Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Hanford Village




In mid-February, 2008, USA Today newspaper ran a real estate story on preservationist working on the preservation of Black suburban communities. And the story’s opening was about an East Columbus neighborhood, Hanford Village.

In April, 1946, developer Ivan Gore promoted the village as “Homes for Negro families.” About that same time, Lockbourne Army Air Base, eight miles south of Columbus, was receiving thousands of Tuskegee Airmen and many brought their families into Columbus and Hanford Village.

The single family homes were located in an area that border Livingston Avenue, Alum Creek Drive, East Main Street and Nelson Road. Hanford Village was a proud community that boasted a park, a shelter house, a veteran’s organization with a hall.

The first homes sold for $6000 to $8000.00, giving many veterans a chance to use their G.I. Bill benefits for home ownership. But before the small community of one hundred-fifty homes was barely fifteen years old, Interstate 70 planners were making deals to bisect Hanford Village, yet bypass South Bexley.

The Ohio Historical Society considers Hanford Village historically significant and deserving of further study. But it will take village residents to step forward and ask for the process of having the village listed on the National Historic Registry.

Arnett Howard

2 comments:

  1. I had never heard that about I-70 planners avoiding South Bexley, and instead routing the interstate through the Hanford Village neighborhood.

    But it makes perfect sense, when you think about it and even when you look at a map.

    Look at a map of Columbus and see how westbound I-70 follows two virtually 90-degree turns, the second of which is through Hanford Village.

    And if you look at I-70 west of Hanford Village and then east near Reynoldsburg, you can clearly see how the Interstate dips south to avoid Bexley.

    Even today, communities with financial and political resources coincidentally avoid being bisected by public works projects, but imagine back in the 1960s, the situation was even more exacerbated.

    I mean, just consider the political and financial power of the old money in Bexley, as compared to the African American community.

    I would have loved to be a fly on the wall back in those days when discussions were taking place about where to route the Interstate, and to hear what people were saying about race, economics and political influence.

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  2. It would be wonderful to see this neighborhood come back to life and really thrive again. As the Vice-Chair of the Livingston Ave. Area Commission, I invite anyone from Hanford Village to come to our meetings, get involved, and allow us to help you get more research done on this historic neighborhood.

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