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Olde Towne East: 30 years of diversity

Walker Evans Walker Evans
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Olde Towne East: 30 years of diversity

Near East Side neighborhood still figuring out identity

Friday, October 06, 2006

Mark Ferenchik


Talk to residents of the Olde Towne East neighborhood, and the word diversity comes up a lot. So do the words wealth and poverty. Black and white and gay. Showcase homes. Crack.

It’s those juxtapositions that make Olde Towne East a complex community with longstanding concerns that include street crime and boarded-up homes. Some wonder whether continuing gentrification will force out poorer residents.

It’s also a showplace area in Columbus, with stately renovated homes lining historic Bryden Road and events such as last month’s Hot Times Community Music & Arts Festival.

Twenty years ago, residents secured a grant to build a community garden in the heart of the neighborhood. The Olde Towne East Neighborhood Association will celebrate its 30 th anniversary at the garden at Oak Street and S. Garfield Avenue on Saturday with a potluck picnic from 4 to 7 p.m.


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  • peanut

    Look at the crime rates – way too high for me to consider Olde Towne East.

  • Walker

    It’s slowly changing though… give it a few more years.

    I considered two places in OTE when I was apartment hunting a few years ago. One was an awesome 3rd floor loft space at the corner of Oak & Parsons. Way on the west-border of OTE… so I wouldn’t have worried at all about crime there.

    The other was on Town St a few blocks east into OTE. I wouldn’t have felt uneasy living there, but there were still problems according to the landlord with hookers and crack heads wandering the streets sometimes. They were trying to clean up the neighborhood and get good tennants who would help report anything like that. So yeah, when more people like that move in, the less and less crime will be there.

    Short North & German Village were once crime-ridden areas. OTE is on it’s way. :D

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