A Postcard Collection
I am adding to my collection of postcards faster than I can annotate them. I work on this page regularly, so keep checking back.
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Aerial Views
   • Broad Street, looking SE
   • State House, looking NW
   • Broad Street, looking west
   • Capital Square 50's
Airport
   • Port Columbus Intl. Airport
Amusement Parks
   • Olentangy Park Dancing Pavilion
   • Zoo and O'Shaughnessy Dam
Capital University
   • Capital University
Churches
   • St. Joseph's Cathedral
Fort Hayes Barracks
   • Headquarters
   • Officers Quarters
   • Main Building
   • Parade and Review
   • Band Concert
   • Park Scene
   • Guard Mount
   • Outdoor Gymnasium
   • Football Game
   • At Leisure Hours
Hospitals
   • Mt. Carmel Hospital
   • White Cross Hospital 1907
   • White Cross Hospital 1920's
Hotels
   • Christopher Inn
   • Deshler Wallick Hotel
   • Deshler Wallick Hotel
   • Green Meadow Inn
   • Holiday Inn 4th & Town St.
   • Neil House Hotel
   • Neil House
Ohio State University
   • Mirror Lake
   • Ohio Stadium
   • Ohio Stadium
   • University Hospital 1950's
   • Various Campus Buildings 1
   • Various Campus Buildings 2
Parks
   • American Rose Society HQ
Public Buildings
   • City Hall
   • City Hall
   • Governor's Mansion
   • Ohio State House
   • State Capital
   • State Office Building
   • Ohio State Office Building
   • Veterans Memorial Auditorium
Public Schools
   • North High School
Railroad
   • Double Decker Streetcar 1916
   • Union Station
Restaurants
   • Mills Restaurant
   • The Riviera Restaurant
St. Mary of the Springs
   • St Mary's of the Springs
Service Organizations
   • The Downtown YMCA
Shopping
   • Lazarus, Town & High Streets
Skyscrapers
   • AIU Citadel / LeVeque Tower
   • AIU Citadel
   • Civic Center
Sports
   • Franklin County Stadium
Red Bird Era
   • Franklin County Stadium
Jets Era
State Fairgrounds
   • Coliseum
State Penitentiary
   • Dining Hall
   • Main entrance
Street Scenes
   • Gay Street 1920's
   • High & State Streets
   • High & State Streets
   • Looking North on High St
   • Downtown at Night
Theaters and Public Halls
   • Columbus Memorial Hall
   • Keith's Theater
   • Loew's Ohio Theater
Aerial Views

Broad Street, looking SE
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During the 19th century, the riverfront was an industrial zone and the river was an open sewer. After the flood of 1913, redevelopment turned the riverfront into a "Civic Center", with a new Broad Street bridge, floodwall and modern buildings.

Prominent in this view are many of the new structures. The triangular building on the lower left is the Federal Courts Building built around 1933. Columbus City Hall (1923) is prominent in the lower middle. On the right is the State Office Building which is a 1933 art deco masterpiece, recently restored in 2005 and now known as the Ohio Judicial Center (it houses the Supreme Court of Ohio). In the back towers the American Insurance Union Citadel, dedicated in 1927 and now known as the Lincoln-Leveque [La-Veck] tower.

State House, looking NW
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Similar to the above postcard, but we are looking west rather than east. A pretty good view of Capital Square with its famous surrounding hotels, including the Neil House and Deshler Hotel.

Across the river you can see the Central High School, which was part of the makeover of the Scioto riverfront after the 1913 flood. The railroad bridge near the top of the image is the Hocking Valley line.

Broad Street, looking west
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Here we are east of downtown Columbus, looking towards the west down Broad Street. Prominent on the right side is Columbus Memorial Hall which housed COSI from 1964 - 1999. On the right side of Broad Street to the east is St. Joseph's Cathedral. The AIU Citadel (Leveque Tower) looms in the background.

