, Sullivant was initially foiled when, in 1798, a large flood wiped out the newly formed settlement.[11] He persevered, and the village was rebuilt.

Old City Hall, completed in 1872 and burned in 1921

19th century

After Ohio achieved statehood in 1803, political infighting among Ohio's more prominent leaders resulted in the state capital moving from Chillicothe to Zanesville and back again. The state legislature finally decided that a new capital city, located in the center of the state, was a necessary compromise. Several of Ohio's small towns and villages petitioned the legislature for the honor of becoming the state capital, but ultimately a coalition of land speculators, with Sullivant's support, made the most attractive offer to the Ohio General Assembly. Named in honor of Christopher Columbus, the capital city was founded on February 14, 1812, on the "High Banks opposite Franklinton at the Forks of the Scioto known as Wolf's Ridge."[12] At the time, this area was a dense forestland, used only as a hunting ground.[13]

The Burough of Columbus [sic] was officially established on February 10, 1816.[14] Nine people were elected to fill the various positions of Mayor, Treasurer, and others. Although the recent War of 1812 had brought prosperity to the area, the subsequent recession and conflicting claims to the land threatened the success of the new town. Early conditions were abysmal with frequent bouts of fevers and an outbreak of cholera in 1833.[15]

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.[16] A wave of immigrants from Europe resulted in the establishment of two ethnic enclaves on the outskirts of the city. A significant 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 Das Alte Südende (The Old South End). Columbus's German population constructed numerous breweries, Trinity Lutheran Seminary, and Capital University.[17]

With a population of 3500, Columbus was officially chartered as a city on March 3, 1834. The legislature carried out a special act on that day, 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.[18] Columbus annexed the separate city of Franklinton in 1837.[citation needed]

In 1850 the Columbus and Xenia Railroad became the first railroad to enter 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 Columbus was served by eight railroads, and a new, more elaborate station was built.[19]

The Great Southern Hotel, downtown, completed in 1897

On January 7, 1857, the Ohio Statehouse finally opened to the public after eighteen years of construction.[20]

During the Civil War, Columbus was a major base for the volunteer Union Army that housed 26,000 troops and held up to 9,000 Confederate prisoners of war at Camp Chase located 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 largest Confederate cemeteries in the North.[21] North of Columbus, along the Delaware Road, the Regular Army established Camp Thomas, where the 18th U.S. Infantry was organized and trained.

By virtue of the Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act, the Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College (which became Ohio State University) was founded in 1870 on the former estate of William and Hannah Neil.[22]

By the end of the 19th century, Columbus saw the rise of several major manufacturing businesses. The city became known as the "Buggy Capital of the World," thanks to the presence of some two dozen buggy factories, notably the Columbus Buggy Company, which was founded in 1875 by C.D. Firestone. The Columbus Consolidated Brewing Company also rose to prominence during this time, and it may have had achieved even greater success were it not for the influence of the Anti-Saloon League, based in neighboring Westerville.[23] 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 the organization of labor. 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.[24]

Waterford Tower, shadowed by the Miranova Condominiums in downtown Columbus

20th century to the present

"The Columbus Experiment" was an internationally recognized environmental project in 1908, which saw the construction of the first water plant in the world to apply filtration and softening, designed and invented by Hoover brothers, Clarence and Charles. This invention helped drastically reduce typhus deaths. These designs are still in use today.[25]

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 twentieth century. The arches illuminated the thoroughfare and eventually became the means by which electric power was provided to the new streetcars. The arches were torn down and replaced with cluster lights in 1914, but were reconstructed from metal in the Short North district in 2002 for their unique historical interest.[26]

Street arches returned to the Short North in late 2002

On March 25, 1913, a catastrophic flood devastated the neighborhood of Franklinton, leaving over ninety people dead and thousands of West Side residents homeless. To prevent future 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-WWI 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.[27] Although the American Professional Football Association was founded in Canton in 1920, its head offices moved to Columbus in 1921 and remained in the city until 1941. In 1922, the association's name was changed to the National Football League.[28]

Columbus Convention Center, downtown

The effects of the Great Depression were somewhat less severe in Columbus, as the city's diversified economy helped it fare marginally better than its Rust Belt neighbors. World War II brought a tremendous number of new jobs to the city, and with it another population surge. This time, the majority of new arrivals were migrants from the "extraordinarily depressed rural areas" of Appalachia, who would soon account for more than a third of Columbus' rising population.[29] 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.[30] In 1964, Ohio native Geraldine Fredritz Mock became the first woman in history to fly 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 3858 pounds.[31]

The construction of the interstate highway signaled the arrival of rapid suburb development in central Ohio. In order 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.[32] By the early 1990s, Columbus had grown to become Ohio's largest city in both land area and in population.

Efforts to revitalize downtown Columbus have succeeded in recent decades, 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 enhanced the architectural appeal of the city. The Scioto Mile is a world-class park that is being developed along the riverfront, an area which has already seen the development of the Miranova Corporate Center and the The Condominiums at North Bank Park. Corporate interests have developed Capitol Square, including the local NBC affiliate locating at the corner of Broad and High.



The Scioto River flows through the heart of downtown

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 212.6 square miles (550.5 km²), of which, 210.3 square miles (544.6 km²) of it is land and 2.3 square miles (5.9 km²) of it (1.07%) is water. Unlike many other major US cities in the Midwest, Columbus continues to expand its reach by way of extensions and annexations, making it one of the fastest growing large cities in the nation, in terms of both geography and population, and probably the fastest in the Midwest.[citation needed] While Columbus' suburban population is not as large as Ohio's other two large metro areas, (Cleveland and Cincinnati), due to its annexation policies, it is almost entirely ringed by suburbs, and it even has some land-locked suburbs which are completely surrounded by Columbus' city limits. Some of Columbus' largest suburbs are Westerville, Gahanna, Reynoldsburg, Grove City, Upper Arlington, Hilliard and Dublin. Since the 1950s the city has made annexation a condition for providing water and sewer service, to which it holds regional rights throughout a large portion of central Ohio. This policy is credited with preserving Columbus' tax base in the face of the U.S.'s suburbanization and has contributed to its continued economic expansion, much like other cities pursuing similar policies such as San Antonio, Texas.

The confluence of the Scioto and Olentangy rivers occurs just west of downtown Columbus. Several smaller tributaries course through the Columbus metro area, including Alum Creek, Big Walnut Creek, and Darby Creek. Columbus is considered to have relatively flat topography thanks to a large glacier that covered most of Ohio during the Wisconsin Ice Age. However, there are sizable differences in elevation through the area, with the high point of Franklin County being 1132 ft (345 m) above sea level near New Albany, and the low point being 670 ft (207 m) where the Scioto River leaves the county near Lockbourne.[33] Numerous ravine areas near the rivers and creeks also help give some variety to the landscape. Tributaries to Alum Creek and the Olentangy River cut through shale, while tributaries to the Scioto River cut through limestone. Deciduous trees are common, including maple, oak, hickory, walnut, poplar, cottonwood, and of course, buckeye.

Columbus is geographically very close to many major cities. It has a driving distance of less than four hours from Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, Lexington, Louisville, Pittsburgh, and Toledo. Likewise, Chicago, Milwaukee, Nashville, New York City, Washington, DC, St Louis, Atlanta, Charlotte, and Philadelphia are all within a day's drive of the city.


The region is dominated by a humid continental climate (Koppen climate classification Dfa), characterized by hot, muggy summers and cold, dry winters. The hottest temperature ever recorded in Columbus was 106 °F (41 °C), which occurred twice during the Dust Bowl drought of the 1930s — once on July 21, 1934, and again two years later, on July 14, 1936.[34] The coldest temperature ever recorded was −22 °F (−30 °C), occurring on January 19, 1994.[34]

Columbus is subject to severe weather typical to the Midwestern United States. Tornadoes are possible from the spring to the fall, the most recent of which occurred on October 11, 2006 and caused F2 damage.[35] Floods, blizzards, and severe thunderstorms can also occur from time to time.

