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The NECKO neighborhood, a section of the historic E. J. McMillen Homestead Addition, is a part of the Near North Side Historic District as designated in the Historic Register in 1980. It is recognized as a locally significant example of an early 20th century residential neighborhood in Columbus.
NECKO was named after the Neil-Eighth-Cannon-King Organization founded in 1979. The organization obtained the historic designation and focused on the preservation of its unique mix of architectural styles and diverse neighborhood character. Its residential nature and many similar functional and expressive features, such as brick construction, front porches, and roof dormers unify the area. Inspired by the historic front doors found throughout NECKO, the logo below captures the neighborhood's eclectic and welcoming spirit.
NECKO worked cooperatively with The Ohio State University to establish the university's southern expansion boundary at the north side of West 8th Avenue. By 2008, over 100 of the original historic houses and brick streets remained intact. More information on the neighborhood is available at www.necko.org.
E. J. McMillen Homestead Addition
Established in 1891, the only remaining section of the Elizabeth J. McMillen Homestead Addition is the NECKO neighborhood. The subdivision originally extended between King Avenue north to West 10th Avenue and from Neil Avenue west to Perry Street.
The area belonged to the William and Hannah Neil farm, part of which was given to their daughter, Elizabeth J. McMillen. Once the northern edge of Columbus, the founding of the Ohio Agricultural & Mechanical College in 1870 combined with the extension of the Columbus Street Railway Company's streetcar line along Neil Avenue to drive the demand for residential development in the area, which began in the 1890s and continued into the 1920s. As a result of their proximity to the trolley line, the lots along Neil Avenue were developed first.
Early residents included middle-class families, small business owners, and college professors. The variety found within the Homestead Addition ranged from elaborate, prestigious homes to simpler, classic motifs and grew out of the diversity of income levels of residents and changes in building styles over four decades of construction. Now part of the Near North Side Historic District, NECKO is recognized as significant for its eclectic architectural styling and unique neighborhood layout.