Near East Side, Columbus, Ohio
The Near East Side is an area made up several historic neighborhoods on the east side of Columbus, Ohio. Some neighborhoods making up the area include: Mount Vernon, Nelson Park, Eastgate, Beatty Park, Bexley (annexed), Olde Towne East, Old Oaks, Driving Park, and Bryden Road. Today it is bordered by the Conrail railway on the north, Alum Creek on the east, Interstate 70 and Livingston Avenue on the south, and Interstate 71 on the west. It is bisected by Main Street, also known as the National Road. This area is in Precincts 6, 12, and 5 of the Columbus Division of Police
The area holds a large place in Columbus history, being home to Olde Towne East as well as several famous historical districts. It was home to several affluent bedroom communities during the 1880s and later. Many notable individuals of Columbus during the 19th century resided on the Near East Side. The Near East Side was a predominantly Jewish community consisting of wealthy Jewish doctors and businessmen. East High School was built to serve the burgeoning population on the Near East Side. During the latter part of the 20th century, as other established communities, the area experienced the growing problem of white flight and urban decay. The Near East Side community remained strong until the 1970s and 1980s. Decline came about when many of the factories and labor jobs with strong income began to close in the inner-city. As they became outsourced, the families dependent on that income could not maintain the same quality of life on lower-income jobs.
The Near East Side has been criticized lately for being a hotspot for crime in the city. The area had 18 homicides in 2005. It is one of the leading places for murder in Columbus. Mostly gang related crimes, the Near East Side is territory for several gangs. In all other crime categories the area is either 2nd or 3rd, behind the Short North (University Area) and the west side. The Near East Side has historically been ignored by the city, but now news reports show the consequences. The area is also known for an infamous public housing building called Poindexter Village.