Climate data for Columbus, Ohio
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 74
Average high °F (°C) 36
Average low °F (°C) 20
Record low °F (°C) -22
Rainfall inches (mm) 2.53
Snowfall inches (mm) 9.9
Source: National Weather Service[34][36] March 2010


Overview map

Columbus also has a number of distinctive neighborhoods within the metro area. The Short North, situated just north of downtown, is rich with art galleries, dining, pubs, and specialty shops. A number of large, ornate Victorian homes are located nearby, and together they comprise Victorian Village. Just to the west is Harrison West and across the Olentangy River is Grandview Heights. To the south, German Village is known for its quaint 19th century brick cottages, and it holds the distinction as the largest privately funded historic district on the National Register of Historic Places. Immediately west is the Brewery District, formerly an entertainment district which has seen a decrease in bars and an increase in residential and office development. To the east of Downtown north of Broad St. is King-Lincoln Bronzeville, or just "King-Lincoln", which was the cultural and commercial hub of the African-American community. South of Broad and also east of King Lincoln is Olde Towne East, which was a well-to-do streetcar neighborhood consisting of grand homes in a wide variety of architectural styles. Most of these neighborhoods have all undergone gentrification on a large scale. Franklinton, sometimes known as "the Bottoms," is the neighborhood immediately west of downtown. Just to the west of Franklinton is a group of smaller neighborhoods commonly referred to as "The Hilltop."

At the north end of downtown is a new development/neighborhood, the Arena District. Centered around the Nationwide Arena, the district has many pubs, restaurants, and residential projects, most notably the new 20-story Condominiums at North Bank Park tower. The Lifestyle Communities Pavilion is also an anchor for the district and the recently-completed Huntington Ballpark has become the new home of the Columbus Clippers baseball team.

There are also the Heritage Districts, which include the Driving Park, Livingston Park and Old Oaks areas on the near east side of the city, home to a part of the city's large black population.

The University area is populated by a high concentration of students during the school year (approximately 60,000) and features many old homes which have been converted to apartments for student use. The stretch of High Street that runs through the campus area caters to the student body with its abundance of bars, sandwich shops, music stores, and bookstores. Located between OSU and Worthington is Clintonville, where a mix of middle class homes can be found alongside beautiful old stone and brick-faced houses nestled among rolling hills. Further west of downtown, San Margherita is a community formed by Italian immigrants who arrived at the turn of the 20th century.

Neighborhood photos


Lane Avenue Bridge, University District

Grid and address system

The city's street plan originates downtown and extends into the old-growth neighborhoods, following a grid pattern with the intersection of High Street (running north–south) and Broad Street (running east–west) at its center. North-South streets run twelve degrees west of due North, parallel to High Street; the Avenues (vis. Fifth Avenue, Sixth Avenue, Seventh Avenue, etc.) run east–west.[37] The address system begins its numbering at the intersection of Broad and High, with numbers increasing in magnitude with distance from Broad or High. Numbered Avenues begin with First Avenue, about 1¼ mile north of Broad Street, and increase in number as one progresses northward. Numbered Streets begin with Second Street, which is two blocks west of High Street, and Third Street, which is a block east of High Street, then progress eastward from there. Even-numbered addresses are on the north and east sides of streets, putting odd addresses on the south and west sides of streets. A difference of 700 house numbers means a distance of about one mile (along the same street).[33] For example, 351 W 5th Avenue is approximately one-half mile west of High Street on the south side of Fifth Avenue. Buildings along north–south streets are numbered in a similar manner: the building number indicates the approximate distance from Broad Street, the prefixes ‘N’ and ‘S’ indicate whether that distance is to measured to the north or south of Broad Street and the street number itself indicates how far the street is from the center of the city at the intersection of Broad and High.

Locations of numbered streets and avenues

This street numbering system does not hold true over a large area. The area served by numbered Avenues runs from about Marble Cliff to South Linden to the Airport, and the area served by numbered Streets covers Downtown and nearby neighborhoods to the east and south, with only a few exceptions. There are quite few intersections between numbered Streets and Avenues. Furthermore, named Streets and Avenues can have any orientation. For example, while all of the numbered avenues run east–west, perpendicular to High Street, many named, non-numbered avenues run north–south, parallel to High. The same is true of many named streets: while the numbered streets in the city run north–south, perpendicular to Broad Street, many named, non-numbered streets run east–west, perpendicular to High Street.

The addressing system, however, covers nearly all of Franklin County, with only a few older suburbs retaining self-centered address systems. The address scale of 700 per mile results in addresses approaching, but not usually reaching, 10,000 at the county's borders.

Other major, local roads in Columbus include Main Street, Morse Road, Dublin-Granville Road (SR-161), Cleveland Avenue/Westerville Road (SR-3), Olentangy River Road, Riverside Drive, Sunbury Road, Fifth Avenue and Livingston Avenue.


Columbus is bisected by two major Interstate Highways, Interstate 70 running east–west, and Interstate 71 running north to roughly southwest. The two Interstates combine downtown for about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) in an area locally known as "The Split", which is a major traffic congestion point within Columbus, especially during rush hour. U.S. Highway 40, aka National Road, runs east–west through Columbus, comprising Main Street to the east of downtown and Broad Street to the west. It is also widely recognized as the nation's first highway. U.S. Highway 23 runs roughly north–south, while U.S. Highway 33 runs northwest-to-southeast. The Interstate 270 Outerbelt encircles the vast majority of the city, while the newly redesigned Innerbelt consists of the Interstate 670 spur on the north side (which continues to the east past the Airport and to the west where it merges with I-70), State Route 315 on the west side, the I-70/71 split on the south side, and I-71 on the east. Due to its central location within Ohio and abundance of outbound roadways, nearly all of the state's destinations are within a 2-hour drive of Columbus.

Columbus has numerous pedestrian skywalks linking together downtown buildings


The area has several airports, most notably Port Columbus International Airport on the east side of the city. Port Columbus provides service to a few foreign and dozens of domestic destinations, including all the major hubs except Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle. Port Columbus was a hub for discount carrier Skybus Airlines and is for NetJets, the world's largest fractional ownership air carrier. Rickenbacker International Airport, in southern Franklin County, is a major cargo facility and is important to the Ohio Air National Guard. OSU Don Scott Airport and Bolton Field are significant general-aviation facilities in the Columbus area.


Columbus used to have a major train station downtown called Union Station, most notably as a stop along Amtrak's National Limited train service until 1977. The station itself was razed in 1979,[38] and the Greater Columbus Convention Center now stands in its place. The station was also a stop along the Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati Railroad and the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railroad. Columbus is now the largest metropolitan area in the U.S. without passenger rail service, after Phoenix introduced a light-rail system in December 2008;[39][40] however studies are underway towards reintroducing passenger rail service to Columbus via the Ohio Hub project. A streetcar is planned in Downtown Columbus, and there is a plan for light rail service between downtown and the Polaris area. As of 2009, plans are in the works to open a high-speed rail service connecting Columbus with Cincinnati and Cleveland.[41]


Columbus maintains a widespread municipal bus service called the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA).


Bicycling as transportation is steadily increasing in Columbus with its relatively flat terrain, intact urban neighborhoods, large student population, and off-road bike paths. The city has recently put forth the 2012 Bicentennial Bikeways Plan as well as a move toward a Complete Streets policy.[42] Grassroots efforts such as Bike To Work Week, Consider Biking, Yay Bikes,[43] Third Hand Bicycle Co-op, Franklinton Cycleworks, and Cranksters, a local radio program focused on urban cycling,[44] have contributed to cycling as transportation.

Columbus also hosts urban cycling "off-shots" with messenger-style "alleycat" races as well as unorganized group rides, a monthly Critical Mass ride,[45] bicycle polo, art showings, movie nights, and a variety of bicycle-friendly businesses and events throughout the year. All this activity occurs despite Columbus's lack of on-road cycling lanes and frequently inclement weather.


