About Harrison West
History of the Neighborhood
In a several-block area along the Olentangy River, Harrison West is the western part of the Near Northside Historic District and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.
Highlights of the neighborhood include several parks and public art. 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 boasts two cafés with wi-fi connections, so you can enjoy our neighborhood over your favorite drink and sandwich.
Established during the late 1800s and early 1900s on farmland that was first plowed by veterans of the Revolutionary War, the neighborhood of Harrison West 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 Society
In the 1970s, faced with a declining neighborhood, unscrupulous landlords and mass demolition of housing, 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.” The Society turned back a proposal to develop a shopping mall in the neighborhood, thus setting the stage for the public and private investment and sense of community that gave Harrison West a fighting chance. And it worked!
The Society continues on as a nonprofit civic association. In the last decade, the Harrison West Society has:
- planted street trees
- won architectural improvements to the Third Avenue bridge
- established four community parks including:
- Wheeler Park, Columbus’ first dog park
- Harrison Park, which features a gazebo, a playground, and public art
- Side-by-Side Park, a serene way-station along the Olentangy Recreation Trail
- Harrison West Park, featuring a playground designed specifically for very young children
- pushed for traffic calming to protect our pedestrians
- hosted potlucks and other social events
- arranged improved alley and street lighting
- organized a public art project
- protested businesses that disrespect their neighbors
- sponsored zoning changes to protect our residential areas and to bolster our commercial strip
- helped shape the city of Columbus Riverfront Vision Plan
- helped reduce crime with our CPD liaison officers