Encapsulating Toledo’s 2020

2020 has been a momentous turning point in our lives. A global pandemic. Massive protests for racial justice. A divisive election. Moments that have amplified our fears, hopes and memories. We asked Toledoans what they would place in a time capsule from this historic year to be opened in 50 years. Here is what they would leave for the Toledoans of 2070.

The Pandemic Travel Dilemma: How the Midwest is Faring this Holiday Season

The holiday season is looking different this year with decreased mobility, and while some places are seeing a surge of cases post-Thanksgiving, some states across the Midwest have managed to prevent and mitigate the predicted danger through public health announcements and limited mobility and gatherings.

The Midwestern Mall: Not Quite Gone and Not Quite Forgotten

For the last several decades, malls across the country have been closing one after another, leaving behind not only abandoned buildings, but also renewed interest in what malls mean to people, why they are disappearing in the first place and what can be done to save them (or if they should be saved at all). Toledo, Ohio, for example, remains enamored with the memory of its long-gone shopping complexes and what they meant for a thriving, mid-sized, Midwestern city. Cover graphic by Jessie Walton for Midstory.

Madison Avenue a Century Ago

As we see Toledo’s downtown changing in the midst of its revitalization efforts over the last few years, take a look, street by street, at the Toledo of 100 years ago—brick roads bustling with pedestrians, ornate architecture and all.

Why Design? Principles to Shape a World in Unrest

The saying goes that you can only have two of three options: good, fast, cheap. In a world challenged by COVID-19 and other underlying unrest in 2020, however, designers are tasked with satisfying all three to solve complex societal issues. This piece outlines how formal and informal design can shape a world in trouble, and attempts a more human response to extraordinary circumstances. Cover graphic by Whitney Baxter for Midstory.

The Rural Struggle for Survival: A Review of American Salvage

The fourteen short stories in Bonnie Jo Campbell’s 2009 finalist for the National Book Award in Fiction, American Salvage, introduce rural characters of all shapes and colors. What binds them is their focus on finding what they need to survive, whether it be a companion or a barrel of gasoline. The opinions expressed in this review are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect any official organizational stance. Cover graphic by Jessie Walton for Midstory.

My Long-distance Love for Ohio

The word Ohio is one that elicits conflicting emotions and thoughts in me. The state is my home but also a place I’ve sought to leave. It’s a source of both pride and frustration. Leaving for college and then returning on a quasi-temporary basis has helped define the nature of my relationship with Ohio—one that’s been aided by distance. José Pablo Fernández García is a sophomore at Princeton University, currently residing in his hometown outside of Cincinnati during the pandemic. (Part I of a two-part series.)

The Midpoint

The Midpoint is a platform for regional and national dialogues in health, policy, society, culture, the arts & more.


A film review series that examines how cinema expands our understanding of city identity and how reemerging cityscapes in the post-industrial age have influenced cinema.

Public Health

Articles looking at the state of public health during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

The Midwest in Literature

A book review series that examines and expands our understanding of city identity and other themes in Midwestern literature.


Thought pieces about different themes and subjects in the Midwest.


Interactive projects on Toledo's cultural, historical, and innovative destinations.

In the Midst

An exploration of the cultural, historical, and innovative products of Toledo.

Home in the Swamp

Toledo, the Great Black Swamp, and the region’s settlement history.

Memoirs of a Toledo Childhood

The recollections and reflections of Michael Murray, a Toledoan born and raised in the South Side in the 1950s.


The story of an individual experiencing Toledo through weekly journal entries, finding beauty in the ordinary, everyday things.

(Re)claiming Toledo Legacies

The Toledo legacies that shaped the past and continue to shape our present and future.

Toledo | On The Map

We compare and contrast Toledo with cities across the globe, focusing on crucial issues our city faces today.