Within the city of Columbus is a natural location for brewery, due to the meeting of the Scioto River, a spring-fed ravine and the Columbus Feeder canal. This plenty in terms of water and ability to transport their goods made the location ideal for building breweries. First brewery was opened in 1836, but others soon followed.
Workers were needed to keep the barrels flowing, so housing was quickly developed. The results were the beginning of this unique neighborhood. The houses reflected a mix of German style with its one and half story, Italianate and of course brick homes. Today, these homes are part of the character of the neighborhood. Carved stone lintels, curved doors and windows, plus hood moldings are just a few of the historical details preserved within this district’s older homes.
Today, these breweries have been closed. Several were closed during Prohibition, but economic changes caused many smaller breweries to struggle. Eventually, all the buildings were sold for manufacturing or other uses. However, thanks to the efforts of various communities, the facades of these buildings have been preserved.
The Brewery District has been divided into four smaller areas, known as the Northern Tier, Transitional Tier, Southern Tier and finally, Whittier Street Peninsula. Each of these areas has a distinct personality that combines to give the district a distinctive vibe.
The Northern Tier contains many of the early development of this district. The character is defined by its historical elements, particularly the industrial buildings with little to no setback from the streets. These buildings have been redeveloped and turned into residential units, as well as commercial spaces. While there is some light industry in this area, it is very limited.
The Southern Tier has maintained a largely residential feel, with two or three story buildings made of brick, along with front yards and side alleys. The architectural styles reflect the German influence of the times. The area has lost some of these historical touches, as homes have been taken down to make room for reconstruction. The Transitional Tier accurately reflects its status. Many of the blocks of land have been purchased with the idea of turning them into larger developments in the future.
Whittier Street Peninsula is the commercial area of the district. Local government facilities can be found here, along with manufacturing and warehouses. There is also land within this area that is being proposed as part of a larger park plan for the district.
The area continues to maintain its ability to attract manufacturing due to its easy highway access. However, the public transportation options are limited to a few bus routes and there is no train or subway access. Yet changes have been made to these routes to give Ohio State students access to the district. The reason is that the district provides multiple entertainment options, including live music, nightclubs and a winery. There are several restaurants as well. Thus, the district has overtime come to reflect a historical mature feel, which is attractive to young professionals and couples without children.
For outdoor entertainment, residents can use the Scioto Audubon Metro Park, which offers wetlands, a dog park and even a rock climbing wall. With the Scioto River at its back, the park offers residents a chance to view wildlife in a nature setting, while being close to the urban amenities. This neighborhood offers a unique flavor to Columbus, drawing residents who want a unique living experience.