A century ago, Driving Park was synonymous with bustling streetcars carrying passengers along Livingston Avenue, and horses – then racing cars – speeding down a track that gave the neighborhood its name.
The Near East Side community, bordered by Interstate 70 to the north and east, Linwood Avenue to the west and East Whittier Street to the south, was one of the city’s first streetcar suburbs. Streetcar lines were built to extend into what were once the outlying areas of Columbus.
Plague and crime have plagued the neighborhood for decades, but residents hope the expansion of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital and improvements along Livingston Avenue will renew the neighborhood.
This is one of the reasons Driving Park is the newest stop for the mobile newsroom, Dispatch’s roving effort to base more journalists in the community and to report in more detail on sub-neighborhoods. represented.
What is the mobile newsroom?
Instead of going to work every day in our downtown office, a few Dispatch reporters work from the Columbus Metropolitan Library branch in a specific area of Columbus for about a month.
This month, journalists Erica Thompson and Mark Ferenchik are working from the Driving Park branch on Livingston Avenue. These reporters, along with other reporters from Dispatch, will explore Driving Park and its neighboring communities.
The purpose of the mobile newsroom – which first stop was in Northland at the Karl Road branch library – is to position reporters in an underserved area so that we can get to know residents, organizations, religious groups better. , business owners and the entire neighborhood. It’s part of our initiative to be more intentional to represent the whole community and the rich diversity of this city in our coverage.
In short, we hope to build relationships and tell good stories. Here’s what we’ve learned so far in Driving Park:
The Driving Park treatment center, a “beacon of light” for the neighborhood and beyond
When Felton Davis enrolled in the domestic violence program at the Africentric Personal Development Shop, he was embarrassed, ashamed and scared.
“I just felt like I had broken the covenant with God when I laid hands on my wife,” said Davis, 60, of the Northeast Side. “Not only did I hurt her, but I hurt my children. I lost their confidence. I lost their loyalty. So I’m working on it.
Now estranged from his wife, Davis said he was learning coping skills and signs of unhealthy relationships.
“For a long time, I didn’t know I had an anger and control problem,” he said. “I’m glad (APDS) was there when I was looking. I would like to be a sounding board one day. Maybe I can help someone or just be a mentor.
The Driving Park group aims to make a difference with the after-school program and museum plans
The Rickenbacker Woods Learning Center after-school program was all about the holidays on a recent Friday afternoon, with two kids in pajamas, a bubble maker sending foam into the air, and a girl wearing two embellishments on her shirt.
Christmas carols played in the background as dots of blue, orange, red and green light swirled around the ceiling.
Usually, the center and its tutors focus on homework and other activities. But it’s the season, so season on, right?
Accidents and speeding tickets on East Livingston Avenue in Driving Park receive notice from Columbus officials
After reviewing reports and hearing complaints from residents of Driving Park and Old Oaks about speeding tickets and crashes along East Livingston Avenue, Columbus officials plan to conduct a traffic survey to determine how make the busy hallway safer.
According to city police records, there were 65 crashes this year through December 13 at just five intersections along East Livingston Avenue: South Ohio Avenue, South Champion Avenue, Miller Avenue, Kelton Avenue, and Fairwood Avenue .
“The concerns of residents are what drives us to do this particular study,” said Reynaldo Stargell, administrator of the city’s traffic management division.
Black Business Spotlight: FishBurger to Continue Legacy of Entrepreneurship in Driving Park
In October, Tawny Nash was shopping at Sam’s Club when she saw two men wearing “FishBurger” t-shirts.
“I was in another aisle and yelled at them, ‘Where’s your FishBurger?
“They told me and said, ‘This is our grand opening today.’ I said, ‘I’ll be there’.
Sure enough, Nash showed up at the Driving Park restaurant on Livingston and Rhodes avenues. She was bowled over by the FishBurger Sandwich, which features fried salmon, a special drip sauce, and a signature lemon wedge on top.
New apartments planned on Livingston Avenue across from Nationwide Children’s Hospital
More apartments are planned near the Nationwide Children’s Hospital – this time just across the street – and they are another sign of the hospital’s growing influence on the changing character of the Schumacher neighborhood. Square.
The apartments would be built on the site of the former Shanes Dinner Theater at 447 E. Livingston Ave. and the Enterprise Rent-A-Car location at 475 E. Livingston. The development would be across East Livingston Avenue from the hospital’s Big Lots Behavioral Health Pavilion and its Butterfly Garden Gateway entrance.
Contact our journalists from the Driving Park mobile press room
• Erica Thompson
• Mark Ferenchik
The first Columbus Dispatch mobile newsroom was located in the Karl Road branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library and was presented to the public on October 21.
Michael Aaron poses outside Eddie Rickenbacker’s childhood home in Columbus, Ohio on Dec. 17, 2021. Aaron and the Rickenbacker Woods Foundation are looking to revive grants to turn the home into a museum to tell the story of the neighborhood.