Columbus has experienced interest from private companies to build a spaceport, but has yet to attract an investment. The state courted PlanetSpace for a facility to be constructed at Rickenbacker International Airport in 2007, which would have included a manufacturing and landing facility.[46]


Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1830 2,435
1840 6,048 148.4%
1850 17,882 195.7%
1860 18,554 3.8%
1870 31,274 68.6%
1880 51,647 65.1%
1890 88,150 70.7%
1900 125,560 42.4%
1910 181,511 44.6%
1920 237,031 30.6%
1930 290,564 22.6%
1940 306,087 5.3%
1950 375,901 22.8%
1960 471,316 25.4%
1970 539,677 14.5%
1980 564,871 4.7%
1990 632,910 12.0%
2000 711,470 12.4%
Est. 2008 754,885 6.1%
Carlyle's Watch is a new residential building attracting urban professionals to the downtown area

As of the 2005-2007 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, White Americans made up 65.6% of Columbus's population; of which 63.3% were non-Hispanic whites. Blacks or African Americans made up 26.4% of Columbus's population; of which 26.1% were non-Hispanic blacks. American Indians made up 0.2% of the city's population. Asian Americans made up 4.1% of the city's population. Pacific Islander Americans made up less than 0.1% of the city's population. Individuals from some other race made up 1.5% of the city's population; of which 0.2% were non-Hispanic. Individuals from two or more races made up 2.2% of the city's population; of which 2.0% were non-Hispanic. In addition, Hispanics and Latinos made up 4.0% of Columbus's population.[47][48]

As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 711,470 people, 301,534 households, and 165,240 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,383.6 people per square mile (1,306.4/km²). There were 327,175 housing units at an average density of 1,556.0/sq mi (600.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 67.93% White, 24.47% Black or African American, 0.29% Native American, 3.44% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 1.17% from other races, and 2.65% from two or more races. 2.46% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. The top 5 largest ancestries include German (19.4%), Irish (11.7%), English (7.9%), American (7.2%), and Italian (5.0%).[49]

There were 301,534 households out of which 28.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.1% were married couples living together, 14.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 45.2% were non-families. 34.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 3.01.

The Ohio State University attracts thousands of students from all over the world

The age distribution is 24.2% under the age of 18, 14.0% from 18 to 24, 35.1% from 25 to 44, 17.9% from 45 to 64, and 8.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 94.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $37,897, and the median income for a family was $47,391. Males had a median income of $35,138 versus $28,705 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,450. About 10.8% of families and 14.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.7% of those under age 18 and 10.9% of those age 65 or over.

The Columbus metropolitan area has experienced several waves of immigration in the 20th century, including groups from Vietnam, Russia, Somalia, and ongoing immigration from Mexico and other Latin American countries.[50] Many other countries of origin are represented as well, with much of this related to the international draw of The Ohio State University.

Due to its demographics, which include a mix of races and a wide range of incomes, as well as urban, suburban, and nearby rural areas, Columbus is considered to be a "typical" American city, and has been used as a test market for new products by retail and restaurant chains.[51] However, newer studies suggest that Columbus may no longer accurately mirror the U.S. population as a whole.[52]

Columbus is home to a large GLBT community (estimated to be over 65,000 strong),[53] was rated as one of the best cities in the country for gays and lesbians to live,[54] and also as the most underrated gay city in the country.[55]

In 2009, the city was ranked as the 7th manliest city in the country by Sperling's.[56] Columbus was ranked as the 15th most literate city in the country in 2008 by Central Connecticut State University,[57] and the 19th best educated.[58] In 2006, Columbus was ranked by CNN Money as the 8th best big city in the country to live in.[59]


SERS building, downtown
OPERS building, downtown

Columbus has a generally strong and diverse economy. Market Watch ranked Columbus and their metro area as the No. 7 best place in the country to operate a business in 2008.[60] In 2008, Ohio was ranked No. 5 in the nation for headquarters of Fortune 500 companies, with Columbus home to the most in the state.[61] In 2007, the city was ranked No. 3 in the United States by fDi magazine for "Cities of the Future", and No. 4 for most business-friendly in the country.[62] Columbus was ranked as the seventh strongest economy in the United States in 2006, and the best in Ohio, according to Policom Corp.[63] In 2008, Sustain Lane ranked the city No. 4 in the country for best knowledge and communications base, and No. 10 for best green economies.[64]

During the recession of 2008-2009, Columbus's economy was not impacted as much as the rest of the country based on decades of diversification work by long-time corporate residents, business leaders, and past political leaders. The current administration of mayor Michael B. Coleman has continued this work, although the city faced financial turmoil and had to increase taxes, due in part to alleged fiscal mismanagement.[65][66] As Columbus is the state capital, there is a large government presence in the city. Including city, county, state, and federal employers, government jobs provide the largest single source of employment within Columbus.


Columbus Defense Supply Center

One of the larger processing centers of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) is located in Columbus.[citation needed] The Department of Defense also operates the Defense Supply Center, Columbus (DSCC) east of downtown. Rickenbacker International Airport, located south of the city, hosts the United States Air Force's Ohio National Guard 121st Refueling Wing. Fort Hayes, located downtown, hosts the 391st Military Police Battalion and the 375th Criminal Investigations Division of the U.S. Army Reserve. The Ohio National Guard Headquarters is located on the far north side of the city.

Technology and energy

Columbus was ranked by Forbes magazine as the No. 1 most up and coming technological city in America in 2008, aided by longtime resident Battelle Memorial Institute, created in the 1920s by industrialist Gordon Battelle.[67] Central Connecticut State University ranked Columbus No. 8 in the nation for Internet literacy in 2005, but by 2008 the city had slipped to No. 21.[68][69] In 2009, Forbes ranked Columbus as the 29th most wired city in the country.[70] A fun note: In 2003 Columbus was ranked No. 9 by AOL for online text messaging.[71]

Ohio Supercomputer Center, University District

Columbus is home to the Ohio Supercomputer Center, founded in 1987, and located on the Ohio State University campus. It is available to research scientists, focusing on bio and data science, advanced materials, and engineering research. 1,850 miles of network infrastructure is utilized by the center through OARNet, providing internet access to over two million Ohioans as well as colleges and universities. The OSC partners with the U.S. Department of Defense, Education, and Energy, as well as the Air Force Research Laboratory, NASA, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratories, among other institutions.[72]

Many technology companies either call Columbus home or have significant operations in the area. The first major commercial Internet service provider in the United States, CompuServe, still has its roots in Columbus, although it has been owned by AOL since 1998. They started in Columbus in 1969 and first offered Internet service in 1979 with electronic mail services.[73] Chemical Abstracts Service is located just north of the OSU campus, and is the "world's foremost clearinghouse for chemical research".[62]

Sterling Commerce, a B2B software company, has its headquarters on the northwest side. Mettler Toledo, a manufacturer of precision scales and scientific equipment is headquartered in the area known as Polaris on the north side of the city. Columbus is home to interactive agencies and software development companies, with a concentration in Columbus' downtown and Arena District neighborhoods. Online Computer Library Center (OCLC), a leading library information company, is based in the Columbus area.

Battelle Memorial Institute, Harrison West

The Battelle Memorial Institute has played a key global role in the technological community over the last century, launching many products based on their discoveries. Battelle is the "world’s largest private contract research and development organization",[62] managing labs and companies all over the world. In 2004, Battelle opened a new biotechnology and chemistry lab in Columbus.[74] In 2009, Battelle was awarded 26 prestigious awards from R&D Magazine for developments, bringing their total to 217.[75]

The multi-jurisdictional 315 Research + Technology Corridor was set up in 2006 to promote the area nationally and internationally.[76] TechColumbus was also created in 2002 to help accelerate and support the growth of Central Ohio's tech economy.

