Friday, July 21, 2023

Changes to Columbus Indiana

I was dreaming about the difference between Columbus fifty years ago when I was growing up here and now.

Back in the 1970s, Columbus had a population of 30,000 people.  Now it is roughly 50,000.

Fifty years ago the downtown area along Washington Street was a hub of retail activity.  Now it is a shell of its former self.  Many parts of downtown, including most of the former mall, have been taken over by Commins Engine Company.

Back in the 1970s and the mid-1960s, I lived close to downtown.

The other major retail area was 25th Street which is still partly true.  State Highway 46 used to follow 25th Street, but not anymore.  The current mall on 25th Street is almost dead and the city is spending millions to remodel it into a recreational center, whatever that is.

Today, the main retail area of Columbus is along US Highway 31, which is also called National Road.  It was also a retail area in the 1970s, but today a retail store needs to be close to National Road to survive.

Since the 1970s, Columbus has grown somewhat north and east, which makes National Road more relevant.  It has also grown west of Columbus on state highway 46.

Best wishes,

John Coffey

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