|Neighborhood of Columbus|
Historic home in Harrison West, Ohio
|ZIP Code(s)||43201, 43212, 43215|
Harrison West is a historic, urban neighborhood located northwest of downtown Columbus, Ohio. It sits on several-blocks along the Olentangy River, and is the western part of the Near Northside Historic District. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. The character of the neighborhood is similar to Victorian Village, which sits just to the east and is a little more well-known.
Harrison West was established in the late 1800s and early 1900s on farmland that was first plowed by veterans of the Revolutionary War. It features "brick streets, housing built by craftsmen for workers in nearby factories and fine examples of turn-of-the-century American town planning and architecture." The Harrison West neighborhood area experienced urban decline throughout much of the late 20th century. Just south of Harrison West, the similar "Flytown" was destroyed during "slum clearance" in the 1960s and replaced by Interstate 670 and the "James Thurber Village" apartment and business area. Redevelopment and gentrification, spreading from Victorian Village closer to downtown, has transformed the area in the last two decades, accelerating with the demolition of industrial sites along the Olentangy River.
The Harrison West Society
In response to the decline of neighborhood in the 1970s, unscrupulous landlords, and mass demolition of housing, the residents of Harrison West organized the Harrison West Society “to preserve and improve the neighborhood” and to “broaden the appreciation of ethnic and social heritage with friendly contact.” When a shopping mall was proposed to be developed in the neighborhood, the Society worked to turn the proposal back. This started a new era in Harrison West that promoted public and private investment and sense of community, which gave the neighborhood a chance to recover and thrive.
The Harrison West Society continues today on as a nonprofit civic association, and in the last decade, it has made many improvements to the neighborhood. Some examples of work they have done are planting street trees, securing architectural improvements to the Third Avenue bridge, establishing four community parks (Wheeler Park, Harrison Park, Side-by-Side Park, and Harrison West Park), pushing for traffic calming measures to protect pedestrians, hosting potlucks and other social events, arranging improved alley and street lighting, organizing a public art project, sponsoring zoning changes, helping to shape a comprehensive plan, and working to reduce crime.
The area is bounded by Harrison Avenue on the east (which runs parallel to Neil Avenue), Goodale Street on the south, 5th Avenue on the north, and Olentangy River Road to the west (including "Gowdy Field"). In January 2008, the neighborhood expanded to include all of "Thurber Village" to the south east.
Harrison West has a population size of 1,296 whereas Columbus has a population of 790,168. That means 0.16% of Columbus' entire population resides in Harrison West. It actually mirrors Columbus in several ways. The median age in Columbus is 31.5 where in Harrison West the median age is 31.3. Slightly more men live in the area as the ratio for men/women is 1.1:1. Harrison West is also not as diverse as Columbus. In Harrison West, 81.17% of the population is caucasian, where in Columbus that percent is only 62.59%. The two next highest percentage of minorities in Harrison West is African American at 9.50% and Asian at 6.78%.
Harrison West is about two and a half miles from the city of Columbus. Even though the neighborhood is that close to the city itself, 81% of all traveling uses a car. Only 3% of all transportation uses some form of public transportation. The average one way travel time to work is 10–19 minutes driving. More than 80% of the population of West Harrison spend less than 29 minutes one way driving to work.
Structures and Landmarks
Some of the highlights of the neighborhood include public art and several parks. The Olentangy River runs through the neighborhood providing access to the Olentangy Recreation Trail, which stretches from downtown to north of I-270 in Worthington. The Third Avenue business district also boasts two cafés.
- Battelle Green Space- The Battelle Green Space is private property at the corner of West Third Avenue and Perry Street that Battelle generously allows the community to use. It includes a public walkway connecting Perry Street to the Olentangy Recreation Trail.
- Harrison Park- This is the newest park in Harrison West, and is located on Harrison Park Place between West First and West Second avenues. It features a segment of the Olentangy Recreation Trail, park benches, refuse cans and attractive lighting, wrought iron picnic tables with benches, an handicap-accessible gazebo designed to host events, a playground including areas for older children and younger children, four public art pieces designed by Columbus College of Art and Design students, and open grass fields.
- Harrison West Park- Harrison West Park is a pocket park located in the northern half of Harrison West on Oregon Street at Fourth Avenue. It is the oldest park in the neighborhood and is surrounded by homes.
- Side by Side Park- Side by Side Park is nestled between residences on the south side of West Third Avenue and the Olentangy River, and is the gateway from Harrison West to the Olentangy Recreation Trail.
- Wheeler Dog Park- Wheeler Park is in the southern half of Harrison West, one block west of Neil Avenue on Thurber Drive West. It is Columbus's first dog park and is entirely enclosed by fencing.
Land Use and Zoning
The majority of Harrison West is residential, but more recently, efforts have been made to expand on and add variety to the neighborhood's land us and zoning. In September 2005, council adopted the Harrison West Plan. It originally served as a revision of the Harrison West Reach Section of the Columbus Riverfront Vision Plan, but ended up becoming the neighborhood's own, first ever official community plan. The Harrison West Plan recommended that the neighborhood continue the development patterns that gave Harrison West its unique character, and in addition, more residential development, retail development, office and light industrial development, and parkland were all been proposed. The Harrison West Plan was implemented to ensure that the neighborhood could retain its charm and character, but could also continue to be regarded as one of the Columbus's most vibrant and desirable neighborhoods.
While not directly in Harrison West, there are many entertainment spots within walking distance of the neighborhood. The Arena District is located 1.6 miles away and has many types of recreation. There are 14 restaurants and bars, an 11-screen movie theater, a skating rink and music pavilion. Goodale Park is considered to be Columbus' oldest park and it is located only 0.8 miles away. The park was donated by Dr. Lincoln Goodale; on July 14, 1851 Dr. Goodale donated 40 acres for strictly public use. Today it is surrounded by Victorian Village and is home to many events including ComFest, a very large and free music and arts festival. Huntington Park is home to the Columbus Clippers minor league baseball team and is only 1.4 miles away. There is also Nationwide Arena, home to the Columbus Blue Jackets hockey team, which is a mere 1.4 miles away. Finally Harrison West is only 0.9 miles away from the Short North Arts District. This strip going from The Ohio State University to downtown Columbus is one of the most popular destinations for local art and entertainment in the country.
Harrison Wests' graduation rates are much higher than both the averages of Columbus and that of Ohio. 88.2% graduate high school, where the average in Ohio is 84.2%. In Harrison West, 57.5% complete a bachelor's degree, compared to Ohio where only 24.7% complete it. The difference is again double, as 18.2% of people complete a master's degree in Harrison West, but only 9.1% in Ohio as a whole.
- "About Harrison West". harrisonwest.org. Harrison West Society. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
- "Harrison West Boundaries". Harrisonwest.org. Harrison West Society. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
- "Harrison West, Columbus Demographics". areavibes. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
- "Harrison West, Columbus, Transportation". areavibes. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
- "Parks". Harrisonwest.org. Harrison West Society. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
- "Harrison West Plan" (PDF). columbus.development.gov. City of Columbus Department of Development Planning Division. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
- "Goodale Park". Columbus. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
- "Harrison West, Columbus Entertainment". Harrison West Society. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
- "Harrison West, Columbus, Education". areavibes. Retrieved 16 December 2014.