American Electric Power, a Fortune 500 company, has its headquarters in downtown Columbus.

Medical research

OSU Medical Center, University District

Columbus is home to an abundance of medical research and related institutions, including institutions such as the Battelle Memorial Institute, The Ohio State University Medical Center, and The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital.

In 2009, scientists at The [Nationwide] Research Institute developed a trial for an HIV vaccine from genetic research, while researchers at OSU developed a genetic injection treatment for the disease obesity.[77][78] Other recent innovations in 2009 include an ear infection vaccine from The Research Institute.[79]

The Ohio State University Medical Center has a history of medical research including many medical firsts and breakthroughs. The Ohio State University and Cleveland Clinic, a world-renowned medical institution in northeastern Ohio, recently licensed technology to PreCelleon, based in Columbus, to develop a tool to collect more cancerous cells for research.[80] Battelle's West Jefferson biomedical center, just west of Columbus, in 2009 began studying the H1N1 virus and testing their existing technology to find a way to better detect it.[81] The Ohio State Medical Center was ranked in U.S. News and World Report's elite "Honor Roll" for medical institutions in the country in 2009, marking the 17th year in a row OSU was honored.[82] In 2009, internationally celebrated pioneering scientist and neurosurgeon Ali Rezai of the Cleveland Clinic joined OSU's staff as vice chair of the Department of Neurological Surgery.[83]

Other medical operations in the area include the Fortune 500 company Cardinal Health, which has its headquarters in the Columbus suburb of Dublin (Cardinal was originally based in Columbus). The Ross Products Division of Abbott Laboratories, makers of Ensure nutritional drink and Similac infant formula, is headquartered in Columbus, with over 7,000 employees.


Grant Medical Center, downtown
The Market Exchange medical building is home to laboratories of OhioHealth, Market Exchange District[84]

Columbus is home to many outstanding hospitals, which employ well over 8,000 in the city. Grant Medical Center, located downtown, is part of Ohio Health, a faith-based, non-profit organization that has been serving Columbus since 1891. In 2009, Grant was ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of the United States' best hospitals.[85] Another Ohio Health-operated hospital, Riverside Methodist, located in north-central Columbus, was also named one of the country's best hospitals in 2009 by U.S. News and World Report.

The Nationwide Children's Hospital is one of the country's premier children's hospitals, ranked in the top 10 of NIH-supported centers for their category, and is the fifth largest in the country. They specialize in surgical, neuroscience, rehabilitation, burn, dialysis and bone marrow areas. In 2007, U.S. News and World Report ranked this hospital No. 12 in its category.[86][87]

Other local hospitals include Ohio State University Medical Center (see Medical research), Mt. Carmel East and West facilities, Doctor's Hospital, and University Hospital East, and there are many specialty locations throughout the city.

Capitol Square financial institutions, Chase and Key
The William Green Building (left) and Three Nationwide Plaza (right) in downtown Columbus. The William Green Building serves as the headquarters for the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation


Columbus is home to five insurance companies. Nationwide Insurance, a Fortune 500 company, has its international headquarters downtown in a large, multi-building complex that dominates the northern end of the downtown area. The other insurance companies in the city are Motorists Insurance,[88] Grange Insurance,[89] Safe Auto Insurance,[90] and State Auto Insurance.[91]


Huntington Bancshares Inc., a Fortune 500 company, has its headquarters in the downtown area. Bank One was headquartered in Columbus until 1998, and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., which acquired Bank One in 2004, continues to maintain a major presence in Columbus, with a large mortgage servicing unit in the city. PNC Bank (previously National City Bank), KeyBank, Heartland Bank, Charter One Bank, U.S. Bank, Citigroup, Fifth Third Bank, and Commerce National Bank all maintain a presence in Columbus.[citation needed]

National City Bank building, Downtown


Historically, Port Columbus International Airport was once home to a North American Aviation factory (later North American/Rockwell). Aircraft built in Columbus include the North American F-86 Sabre, A-5 Vigilante, OV-10 Bronco, T-2 Buckeye, and components for the B-1 bomber, as well as numerous missiles and guidance systems.[92] Columbus was also home to Skybus Airlines, a discount carrier which began flying in May 2007.[93][94] and ceased operations on April 5, 2008.[95][96] Columbus is home to several private charter aviation companies, including Capital City Jet, located at Bolton Field, Stratos Jet Charters, Charter Logic, Pulse Aviation, New Flight Charters, NetJets and JetRide.

Vaisala is a Finnish global aviation company with operations in Columbus, originally started by pioneering innovator Vilho Väisälä. The corporation recently signed a long-term contract with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to supply next-generation GPS dropsondes for hurricane reconnaissance.[97] Honeywell operates facilities in Columbus, and German-based Siemens' Midwest facility is located here. Private aircraft-leasing giant NetJets is now based in Columbus, on a campus which recently saw a $220 million expansion.[98]

Steel and chemicals

Worthington Industries, a large steel-processing company and Fortune 500 company, is primarily located on the north side near Worthington. Columbus Steel Castings, formerly Buckeye Steel Castings, operates North America's largest steel foundry on the south side of the city. Hexion Specialty Chemicals (formerly part of Borden, Inc.) is located downtown and is a Fortune 500 company. Ashland Inc. has a large facility in the Columbus area.


NCX Norfolk operates a $67 million intermodal railyard in the city, with plans for a second $130 million facility imminent in 2008.[99] UPS has a large distribution center on the west side of the city.[citation needed] Major motor-freight companies in the city include Roadway Express, Estes Express Lines, Covenant Transport, Old Dominion Freight Line, and Overnite Transportation. Air cargo services companies operating at Rickenbacker International Airport include Federal Express, DHL/Airborne Logistics, Kuehne + Nagel, Scanwell, Walter J. Engel Co., Freight Expeditors, H A Logistics, Evergreen Airlines, Worldwide Flight Services, Nippon Express USA, Inc., and Panalpina, Inc.[100]

Julia Stegner, Victoria's Secret model


Kellan Lutz, Abercrombie and Fitch model

Limited Brands (formerly known as The Limited, Inc.), a Fortune 500 company, is located on the east side of the city and is the parent company of Victoria's Secret, among others. Limited Too is also based in the area. Express retail stores are also headquartered in Columbus and were formerly part of Limited Brands. Abercrombie & Fitch, a Fortune 500 company and parent company of Hollister Co. (whose first store opened in Easton Town Center in 2000), Ruehl No.925, and Abercrombie Kids, are based in the Columbus suburb of New Albany.[101]


Ten restaurant chains are based in the Columbus area: Charley's Grilled Subs, Steak Escape, White Castle, Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, Bob Evans Restaurants, Max & Erma's, Damon's Grill, Donatos Pizza and Wendys. Wendy's, a Fortune 500 company, operated its first store downtown as both a museum and a restaurant until March 2007 when the establishment was closed due to low revenue. The company is presently headquartered outside the city in nearby Dublin. Asian frozen food manufacturer and ex-destination tiki restaurant Kahiki Foods is located on the East side of Columbus.[citation needed] Wasserstrom, a major supplier of equipment and supplies for restaurants, is located on the north side. Lancaster Colony Corporation, a manufacturer of food products including salad dressings and frozen goods, is headquartered in the city.


