February 17, 2012

Historic Columbus

As some of you may be aware, Columbus is turning 200 years old this year. To celebrate this occasion, I thought it would be cool to look at some historic aerials of Columbus.

Thankfully, the internet has a site called Historic Aerials. Since planes weren't discovered/invented/perfected until the 20th century, the first historic aerial of Columbus on the site is from 1957. The population was likely around 450,000 people at the time and people were loving life despite not having freeways. What did Columbus look like?

Columbus in 1957 - Historic Aerials
It's hard to tell, but the only sign of a highway is freshly dug soil on the Whittier Peninsula around where Scioto Audubon Park is located. But time stops for no one and we will next flash forward to 1971 when the Columbus Innerbelt (70/71/315/670) is complete.

Columbus in 1971 - Historic Aerials
So right away you can see that some of the connectivity of the houses has been lost, especially along the I-70/71 split. I-670 largely ends after intersecting with I-71 and I-70 stops on the other side of the river. SR-315 was doing surprisingly strong already. But time again kept ticking to 2006 to bring us this:

Columbus in 2006 - Historic Aerials
The freeways are even more developed. If you go to the sight and zoom in on the aerials, you will notice that the amount of parking lot space increases. This is probably largely attributable to skyscrapers but also partially due to cars coming to complete prominence. 

I have nothing profound to say but the Columbus of 45 years ago looks much more attractive to this biker and to an urbanite in general. It's kind of sad at how many properties were necessary to destroy to create the highway systems. But don't worry, we'll be spending a total of $1.6 billion to make sure this freeway keeps chugging along.

Cool link of the day:


  1. Nice post. It seems to me that the parking lots built to accommodate the cars on the freeways did more damage than the freeways themselves.

  2. Thanks. I think you're right about the accommodations for parking because there were already a lot of parking lots in the 1971 aerial. I think this week I'll look more in-depth on parking lots.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...