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The Bottoms is a name for Franklinton, the oldest settlement in Central Ohio dating back to 1797 and incorporated into Columbus, Ohio in 1870. The area is bordered to the east and north by the Scioto River to the west by the Interstate 70 overpass by Rhodes Park and Brown Road on the southern border. The neighborhood originally got its name, Franklinton, from its founder, Lucas Sullivant. The nickname was originally coined because much of the land lies below the level of the Scioto and Olentangy rivers, and has historically been prone to flooding. The low-lying bottom land was well-suited for farming, with the river serving as a direct connection to the Ohio River. While the "bottoms" has often often been used as a pejorative by outlying areas, many long-term residents are proud of the name. Since the early 2000s, the name "Franklinton" has seen a resurgence in use. Among many locals residents, the reversion to Franklinton is often associated with ongoing gentrification efforts. As is often the case with gentrification, "unsavory" names (such as the "bottoms") which anchor community perceptions must first be "euphemized" or otherwise replaced with more marketable alternatives in order to pave the way for commercial development.
According to the Franklinton Area Commission:
- Though Franklinton is the last downtown neighborhood to be redeveloped, it is actually the birthplace of Columbus, settled 15 years before the city itself
- Since the completion of the flood wall, the community redevelopment has included more than 400 residential projects, a new firehouse, two new schools, new residential dorms at Mount Carmel Medical Center West and the exploration of countless commercial projects
- This neighborhood has easy and rapid access to all of Columbus' major highways
In popular culture
The neighborhood appeared on the FX television show 30 Days when the series did a show on living on the minimum wage. This is likely because of the poverty suffered in The Bottoms. The neighborhood is generally working class.
The Steven Spielberg/Warner Brothers movie "Ready Player One" released in 2018 is set in The Bottoms. The movie is set in the year 2044 where people live in trailers stacked on top of each other forming high towers.
- "Above Ground, The People Speak". Columbus AboveGround. Columbus AboveGround. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
- Columbus Division of Police Public Reports
- WBNS 10TV
- The Columbus Dispatch