Budweiser has a major brewery located on the north side. Columbus is also home to many local-based micro breweries and pubs, including Barley's Brewing, Elevator-Draught Haus Brewing, Columbus Brewing Co., cb Beverage, Boathouse Brewery, BJ's Restaurant and Brewery, Gambrinus Brewing, and Biersch Brewing. The Brewery District, located just south of downtown, and next to the German Village, is home to many brewery pubs and restaurants.[102]


Downtown is home to many hotels

Columbus's hospitality industry accounts for thousands of jobs in the area. There are 25,005 hotel rooms in the metropolitan area, and 3,280 downtown.[103] Major hotels downtown include Westin's historic Great Southern Hotel, a uniquely designed and ultra-modern Hyatt Regency in the Arena District, an urban-themed Doubletree Inn and Suites, a Crown Plaza Hotel, the Hyatt on Capitol Square, the Manhattan-styled Lofts Hotel and Suites, the cosmopolitan Renaissance Hotel, the old European-themed Ashland Springs Hotel, Drury Inn and Suites, and a new Hampton Inn and Suites designed to conform with the surroundings. The Hilton Easton, located in northeast Columbus, is a new, classically themed hotel. The Fort Rapids Water Resort is located just east of Downtown on Hilton Corporate Drive. The Concourse Hotel and Athletic Club is located at Port Columbus. University Plaza and the Blackwell Inn, a newly built, modern hotel, are in the University District, and several Marriotts, Residence Inns, Embassy Suites, Best Westerns, Red Roof Inns, Holiday Inns, Courtyards, and other franchise hotels are found throughout the city. The architectural firm, HOK Chicago, was recently chosen to design the new 500 room, $160 million convention hotel Downtown.[104]

Consumer goods

Fortune 500 company Big Lots is located in the city, as well as Schottenstein Stores Corp., which owns controlling stakes in Retail Ventures, interests in American Eagle Outfitters, and rights to brands such as "Bugle Boy" and "Royal Velvet." Retail Ventures, a Fortune 500 company, is headquartered in the capital city. They operate stores under the DSW, Filene's Basement, American Signature, Rooms today and Value City banners. Limited Brands operates Bath and Body Works from Columbus.

Law and government

City Hall
Police Headquarters

The city is administered by a mayor and a seven-member unicameral council elected in two classes every two years to four-year terms. The mayor appoints the director of safety and the director of public service. The people elect the auditor, municipal court clerk, municipal court judges and city attorney. A charter commission, elected in 1913, submitted, in May, 1914, a new charter offering a modified Federal form, with a number of progressive features, such as nonpartisan ballot, preferential voting, recall of elected officials, the referendum, and a small council elected at large. The charter was adopted, effective January 1, 1916. The current mayor of Columbus is Michael B. Coleman.


The City of Columbus is policed by a Municipal Police Department, the Columbus Division of Police.[105] According to the CQ Press in 2009, Columbus ranked as the 36th most dangerous city in the United States[106], though it has never been ranked among the top 25. This ranking is based on crime statistics compiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as weighted by the CQ Press. According to FBI statistics for 2005, Columbus had 102 reported murders and 6,111 total reported violent crimes of all types.[107][108] A crime incident map, updated daily, is available for Columbus, Ohio including crime location, type and detailed information.


Columbus College of Art and Design, Discovery District
The Ohio State University's Drinko Hall is home of the Michael E. Moritz College of Law. In 2009, the college hosted U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who delivered the keynote address at the symposium entitled “Originalism and the Jury".[109]

Colleges and universities

Columbus is the home of two public colleges: The Ohio State University, the largest college campus in the United States, and Columbus State Community College. In 2009, Ohio State was ranked No. 19 in the country by U.S. News and World Report for best public university, and No. 56 overall, scoring in the first tier of schools nationally.[110] Top five graduate school programs include No. 5 for best veterinary program and No. 5 for best pharmacy program. The specialty graduate programs of social psychology was ranked No. 2, dispute resolution was ranked No. 5, vocational education No. 2, and elementary education, secondary teacher education, administration/supervision No. 5.[111]

OSU's Moritz School of Law was ranked No. 35,[112] and OSU's College of Engineering was ranked No. 27.[113] Other graduate school rankings for OSU from the publication include No. 27 for best medical school program, No. 26 for best physics program, No. 24 for best history program, No. 17 for best political science program, No. 28 for best chemistry program, No. 16 for best education program, No. 21 for best fine arts program, No. 17 for best sociology program, No. 17 for best psychology program, No. 26 for best English program, and No. 26 for best business program. OSU's Fisher College of Business was No. 2 as far as graduates gaining employment within three months after graduation.[111][114]

Private institutions located in Columbus include the Columbus College of Art and Design, DeVry University, Ohio Business College, Ohio Institute of Health Careers, and Franklin University, as well as the religious schools Bexley Hall Episcopal Seminary, Mount Carmel College of Nursing, Ohio Dominican University, Pontifical College Josephinum, and Trinity Lutheran Seminary. Three major suburban schools also have an influence on Columbus' educational landscape: Bexley's Capital University, Westerville's Otterbein College, and Delaware's Ohio Wesleyan University.

Primary and secondary schools

Columbus Downtown High School

Columbus City Schools (CCS), formerly Columbus Public Schools, is the largest district in Ohio, with 55,000 pupils.[115] CCS operates 142 elementary, middle, and high schools, including a number of alternative schools. The suburbs operate their own districts as well, typically serving students in one or more townships, with districts sometimes crossing municipal boundaries. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus also operates numerous parochial elementary and high schools. The second largest school district in the area is South-Western City Schools, which encompasses southwestern Franklin County. There are also several private schools in the area.

Some sources claim that the first kindergarten in the United States was established here by Louisa Frankenberg, a former student of Friedrich Fröbel.[17] Frankenberg immigrated to the city in 1838. In addition, Indianola Junior High School became the nation's first junior high in 1909, helping to bridge the difficult transition from elementary to high school at a time when only 48% of students continued their education after the 9th grade.[116]


The Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) has been serving residents of central Ohio since 1873. With a collection of 3 million items, the system has 22 locations throughout the area. This library is one of the most-used library systems in the country and is consistently among the top-ranked large city libraries according to "Hennen’s American Public Library Ratings." The CML was rated the No. 1 library system in the nation in 1999, 2005, and 2008. It has been in the top four every year since 1999, when the rankings were first published in American Libraries magazine.[117][118]



Columbus is home to several notable buildings, including the Greek-Revival State Capitol, the art-deco Ohio Judicial Center and the Peter Eisenman-designed Wexner Center and Greater Columbus Convention Center. Other buildings of interest include the Rhodes State Office Tower, LeVeque Tower, and One Nationwide Plaza.

The Ohio Statehouse construction began in 1839 on a 10 acre (40,000-m²) plot of land donated by four prominent Columbus landowners. This plot formed Capitol Square, which was not part of the original layout of the city. Built of Columbus limestone from the Marble Cliff Quarry Co., the Statehouse stands on foundations 18 feet (5 m) deep, laid by prison labor gangs rumored to have been comprised largely of masons jailed for minor infractions.[119] The Statehouse features a central recessed porch with a colonnade of a forthright and primitive Greek Doric mode. A broad and low central pediment supports the windowed astylar drum under an invisibly low saucer dome that lights the interior rotunda. Unlike many U.S. state capitol buildings, the Ohio State Capitol owes little to the architecture of the national Capitol. During the long course of the Statehouse's 22 years of construction, seven architects were employed. Relations between the legislature and the architects were not always cordial: Nathan B. Kelly, who introduced heating and an ingenious system of natural forced ventilation, was dismissed because the commissioners found his designs too lavish for the original intentions of the committee. The Statehouse was opened to the legislature and the public in 1857 and finally completed in 1861. It is located at the intersection of Broad and High Streets in downtown Columbus.

Founded in 1975, The Jefferson Center for Learning and the Arts is a campus of nonprofit organizations and a center for research, publications, and seminars on nonprofit leadership and governance. Located at the eastern edge of downtown Columbus, The Jefferson Center has restored eleven turn-of-the-century homes, including the childhood residence of James Thurber. These locations are used for nonprofits in human services, education and the arts.[120]

A to-scale replica of the Santa Maria is found on the Scioto Riverfront. It was installed in 1992 to commemorate the 500-year anniversary of the discovery of America by Columbus's namesake.

Within the Driving Park heritage district lies the original home of Eddie Rickenbacker, the famous WWI fighter pilot ace. Reconstruction of the home is underway.

