Before there was a Columbus, there was Franklinton. On this walking tour guests will learn more about the rich history of this historic neighborhood and visualize a timeline that swings from the epic highs of settlement to tragic lows of death, destruction, flooding and misfortune in the 20th century. We’ll discuss the new trajectory of the neighborhood and what that means for Columbus, Franklinton, and most importantly, the people of this community. As for the adventure part of your tour, we will explore the craft beer & food stops that are putting Franklinton on the map today: Brewdog, Land Grant, Strongwater Food & Spirits and Rehab Tavern.
As a guest you will have an “all access pass” to see the public and private spaces where the arts revitalized the neighborhood: 400 West Rich, Idea Foundry, The Vanderelli Room, and many other creative spaces. We’ll learn about the new residential developments such as River and Rich along the Scioto and the soon-to-be-more-iconic Gravity intentional living community on Broad Street. You’ll also learn the backstory of “the Bottoms”, the great flood of 1913, the African American company that extruded uranium for World War 2 atomic bombs and more hidden history.
Your tour guide is an expert on the history of Franklinton because he lived it and helped create some of it. Jim Sweeney was the visionary leader of the new phase of Franklinton and the unofficial mayor of the neighborhood. As Executive Director of the Franklinton Development Association from 2002-2016 and co-founder of the Franklinton Arts District he was part of all the planning and dreaming of what we are seeing today – both on the sidewalks and at city hall. Jim owns a home in the area and now runs Sweeney and Associates, a creative community and revitalization consultancy that continues to grow this up and coming community.
Our tour will involve four to five stops with drinks/snacks and you visit other spots as well. There is up to one mile of walking over 3.5 hours but distances from site to site are short, you spend most of the time indoors. The tour includes several samples of beer and some snacks.
Franklinton is still very much a work in progress which means we will be walking on some uneven surfaces inside and outside so please wear comfortable shoes.