Monday, December 8, 2008


Franklinton is a racially mixed, mostly working class neighborhood just west of downtown Columbus. Once you have crossed the Broad Street bridge heading westbound from downtown, you are in Franklinton. The area's boundaries are roughly from the Scioto River downtown to the area near W. Broad and I-70, and from about Sullivant Avenue north to about McKinley Avenues and the 'twin rivers' area. The Sullivant Avenue corridor though is usually considered a somewhat separate neighborhood, commonly referred to as "The Bottoms" (for several reasons, usually having to do with both the low elevation of the area do I put this nicely..the character of the neighborhood). I concentrated on W. Broad Street for this short photo tour, and Sullivant and other westside locales will be covered in future tours. This is the oldest neighborhood in the city. Actually, it was the first permanent settlement by European Americans in central Ohio, having been settled in 1797. Cleveland and Cincinnati had already been around a while, and the area is downright new when compared to the likes of Boston, New York, and Philadelphia, which had pretty much seen their 150th anniversaries already. But for central Ohioan purposes, it's old. As the eighteenth turned to the nineteenth century, the territory called Ohio entered the new nation as a state and villages, towns, and cities started to spring up all over the state. Franklinton was pretty much the definition of 'remote outpost' around the first decade or so of the 1800s when other communities relatively closeby (meaning only halfday on horse) got their start, such as Delaware, Worthington and Reynoldsburg. There was still no "Columbus", and the capital of the state moved back and forth between Chilicothe and Zanesville, many miles away. Ohio politicians at the time wanted to settle the capital city debate by choosing a new state capital city, preferably more centrally located than the previous two capitals. Franklinton was already there, so why not Franklinton? Easy..Franklinton flooded every time there was a drop or more of rain. They did notice, while in Franklinton, that across the river was a patch of woody land that didn't seem to flood quite the same way Franklinton did. After bids from several other cities and towns, the area just east of the Scioto River was chosen and what is now Columbus started to be laid out. The founding fathers of Ohio thought they were being original with the choice of name. Of course about 15 other municipalities around the USA thought they were being unique as well. So what if Franklinton had gotten the nod to be capital? Maybe people around the country would know the largest city and capital of Ohio as just "Franklinton" instead of Columbus, OHIO. Who knows. Now Franklinton is just a neighborhood of Columbus. Anyway, there is some good neon in the area. Some almost prototype examples of urban neon, as street furniture/decor/advertisement, can be found in Franklinton. Combine leaving work slightly earlier than normal, with a quiet and cold Sunday night, and you get a short but sweet photo tour. All photos taken the evening of Sunday, 12/7.

The Spaghetti Warehouse, in a large former warehouse. This is part of a small chain of Spaghetti Warehouses, having been in this Columbus location on W. Broad probably 25 years or so. There is an actual train car INSIDE the building, which actually has seating. Good food, but somewhat pricey especially for dinner. A special occasion sorta place.

The Florentine, another Italian restaurant. More old world style than the Warehouse. Like TAT I believe this has been a family owned restaurant for years. A beautiful old school sign lights West Broad. I have the feeling I could have seen the same scene over W. Broad 30 or 40 years ago. I have never eaten here, but have always admired their neon sign!

Nothing wrong with a little phonetic spelling, but I hope they don't actually do this on people's skin! Cool neon work on this inner city shop, which usez their skillz and doez tattooz.

For catering from Milo's, call this number. A warm cup of cappuccino would have been nice on this freezing cold December night, perfect for neoning!

Another tattoo shop on W. Broad. Tattoo shops of course have some of the best installations of neon signage to advertise their art. While both are beautiful forms of art, I would not want a neon sign glass blower doing a tat and vice versa! Wonder if anyone has gotten neon skin ink? Would be pretty cool!

Harley Davidson dealership and souvenir store. I swear I have seen that sign before in a bar somewhere.

Ride the waves at a crowded dirty laundromat in Franklinton. I detest laundromats..unless they have some cool neon in or on the premises. And a cheap Coke machine. Nah, I'll drink big K cola and buy a washer and dryer. I hate laundromats! Glad I have a washer and dryer down about 11 stairs. And my neon beer sign is down there too!

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