Established in 1848, Green Lawn Cemetery is one of the largest cemeteries in the Midwestern United States.

Landmark photos


Columbus Museum of Art, downtown

The Columbus Museum of Art opened in 1931, and has a collection focusing on European and American art up to early modernism. The Wexner Center for the Arts, a contemporary art gallery and research facility, is located on the Campus of the Ohio State University. Also on campus is the Ohio State University Athletics Hall of Fame, located in the Jerome Schottenstein Center (home of the OSU basketball and men's ice hockey teams), as well as the Jack Nicklaus museum next door.

Located in Franklin Park, the Franklin Park Conservatory is a botanical garden which opened in 1895, situated on 88 acres (36 ha) just east of Downtown.

COSI, (Center of Science and Industry), is a large science museum. The present building, the former Central High School, was completed in November 1999, opposite downtown on the west bank of the Scioto River.

The Ohio Historical Society is headquartered in Columbus, with its flagship museum, the 250,000-square-foot (23,000-m²) Ohio Historical Center, located 4 miles (6 km) north of downtown. Along with the museum is Ohio Village, a replica of a village around the time of the American Civil War.

The Kelton House Museum and Garden is a museum devoted to Victorian life. Built in 1852, it was home to three generations of the Kelton Family and was a documented station on the Underground Railroad. In 1989, Columbus hosted the "Son of Heaven: Imperial Arts of China," a cultural exchange display from China featuring the artifacts of the ancient Chinese emperors.

Places of worship

According to Sperling's, 37.6% of Columbus residents are religious. Of this group, 15.7% identify as Protestant, 13.7% as Catholic, 1.5% as Jewish, 0.6% as Muslim, and 0.5% as Mormon.[121] Places of worship include the Glenwood United Methodist Church, Broad Street United Methodist Church, Second Presbyterian Church, St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Shiloh Baptist Church, Roman Catholic Church's Annuniciation Cathedral and St. Joseph's Cathedral, The Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Mormon Columbus Ohio Temple, the Muslim Noor Islamic Cultural Center, and the Reform Jewish Temple Israel, the oldest synagogue in Columbus. The city is also home to a Scientology center.

Megachurches include the World Harvest Church located in the southeast suburbs.

Religious teaching institutions include the Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Bexley Hall Episcopal Seminary, Methodist Theological School in Ohio, and the Pontifical College Josephinum.

Parks and outdoor attractions

Friedrich von Schiller Park, German Village
Goodale Park, Victorian Village

The Columbus and Franklin County Metropolitan Park District includes Inniswood Metro Gardens, a collection of public gardens; Highbanks Metro Park; Battelle-Darby Creek Metro Park; as well as many others. The Big Darby Creek in the southwestern part of town is considered to be especially significant for its beauty and ecological diversity.[122] Clintonville is home to Whetstone Park, which includes the Park of Roses, a beautiful 13-acre (53,000 m2) rose garden. The Chadwick Arboretum is located on the OSU campus, and features a large and varied collection of plants. Downtown, the famous painting Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte is represented in topiary at Columbus's Old Deaf School Park. Also near downtown, a new Metro Park on the Whittier Peninsula is scheduled to open in 2008. The park will include a large Audubon nature center focused on the excellent bird watching that the area is known for.[123]

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is world renowned for its collections that include lowland gorillas, manatees, Siberian tigers, cheetahs, and kangaroos.[citation needed] Its director emeritus, Jack Hanna, frequently appears on national television, including on The Tonight Show and The Late Show with David Letterman. In 2009, it was ranked as the best zoo in the United States.[124] Also in the zoo complex is the Zoombezi Bay water park and amusement park.

Performing arts

Palace Theatre, downtown
Ohio Theatre, downtown

Columbus is the home of many renowned performing arts institutions including the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, Opera Columbus, BalletMet Columbus, the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra, the Contemporary American Theatre Company (CATCO), Columbus Children's Theatre, Shadowbox Cabaret and the Columbus Jazz Orchestra. Throughout the summer, the Actors' Theatre offers free performances of Shakespearean plays in an open-air amphitheatre located in German Village.

The Columbus Youth Ballet Academy was founded in the 1980s by internationally celebrated ballerina and artistic director Shir Lee Wu, a discovery of Martha Graham. Wu is now the artistic director of the Columbus City Ballet School, while her instruction remains in strong demand globally. Her students of the last couple decades have furthered their education at institutions such as The Juilliard School, School of American Ballet, Houston Ballet Academy, and Pacific Northwest Ballet Ballet School, while some have gone on to perform with companies including the New York City Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Martha Graham Contemporary Dance Company, and BalletMet Columbus. Her students have won gold medals at the Youth American Grand Prix competition in New York, while others have been finalists in competitions such as the Concord De Dance de Paris.[125]

Southern Theatre, downtown

There are many large concert venues in Columbus, including arenas such as Nationwide Arena and Jerome Schottenstein Center. The Lifestyle Communities Pavilion (the LC for short) (formerly the PromoWest Pavilion), Veterans Memorial auditorium, and the Newport Music Hall round out the city's music performance spaces.

In May 2009, the Lincoln Theatre, which was formerly a center for Black culture in Columbus, was reopened to the public after extensive restoration.[126][127] Not far from the Lincoln Theatre is the King Arts Complex, which hosts various cultural events. The city also has a number of theatres downtown, including the historic Palace Theatre, the Ohio Theatre, the Southern Theatre, and the Riffe Center which houses The Capitol Theatre as well as two studio theatres. Additionally, there is the large Arena Grand movie theatre adjacent to Nationwide Arena. Much of the growth in entertainment capacity in Columbus has been recent. The construction of the Crew Stadium, Nationwide Arena, Schottenstein Center, the Greater Columbus Convention Center, and the Lifestyle Communities Pavilion are all projects completed since 1990.


Broadway shows that have toured Columbus include Mamma Mia!, Cats, The Lion King, Annie, Beauty and the Beast, 42nd Street, Les Misérables, Wicked, Riverdance, Spamalot, and many more.[128]


Academy Award-winning movies filmed in Columbus and the central Ohio area include Steven Soderberg's Traffic in 2000 and Jonathan Demme's The Silence of the Lambs in 1991. The Shawshank Redemption was nominated for an Academy Award and was filmed at central Ohio locations in 1994. Other movies filmed in Columbus and the central Ohio area include Horrors of War (by local filmmakers Peter John Ross, John Whitney, and producer Philip R. Garrett) in 2006, Fallen Angels in 2006, Steven Soderberg's Bubble in 2005, Criminal Minds in 1998, Wolfgang Petersen's Air Force One in 1997, Tango & Cash in 1989, Speak in 2004, and Teachers in 1984.[129]


Crew Stadium, the first ever soccer-only stadium in the U.S., and home to the 2008 MLS Cup champions Columbus Crew

Professional athletics

Columbus has professional sports teams in hockey, association football (soccer), arena football, and minor league baseball. The Columbus Blue Jackets of the National Hockey League play at Nationwide Arena. The Columbus Destroyers of the defunct Arena Football League played there as well, return is questionable since the formation of Arena Football 1. The Columbus Crew of Major League Soccer play at their own stadium, Columbus Crew Stadium, which was the first Soccer-specific stadium built in the United States. The Crew were one of the original members of the MLS, and have recently won their first MLS Cup in 2008. The Columbus Clippers, Triple A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians (formerly a long-time affiliate of the New York Yankees through 2006, and the Washington Nationals through 2008), previously hosting their games at Cooper Stadium but now play in a new ballpark in the Arena District named Huntington Park, which opened in April, 2009.

