UNIVERSITY DISTRICT PHOTO ALBUM- Images of our neighborhood from the past 150 years: 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45

Varsity Inn

Thrilled to find this. It's a rare thing to come across interior views of old neighborhood restaurants and businesses. Varsity Inn, 1598 N High, was a popular campus eatery in the first decades of the 20th Century. A lot of students ate a lot of meals here. And that's saying something considering that Teresa Marzetti was running the first Marzetti's Restaurant just down the block. Proprietor A.G. Geren also owned Varsity Supply next door, supplying books, pens, sportswear, and everything else the Ohio State student needed. Varsity Inn opened in 1909 and appeared to have lasted until the mid-1920s.

Alhambra Court

Alhambra Court, an unusual early 20th Century combination of residential and retail on High just north of Lane. Named for the popular Alhambra Theater across the street at 2159 N High. Currently imperiled by a 17-story residential tower proposed for the NE corner of Lane and High.



An early Sunday morning in March. Throngs of sorority girls streaming down E 15th to the Ohio Union in white mini-dresses and a variety of shoes.

Ukraine flag

University View home flying Ukrainian flag in support of the resistance to the unjustified and murderous Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Chic Harley relief

Ohio State football legend Chic Harley, memorialized in terracota bas-relief on the facade of the University Theatre, 1980 N High. The University Theater opened this week 75 years ago with a massive ceremony including Ohio Governor Thomas Herbert and Columbus Mayor Jim Rhodes, Ohio State's National Champion 1916 Buckeye football team, and Chic's mom, brothers, and sister. Thousands of middle-aged fans who had seen Chic play in their youth turned out for the event to remember and honor their hero. National magazine LIFE was on hand and did a photospread on the event and the theater dedicated to a football player. Built by a superfan and friend of Harley's, the theater was a shrine to the extraordinary athlete.

Campus preachers

A sure sign of Spring: The campus preachers have returned! New guys can't hold a candle to the old Max-Brother Jed-Sister Cindy circus of the 1980s and 90s. Cries of "FOR-NI-CA-TORS!!!!" are particularly missed.

Frosh v Soph Tug-of-War 1915

1915 RPPC of soggy freshmen. Good thing there was so much less to learn 100-years-ago because students spent an inordinate amount of time on cane rushes, hazing, egg-fights, and frosh v sophs battles.

An end-of-the-year tug-of-war between the Frosh and the Sophomores across Mirror Lake was an Ohio State tradition in the early 20th Century. The losing side got pulled into the water. On May 27, 1915, the Sophs appeared to have won and pulled the frosh into the lake. Victory was overturned on review when it was discovered the the Sophs had packed their side with more than the permitted number of men.

Brian Shaffer billboard, 2022

One of the neighborhood's enduring mysteries endures. On April 1, 2006, Ohio State medical student Brian Shaffer vanished and has never been seen again. Shaffer was last seen on security camera footage outside the crowded Ugly Tuna Saloona, 1546 N High, at about 1:55 AM. Shaffer's friends waiting for him by the exit never saw him leave at closing time. Security cameras also failed to capture him leaving. Two cops on security detail at the bar saw nothing irregular. Neither did the bar staff or the scores of bar patrons.

Years of investigations and interviews and running down every possible lead have failed to produce any answers. Publicity and segments on true crime shows and podcasts have likewise produced nothing. Billboard ads popped-up around town in the past week, seeking any tips on this very cold case.

Spring blossoms

Been a weird back and forth Spring. 31ºF this morning and a chance of snow tomorrow morning, but blossoms are bursting out everywhere and the neighborhood is turning into a flowery fairyland.

Foggy morning sunrise over the neighborhood

Foggy morning sunrise over the neighborhood.

Tiny house by the Big Four Railroad tracks

Intrigued for a long time by this tiny pre-1920 building on E 17th just yards from the railroad tracks. Original stone-texture concrete block section is just 500 sq ft. (Additions were built in the 1940s.) Thinking it must've had something to do with the railroads. Looks more like a building you'd find down towards Nelsonville or Athens.

Student wishes

For the past couple springs, the University has been encouraging graduating students to write down their wishes and post them them to one of the big sycamores down in Mirror Lake Hollow. 2022's wishes include:

  • Running water for all.
  • For One Direction to get back together.
  • Massive dong.
  • Visit Latvia. No Russian bombs.
  • To pass MFing accounting.
  • End up like my parents in a happy relationship forever.
  • To live in NYC.
  • To have my own family.
  • Get my doctorate in nursing. Live on a farm.
  • To fulfill God's purpose that he gave me
  • Become a part of a more just justice system.
  • Write an animated show one day.