Graffiti art, community, and breweries. This is what the once forgotten about neighborhood of Franklinton is shaping in to- a hub of personality with plenty of Columbus history to boot. From urban art galleries to rooftop patios, Franklinton is making a name for itself as the up-and-coming neighborhood in downtown Columbus. Nevertheless, the idea of living in Franklinton is still second thought for some people. It’s easy to see Franklinton the same way it’s been seen for decades- a once thriving neighborhood that has lost some appeal over the years. However, this 215-year-old neighborhood is coming back, and it’s coming back with a purpose: to offer Columbus an experience that residents can’t find anywhere else.
At the end of the day, Franklinton is the backbone of our city. It’s where our county got its name. It’s the neighborhood responsible for building the first Scioto bridge, connecting E. Broad Street to Franklinton. The neighborhood pulses with history, and you can feel it walking through the streets…
Have dinner at Strongwater Brewery, located in a 1910 building originally known as the D.A. Ebinger Sanitary Manufacturing Company. The restaurant is in the lobby of the EBCO where you can appreciate the original Terrazzo flooring, framed drawings of machinery, and semi-private dining rooms in old offices. Stepping into Strongwater feels like you’re stepping back in time and truly adds to the charm of the neighborhood.
The best time to visit Strongwater is during one of Franklinton’s many events. Every second Friday of the month, Franklinton Fridays takes over the neighborhood and showcases art shows, live music, tattoos and piercings, craft markets, and more. Not to be forgotten is also Urban Scrawl, an annual event where local artists create murals that contribute to Central Ohio’s urban renewal project. This year, the Urban Scrawl takes place August 25-26th, 2018. These are must-attend events if you want to see the true spirit of Franklinton.
Art galleries are plentiful, such as ROY G BIV, a nonprofit gallery for emerging artists located in the mixed-use development of River and Rich, managed by OMC. The Vanderelli Room is another excellent option where you can check out the performing arts and curated shows.
If you find yourself incredibly thirsty after all of this culture (and who wouldn’t?), there are some great choices all within a few feet of each other. For example, Land Grant Brewery, a local Columbus brewery, delivers a wide range of craft beer as well as nightly food trucks and events. Franklinton is also home to one of three Brew Dog USA locations, where you can taste 48 taps of beers dominating the UK market. In true Franklinton fashion, Brew Dog has revitalized an old car mechanics shop and added a state-of-the-art rooftop patio (that also happens to be pet-friendly).
All of these factors and more come together for the lifestyle that is Franklinton. It’s a place where history meets modern. It’s a place where you walk the streets and feel the rebirth, the hope, and the direction of the city. It’s everything that’s exciting about an urban revitalization project. Although Columbus isn’t necessarily a big city yet, we’re on our way. And Franklinton will be known as “where the locals hang” when we get there.