Nationwide Arena, home of the NHL's Columbus Blue Jackets, Arena District

Columbus hosts the annual Arnold Classic fitness expo and competition in early March. Hosted by Arnold Schwarzenegger, the event has grown to eight Olympic sports and 12,000 athletes competing in 20 world-class events. Schwarzenegger has been visiting Columbus for almost 40 years, and has substantial commercial investments in the metropolitian area.[130]


Rahal Letterman Racing, a business venture between Indy 500 winner Bobby Rahal and television personality David Letterman, is based in the Columbus metropolitan area. Columbus has a long history in motor sports, hosting the world's first 24 hour car race at the Columbus Driving Park in 1905, organized by the Columbus Auto Club.[131] The Columbus Motor Speedway was built in 1945 and held their first motorcycle race in 1946.


The annual All American Quarter Horse Congress, the largest single breed horse show in the world, is held at the Ohio Expo Center each October.

Ohio State athletics

Columbus is home to The Ohio State Buckeyes college football team. The team is a member of the NCAA's Big Ten Conference, and plays home games at Ohio Stadium. The OSU-Michigan football game is the final game of the regular season and is played in November each year, alternating between Columbus and Ann Arbor, Michigan. Moreover, "Buckeye fever" permeates Columbus culture year-round and forms a major part of Columbus's cultural identity. Businessman and New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, an Ohio native who studied at Ohio State at one point and who coached in Columbus, is a big Ohio State football fan and donor to the university, having contributed for the construction of the band facility at the renovated Ohio Stadium, which bears his family's name.[132]

During the winter months, the Buckeyes basketball team is also a major sporting attraction.

Fairs and festivals

Greek Fest is held in September at the Greek Orthodox Church, downtown
The Ohio State Fair and Expo is held in August

Annual festivities in Columbus include the Ohio State Fair—one of the largest state fairs in the country— as well as the Columbus Arts Festival and the Jazz and Ribs Festival, both of which occur on the downtown riverfront.

ComFest (short for "Community Festival") is an immense three-day music festival, the largest non-commercial festival in the U.S., in Goodale Park with art vendors and live musicians on multiple stages, hundreds of local social and political organizations, body painting and beer. Often coinciding with the weekend of ComFest (though not directly connected to it) is the large Gay Pride Parade, (the largest Pride Celebration in the Midwest[citation needed]) reflective of the sizeable gay population in Columbus.

The Hot Times festival is held annually in Columbus's historic Olde Towne East neighborhood – a celebration of music, arts, food, and diversity.

Restaurant Week Columbus is the city's largest dining event, held for a week in mid-July and mid-January each year. This popular event featured over 40 restaurants in January 2010. Over 40,000 diners went out during the week culminating with a $5,000 donation made to the Mid-Ohio Food bank on behalf of sponsors and participating restaurants.[133]

The JuneteenthOhio Festival is held each year at Franklin Park on Father's Day weekend. JuneteenthOhio is one of the largest African-American festivals in the United States, started 19 years ago by Mustafaa Shabazz. The festival is three full days of music, food, dance, and entertainment by local and national recording artists. The festival holds a Father's Day celebration, honoring local fathers.

Around the Fourth of July, Columbus hosts Red, White, and Boom on the Scioto riverfront downtown to crowds of over 500,000 people.[134] The popular Doo Dah Parade is held at this time, as well.

During Memorial Day Weekend, the well-attended Asian Festival is held in Franklin Park. Hundreds of restaurants, vendors, and companies open up booths, traditional music and martial arts are performed, and cultural exhibits are set up. In recent years, attendees have numbered over 100,000.

During the first weekend in June, the bars of Columbus's trendy North Market District play host to Park Street Festival. The event attracts thousands of visitors from the surrounding neighborhoods and beyond, creating a massive party both inside the bars and on the street.

The Short North hosts "Gallery Hop" monthly
The Arena District hosts the "Jazz and Rib Fest" in July

The Jazz and Rib Fest is a free downtown event held each July featuring jazz artists and rib vendors from around the country.

The Short North is host to the monthly "Gallery Hop", which attracts hundreds to the neighborhood's art galleries (which all open their doors to the public until late at night) and street musicians. The Hilltop Bean Dinner is an annual event held on Columbus's West Side that celebrates the city's Civil War heritage near the historic Camp Chase Cemetery. At the end of September, German Village throws an annual Oktoberfest celebration that features authentic German food, beer, music, and crafts.

Columbus also hosts many conventions in the Greater Columbus Convention Center, a pastel-colored deconstructivist building on the north edge of downtown that resembles jumbled blocks, or a train yard from overhead. The convention center was designed by famed architect Peter Eisenman, who also designed the aforementioned Wexner Center. Completed in 1993, the convention center now has 1,700,000 square feet (158,000 m2) of space.[135]

Dating scene

Columbus was ranked recently as the 18th best place in the country to find a date for females by Marie Claire Magazine, in which it was said about Columbus men: "Where corn-fed frat boys go to spawn. With biceps as firm as their Midwestern values, these gosh-darn-it good guys spend Saturday nights bouncing from bar to bar, plastic cups foaming with Bud, scouting for a low-key beauty with whom to make little Buckeyes fans."[136]

Columbus was ranked as the No. 2 most sexually satisfied city in the country in 2008, according to Men's Health Magazine, behind Indianapolis.[137] Columbus was also ranked as the No. 7 most lustful in the country in 2007, based on contraceptive sales, according to Forbes Magazine.[138]


Time Warner, Grandview Heights

Columbus's sole remaining daily newspaper is The Columbus Dispatch; its erstwhile main competitor, The Columbus Citizen-Journal, ceased publication on December 31, 1985. There are also a number of weekly newspapers, including neighborhood/suburb specific papers such as Suburban News Publications which serves 23 suburbs and Columbus; The Daily Reporter, central Ohio's only daily business and legal newspaper; UWeekly which serves the OSU community; ThisWeek; and "alternative" arts/culture/politics-oriented papers such as The Other Paper, Outlook (of interest to the GLBT community in Columbus) and aLIVE (formerly the independent Columbus Alive, and now owned by the Columbus Dispatch). C: The mostly monthly Columbus Magazine, CityScene, and Columbus Monthly are the city's magazines. The newest addition to the Columbus media scene is (614) Magazine, a free, monthly that focuses on the 25-40 demographic. The city's business community is also served by Columbus Business First, a weekly business publication that is part of the Charlotte-based American City Business Journals, which have business papers in cities across the U.S. Extensive Statehouse coverage is provided by Gongwer News Service, a daily independent political newsletter.

The Columbus Dispatch building in 2008, Capitol Square

Among Columbus's radio stations are WTVN (610) and WBNS (1460), both among the oldest AM stations in the country; WOSU (820 AM) and WOSU-FM (89.7 FM), operated by The Ohio State University; WCBE (90.5 FM), a National Public Radio affiliate run by the Columbus Board of Education; WCRS-LP (98.3 and 102.1 FM), Columbus' community radio station, a service of Simply Living; WCOL (92.3 FM), a country music station; WLVQ (96.3 FM), a long-running classic-rock station; WWCD (101.1 FM), Columbus's locally-owned alternative rock station; WUFM (88.7 FM) "Radio U", WRKZ (99.7 FM) "The Rock", a modern rock station, WNCI, a top 40 and pop station (97.9 FM); WBNS-FM (97.1 FM) a sports radio station, WJZA (103.5 and 104.3 FM) a local smooth jazz radio station, WCVO (104.9 FM) a contemporary Christian radio station, WCKX (107.5 FM) an Urban, hip hop and R&B station.

Columbus's television stations include WCMH-TV (NBC), WSYX (ABC), WBNS-TV (CBS), WTTE (Fox), WOSU-TV (PBS), WSFJ-TV (TBN), and WWHO (CW Television Network).

Cable companies serving Columbus include Time Warner Cable, WOW! and AT&T U-verse.


It was in Columbus where Warner Cable introduced its two-way interactive QUBE system in the late 1970s, which consisted of specialty channels that would evolve into national networks Nickelodeon,[139] MTV and The Movie Channel. QUBE also displayed one of the earliest uses of Pay-per-view and video on demand.

