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Long Street Cultural Wall Unveiled

Walker Evans Walker Evans Long Street Cultural Wall UnveiledAll photos by Walker Evans.
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The unveiling of the Long Street Cultural Wall yesterday evening signaled the completion of the first phase of ODOT’s Columbus Crossroads project, which will eventually untangle the 70/71 split when all phases are finished. Phase one began in September 2011, which included the rebuilding of the 670/71 interchange adjacent to Fort Hayes, as well as the demolition and reconstruction of the Spring Street and Long Street bridges over I-71 between Downtown Columbus and The Near East Side.

The new cultural wall is collaboration by two local artists: Kojo Kamau and Larry Winston Collins. Together, their combination of photography and block prints provides an informative walk through the history of the Near East Side of Columbus, celebrating notable people and places from the past and present that have made the neighborhood what it is today.

Last night’s festivities included a lawn chair party on the Long Street Bridge (closed to traffic for the event, of course) with live music, food trucks and a ribbon cutting ceremony for the artwork itself.

For ongoing discussion on future phases of the ODOT project, CLICK HERE to visit our Messageboard.

All photos by Walker Evans. 







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  • BrownsFan

    So there’s not one white person on that wall? It looks more like a racist wall to me.

    • I’m pretty certain that all of the people on the wall are notable locals who have called the Near East Side and surrounding area home at some point. It’s historically been a black neighborhood, largely due to generations of segregation in the past. To claim that the cultural wall is racist is ironic at best, and idiotic at worst.

      Anyway, I haven’t had a chance to examine all 150+ people featured on it, but I did spot James Thurber up there. If that helps to alleviate your worries.

  • cocco

    There are several white folks featured on the wall, Browns fan, but that’s really immaterial. Walker is spot on in his comments.

    By the way, the bridge and wall are a tremendous new gateway to the area. Beautiful!

  • BrownsFan

    I grew up on the far east side and unfortunately I went to Columbus public schools. If you don’t think that they’re more racist than white people then that would be idiotic. I realize this is a very “liberal” site so don’t worry, you’ll no more comments from me.

    • Liberalism/conservatism has nothing to do with calling out ridiculous comments for being ridiculous.

      Anyway, if you don’t understand what racism is, then we’re all probably better off without future comments from you. Feel free to return and converse post-maturation.

  • RellekOTE


  • Awesome tribute to some of Columbus’ finest citizens and contributors to the rich history of the East Side. Both the Long Street and Spring Street bridges are beautiful and make such a huge difference in connecting King-Lincoln and the OTE area to downtown. Thanks to Mayor Coleman and community leaders who made this happen!

  • jbaker544

    I use to live just past this neighborhood down on Woodland between Long and Broad and have seen this area at its worst at times. I think the concept of this is awesome to return this area to its once prominence that was rich in african american culture, food and music. With the renovation of the Lincoln Theatre and small stores lining Long street, I think it is heading in the right direction and with the caps completed it now connects the neighborhood to downtown.

  • Lakesha604

    A wonderful tribute to the people of Columbus and in this particular neighborhood! I think its awesome and beautiful!!!

  • gregcols

    Hopefully it is kept up. I have already noticed burned out light panels driving underneath them. I am not sure which bridge it was though. Think the lights are a cool feature if they replace the bulbs.

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