Columbus Ohio Tourism
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Short North

Short North

The Short North area has really changed over the last 30 years. Although originally, the Short North was a police designation for the area just south of the OSU campus area and north of the downtown. With the revitalization of the area, the Short North has expanded to include just about everything north of Goodale to OSU and west to the Olentangy River and east to N. Forth Street area. This includes Victorian Village, Italian Village and the Harrison West area.

Today the area has become a wonderful eclectic mix of art galleries, boutiques, restaurants with condominiums and apartments! The Short North encompasses an historic section of the city that has gone through several incarnations over the last century or so.

The area surrounding Goodale Park and north became known as Victorian Village because of the ornate victorian style homes that were built in the area. Just south of this area was a section known locally as Fly-town. It was home for many of the city's immigrant population that came looking for work in Columbus, known as one of the larger manufacturing centers in the Midwest.

Poorly constructed homes along dirt/mud streets combined with outdoor plumbing, and it is very apparent how the area got its name. During the 1950s this area became such a blighted area, it was determined there was nothing worth saving and the city tore down entire blocks of housing with promises of new housing that would replace the old. Today Thurber Towers is located at the heart of that area.

East of North High Street is a section that has become known as Italian Village-- not because of a large Italian population, but because of the Italian architectural style common to the area. Originally, this area was built for employees of the Jeffrey Mining Machine Company.

West of Victorian Village is a neighbor referred to today as Harrison West that extends all the way to the Olentangy River. Like Italian Village, the Harrison West area was also built for workers in the many factories that once lined the Olentangy River. Most of those factories have long been torn down or converted into luxury condos.

All together, these urban neighborhoods have become known as the Short North area. The narrow strip along North High Street from I-670 north to 5th Avenue has become known as the Art District of Columbus. Located on High Street north of the Convention Center, it is near downtown, the Arena District, German Village and the Brewery District, and not far from The Ohio State University's South Campus Gateway Project which is just a few miles north.

Short North

The Short North area is really the art capitol of Ohio. It is an edgy mix of chic and chintz with plenty of showmanship thrown in. You can find just about anything you're looking for in the Short North: good art, great food, boutiques, unique living quarters and lots of people. It sits in between the respectable Victorian Village to the west and Italian Village to the east.

The CapThe Cap

On the south side of the Short North District is the new Cap which features fine dining establishments that span Interstate 670. The Cap bridges the downtown district with the Short North District in an amazing way, architecturally speaking and from an engineering perspective. Columbus is filled with dangerous interstates, but the Cap actually turned one of these bisecting thoroughfares into visual eye-candy and many visitors probably don't even notice that the block of restaurants are actually on top of the freeway. Beyond the visual appeal is the Cap's ability to bridge the districts in such a way as they seamlessly flow from one to the other without visitors feeling like they're crossing some division line.

Gallery Hop

On High Street, you'll find plenty of art galleries that will cover a wide range of art styles. In fact, you'll find art exhibitions just about everywhere include the many fine restaurants, salons and shops. You'll even find it on buildings in the form of bold mural-masterpieces. The first Saturday of the month is an event called the Gallery Hop. If your schedule permits, be sure to check this event out for a truly unique experience even if you don't care for art!

CAUTION: Parking is at a premium and permit parking ordinances are strictly enforced at all hours.