International relations

Sister cities

Columbus has ten sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International. Columbus established its first Sister City relationship in 1955 with Genoa, Italy. To commemorate this relationship, Columbus received as a gift from the people of Genoa, a bronze statue of Christopher Columbus. The statue, sculpted by artist Edoardo Alfieri, overlooks Broad Street in front of Columbus City Hall.[140]


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External links

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

COLUMBUS, a city, a port of entry, the capital of Ohio, U.S.A., and the county-seat of Franklin county, at the confluence of the Scioto and Olentangy rivers, near the geographical centre of the state, 120 m. N.E. of Cincinnati, and 138 m. S.S.W. of Cleveland. Pop. (1890) 88,150; (1900) 125,560, of whom 12,328 were foreign-born and 8201 were negroes; (1910) 181,548. Columbus is an important railway centre and is served by the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis, the Pittsburg, Cincinnati, Chicago & St Louis (Pennsylvania system), the Baltimore & Ohio, the Ohio Central, the Norfolk & Western, the Hocking Valley, and the Cleveland, Akron & Columbus (Pennsylvania system) railways, and by nine interurban electric lines. It occupies a land area of about 17 sq. m., the principal portion being along the east side of the Scioto in the midst of an extensive plain. High Street, the principal business thoroughfare, is 100 ft. wide, and Broad Street, on which are many of the finest residences, is 120 ft. wide, has four rows of trees, a roadway for heavy vehicles in the middle, and a driveway for carriages on either side.

The principal building is the state capitol (completed in 1857) in a square of ten acres at the intersection of High and Broad streets. It is built in the simple Doric style, of grey limestone taken from a quarry owned by the state, near the city; is 304 ft. long and 184 ft. wide, and has a rotunda 158 ft. high, on the walls of which are the original painting, by William Henry Powell (1823-1879), of O. H. Perry's victory on Lake Erie, and portraits of most of the governors of Ohio. Other prominent structures are the U.S. government and the judiciary buildings, the latter connected with the capitol by a stone terrace, the city hall, the county court house, the union station, the board of trade, the soldiers' memorial hall (with a seating capacity of about 4500), and several office buildings. The city is a favourite meeting-place for conventions. Among the state institutions in Columbus are the university (see below), the penitentiary, a state hospital for the insane, the state school for the blind, and the state institutions for the education of the deaf and dumb and for feeble-minded youth. In the capitol grounds are monuments to the memory of Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, William T. Sherman, Philip H. Sheridan, Salmon P. Chase, and Edwin M. Stanton, and a beautiful memorial arch (with sculpture by H. A. M`Neld) to William McKinley.

The city has several parks, including the Franklin of 90 acres, the Goodale of 44 acres, and the Schiller of 24 acres, besides the Olentangy, a well-equipped amusement resort on the banks of the river from which it is named, the Indianola, another amusement resort, and the United States military post and recruiting station, which occupies 80 acres laid out like a park. The state fair grounds of 115 acres adjoin the city, and there is also a beautiful cemetery of 220 acres.

The Ohio State University (non-sectarian and co-educational), opened as the Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College in 1873, and reorganized under its present name in 1878, is 3 m. north of the capitol. It includes colleges of arts, philosophy and science, of education (for teachers), of engineering, of law, of pharmacy, of agriculture and domestic science, and of veterinary medicine. It occupies a campus of iio acres, has an adjoining farm of 325 acres, and 18 buildings devoted to instruction, 2 dormitories, and a library containing (1906) 67,709 volumes, besides excellent museums of geology, zoology, botany and archaeology and history, the last being owned jointly by the university and by the state archaeological and historical society. In 1908 the faculty numbered 175, and the students 2277. The institution owed its origin to federal land grants; it is maintained by the state, the United States, and by small fees paid by the students; tuition is free in all colleges except the college of law. The government of the university is vested in a board of trustees appointed by the governor of the state for a term of seven years. The first president of the institution (from 1873 to 1881) was the distinguished geologist, Edward Orton (1829-1899), who was professor of geology from 1873 to 1899.

Other institutions of learning are the Capital University and Evangelical Lutheran Theological Seminary (Theological Seminary opened in 1830; college opened as an academy in 1850), with buildings just east of the city limits; Starling Ohio Medical College, a law school, a dental school and an art institute. Besides the university library, there is the Ohio state library occupying a room in the capitol and containing in 1908 126,000 volumes, including a "travelling library" of about 36,000 volumes, from which various organizations in different parts of the state may borrow books; the law library of the supreme court of Ohio, containing complete sets of English, Scottish, Irish, Canadian, United States and state reports, statutes and digests; the public school library of about 68,000 volumes, and the public library (of about 55,000), which is housed in a marble and granite building completed in 1906.

Columbus is near the Ohio coal and iron-fields, and has an extensive trade in coal, but its largest industrial interests are in manufactures, among which the more important are foundry and machine-shop products (1905 value, $6,259,579); boots and shoes (1905 value, $5,425,087, being more than one-sixtieth of the total product value of the boot and shoe industry in the United States, and being an increase from $359,000 in 1890); patent medicines and compounds (1905 value, $3,214,096); carriages and wagons (1905 value, $2,197,960); malt liquors (1905 value, $2,133,955); iron and steel; regalia and society emblems; steam-railway cars, construction and repairing; and oleo-margarine. In 1905 the city's factory products were valued at $40,435,531, an increase of 16.4% in five years. Immediately outside the city limits in 1905 were various large and important manufactories, including railway shops, foundries, slaughterhouses, ice factories and brick-yards. In Columbus there is a large market for imported horses. Several large quarries also are adjacent to the city.

The waterworks are owned by the municipality. In 1904-1905 the city built on the Scioto river a concrete storage dam, having a capacity of 5,000,000,000 gallons, and in 1908 it completed the construction of enormous works for filtering and softening the water-supply, and of works for purifying the flow of sewage - the two costing nearly $5,000,000. The filtering works include 6 lime saturators, 2 mixing or softening tanks, 6 settling basins, 10 mechanical filters and 2 clear-water reservoirs. A large municipal electric-lighting plant was completed in 1908.

The first permanent settlement within the present limits of the city was established in 1797 on the west bank of the Scioto, was named Franklinton, and in 1803 was made the county-seat. In 1810 four citizens of Franklinton formed an association to secure the location of the capital on the higher ground of the east bank; in 1812 they were successful and the place was laid out while still a forest. Four years later, when the legislature held its first session here, the settlement was incorporated as the Borough of Columbus. In 1824 the county-seat was removed here from Franklinton; in 18 3 the Columbus branch of the Ohio Canal was completed; in 1834 the borough was made a city; by the close of the same decade the National Road extending from Wheeling to Indianapolis and passing through Columbus was completed; in 1871 most of Franklinton, which was never incorporated, was annexed, and several other annexations followed.

See J. H. Studer, Columbus, Ohio; its History and Resources (Columbus, 1873); A. E. Lee, History of the City of Columbus, Ohio (New York, 1892).

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Simple English

Columbus, Ohio
Nickname(s): The Arch City, The Discovery City

Columbus, Ohio
Coordinates: 39°59′00″N 82°59′00″W / 39.9833333°N 82.9833333°W / 39.9833333; -82.9833333
Country United States
State Ohio
Counties Franklin, Delaware, and Fairfield
 - Mayor Michael B. Coleman (D)
 - City 212.6 sq mi (550.5 km2)
 - Land 210.3 sq mi (544.6 km2)
 - Water 2.3 sq mi (5.9 km2)
Elevation 902 ft (275 m)
Population (2006)[1] [2]
 - City 733,203
 Density 3,383.6/sq mi (1,306.4/km2)
 Metro 1,725,570
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Area code(s) 614

Columbus is the capital city and largest city of the U.S. state of Ohio. It is located in the middle of the state. It is home to the Ohio State Buckeyes and Columbus Blue Jackets.

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