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Remaining Poindexter Village Buildings to be Preserved by Ohio History Connection

Walker Evans Walker Evans Remaining Poindexter Village Buildings to be Preserved by Ohio History ConnectionRendering via CMHA / Moody Nolan.
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The Ohio History Connection Board of Trustees met yesterday to approve plans to adopt and preserve the two remaining buildings from the former Poindexter Village housing project on the city’s Near East Site.

Most of the housing project was demolished in 2013 and is currently in the process of being replaced by a new community that includes a mix of market-rate and subsidized housing and community resources. Locals on the Near East Side have been pushing to preserve at least a portion of the site to honor the African American history of the area.

The Ohio History Connection was approached a year ago by representatives from the James Preston Poindexter Foundation with a plan for the buildings to be maintained as a part of the Connection’s statewide historic-site preservation network. The Ohio History Connection explained in an email the historic significance of the site and these buildings:

“Poindexter Village is significant as an illustration of the Great Migration in America, the movement of hundreds of thousands of African Americans from the rural South to the North, West and Midwest United States from 1900–1940. The lack of social and political opportunities in the South led many African American families to settle in urban centers in cities across the country, including in Columbus. Poindexter Village’s modern housing with indoor plumbing and electricity was seen by its African American residents as a step forward.”

“Poindexter Village is often described as the heart of the African American community in Columbus. It was home to significant members of our city’s African American community including renowned artist Aminah Robinson, jazz percussionist Steve “Paco” Grier, Tuskegee Airmen, former chief of pediatric neurology at Children’s Hospital Dr. Earl Sherard and 10TV broadcast journalist Angela Pace. It is a special place with residents that exemplified the values of Rev. James P. Poindexter–community connectedness, civic duty, collaboration and support for one another.”

The Ohio History Connection plans to meet with the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority to determine next steps for the project.

For more information, visit www.ohiohistory.org.

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