Westgate is a pocket neighborhood located in the Hilltop area on the west side of Columbus. It is bordered by West Broad Street on the north, Sullivant Avenue on the south, Hague Avenue on the east, and Demorest Avenue on the west.
This neighborhood has some historical ties to the Civil War – the Camp Chase prison camp was located on the eastern side of the neighborhood. A Civil War cemetery exists there today, and is on the National Registrar of Historic Places. There are reenactments that take place annually, as well as the Hilltop Bean Dinner, that commemorates those historical roots.
The land that is now Westgate was first developed with housing starting in the 1920’s, as one of Columbus’s streetcar communities. While most of the homes in Westgate were built between the 1920’s and 1940’s, there are a few mid century cape cods and ranches, and as well as other homes built that filled in vacant lots as recently as 2005.
Westgate Park is the anchor of the neighborhood. An active community center, a closed shelter house, an open shelter house, walking trails; tennis, racquetball, & basketball courts; play areas, ball fields, and large treed picnic areas all exist within its 46 acres. The City of Columbus has recently spent more than 5 million dollars renovating the community center, the closed shelter house, and the park’s pond. The Friends of Westgate Park is an active non-profit organization that works to improve the park’s gardens, including adding the first public park raingarden in the city of Columbus, and the first public work of art on the Hilltop. Westgate Park is also home to two big festivals each year – the Hilltop Bean Dinner and Summer Jam, as well as a host of other, smaller events with neighborhood ties.
Westgate is located within the City of Columbus school district, with both Westgate Alternative Elementary School and West High School inside the neighborhood borders. There is also the private, Catholic-based St. Mary Magdalene School, offering education from kindergarten through 8th grade.