In 1900, the Chicago River was reversed to protect the city from disease and water pollution. Today, this decision poses questions to a city that faces unprecedented climate conditions and irreversible changes in the ecosystem.
In the heart of South Toledo’s Broadway Corridor, strokes of color adorn the otherwise nondescript structures of streetside storefronts … Railings, window frames, doors and cornices boast brilliant blues, deep reds, pale yellows and an array of pinks and purples.
Picture Ohio. You’re probably envisioning vast agricultural fields or the occasional deciduous forest dotting an otherwise flat landscape. And yet Northwest Ohio alone is home to wetlands and prairies, savannas and swamplands. It encompasses one of the rarest ecosystems on earth and supports rich wildlife. As biodiversity decreases across the globe, organizations in Northwest Ohio are working to preserve, protect and restore habitats and wildlife alike for generations to come.
This project presents an interactive gallery of Asian American individuals who have made Ohio their home, and serves as an open archive depicting another side of the American story — one often whitewashed and rendered invisible. Explore maps, watch curated videos and interact with colorful and moving narratives.
On April 12th, 1934, in the middle of the workday, 1,000 workers walked out of the Electric Auto-Lite factory in Toledo, Ohio, in a protest for better working conditions and wages — an act that would become known as one of the most memorable and influential strikes of the Great Depression.
“I grew up where reading and writing was my biggest problem … And I always wanted to fit in. But I couldn't because my reading and writing stopped me.”
Stephan Woodley is 61 years old. For nearly 60 of those years, he couldn’t read.
It can be difficult for residents of the Western Lake Erie Basin to see beyond the surface when it comes to the harmful algal blooms that disrupt their local watershed. After all, it is the green scum that appears on the lake every summer that poses health risks, obstructs recreational activities and creates eyesores on the area’s most treasured natural resource.
They say a good building can take on many lives. But in many post-industrial spaces across the country, it’s often easier to forgo creativity for efficiency. The historic structures of Toledo are no exception. Over the last century, many beautiful buildings of this port city have been demolished, allowed to fall into disrepair, whose costs of maintenance far outweighs its capital potential. Yet on the waterfront block of Fort Industry Square, along its quaint facades of varying heights and styles, something quietly transformative is happening.
From mound-building cultures all the way to the final American Indian tribes removed from the area, Northwest Ohio holds a rich and tragic Indigenous history. While Native American histories are overlooked and often intentionally forgotten all across the country, Northwest Ohio is particularly seldom associated with native identity and stories, creating a gap in public memory and local history that emphasizes comfortable narratives over complex and harsh realities.
The 1950s and 1960s were Dorr Street’s golden era. Once considered Toledo’s “Black downtown,” it housed a majority of the city’s Black community and was an important commercial and community hub. The February 3, 1992 Black History edition of The Toledo Journal recalled the street as a place where people young and old got together on the weekend and where families would go shopping, go to the movies, go bowling and attend church. All types of stores and shops decorated the streets, a colorful and lively setting for its residents.
Midstory is a 501(c)(3) non-profit thinkhub that progresses the narrative of the Midwest by incubating bright, diverse and interdisciplinary thinkers to exchange ideas and envision the future of our region through multimedia storytelling and solutions-oriented research since its founding in 2018.
As an educational media organization, we inform, interpret and inspire in and for the Midwest and believe that our region’s challenges can be our greatest asset to drive renewed interest and human capital into post-industrial cities.