Hilltop Employment in the 1970s

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In the mid-1970s, the City of Columbus embarked on a sequential planning effort to create information profiles and recommendations for all sections of the city. One section was the Greater Hilltop, categorized as area #15.

1980 aerial view of the Hilltop area, showing the Central Ohio Psychiatric Hospital where ODOT and other state office currently stand, just west of I-70 and north of Broad Street.

The Hilltop Information Profile included a wealth of information about existing conditions in the neighborhood in the mid-1970s. One of the most interesting is the list of the top five employers in the Hilltop. The list evokes memories of a time when living-wage blue collar employment was accessible and sufficient to provide a high quality of life for individuals and families of diverse backgrounds.

Major Hilltop Employers in 1976

  1. Fisher Body, Division of GMC — 200 Georgesville Road

  2. Borden Chemical Company — 1625 W. Mound Street

  3. Midland-Ross Corporation — 4200 Surface Road

  4. Columbus State Hospital — 1960 W. Broad Street

  5. Columbus State Institute — 1601 W. Broad Street

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1. The Fisher Body, Division of GMC was opened in 1946 by General Motors. The Ternstedt plant employed about 5,500 at its peak. Originally a plant for the Fisher Body division, it was transferred to Delphi Automotive Systems in 1999. By the early 1990s, the 1.7 million-square-foot GM facility employed only 2,000 people and in fall 2005, Delphi declared bankruptcy. The maker of door-latch parts employed just over 400 by 2007 when it closed.