Capital Square 50's
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A classic view of pre-skyscraper Columber, much here has changed since the late 1950's. On the left side you can see the Neil House Hotel, and just north of it the original Huntington Bank Building. The modern, H-shaped Huntington Center now occupies the Neil House Hotel site.

The front lawn of the State House would be excavated in 1963 to install an underground parking garage. You can see the many large trees (this is a winter view) that were lost in that project.
Airport

Port Columbus Intl. Airport
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Port Columbus International Airport was built in 1928, and was part of the very first Transcontinental Air Service in American History. Charles Lindbergh and Henry Ford created Transcontinental Air Transport (TAT). Passengers would ride the Pennsylvania Railroad from New York City across the (too dangerous to fly over) Allegheny Mountains to Columbus. At Port Columbus Airport, they boarded a TAT Ford Tri-Motor plane for the rest of their journey to Los Angeles. Service began on July 8, 1929. By October, 1930 TAT had been merged into the newly formed TWA, which offered service to the airport until the year 2000.

The old terminal, tower and hangers shown in this picture still exist near the corner of E. 5th Ave. and Hamilton Road, not far from the observation park on Hamilton Road across from the golf course.
Amusement Parks

Olentangy Park Dancing Pavilion
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Olentangy Park was an amusement park located just north of Doderidge and North High Street that operated from 1893-1937. In 1893, "The Villa" opened as a picnic and attraction park. In 1896 the Columbus Street Railroad Company bought the property and developed it as an amusement park to drive streetcar traffic. In 1899 the Dussenbury brothers purchase Olentangy Park, which featured a small merry-go-round. In 1905, Olentangy Park added a Japanese Village, constructed by 40 Japanese workers and brought over from Japan. The Dance Pavilion shown in the postcard was built about 1909, as were the Red Devil Rollercoaster and the Whirlwind.

In 1923 the Haenlin brothers bought the park out of receivership. In 1929 Max Stearn leased the park from the Haenlins. Unfortunately, the Great Depression took its toll and the park failed to open for the 1938 season. Apartments were developed by the LeVeque family, and a large and popular bowling center was located there until it burned down on October 27, 1980. The park's Grand Carousel was moved to Scioto Ranch, where the present day Wyandot Lake is located. The carousel was recently restored and on June 17, 2000 it reopened on the grounds of the Columbus Zoo where you can ride it today. The only reminder of the park is the swimming pool at Olentangy Village.

See the Wikipedia Article for more information.

Zoo and O'Shaughnessy Dam
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The Columbus Zoo, located in Powell, Ohio north of Columbus along the Scioto River, was opened in 1927. The City of Columbus took ownership of the zoo from 1951 to 1970 when it became a private, non-profit entity.

For many years the zoo was world famous for producing Colo, the world's first captive born gorilla, on December 22, 1956. Jack Hanna took the helm in 1978, and the Zoo's fortunes rose with Jungle Jack's who is a popular and world famous spokesperson for animal conservation. More than just a Letterman regular, Hanna converted the dirty and cage-oriented Columbus Zoo into a model facility with many naturalistic enclosures.

The O'Shaughnessy Dam is located on the Scioto River at the Zoo's entrance. It was built in 1925 at the urging of waterworks superintendant Jerry O'Shaughnessy to provide drinking water to the growing city of Columbus. In 1987, 5 megawatts of hydroelectric power were installed on the dam.
Capital University

Capital University
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Churches

St. Joseph's Cathedral
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At the corner of Broad Street and Fifth Streets, St. Joseph's Cathedral was dedicated on October 20, 1878. It can seat 2,000 people, and is 92 feet wide by 185 feet long. In the 1850's, the small Roman Catholic population of Columbus was reviled by the Know Nothing Party, but the growth of Columbus throught the Civil War and the increasing German immigrant population breathed new life into the religion. Bishop Sylvester Rosecrans, brother of Civil War General William Rosecrans, shepharded the flock through this period of growth and oversaw the construction of a grand new cathedral, which was dedicated on October 20, 1878. Unfortunately, Bishop Rosecrans, who suffered from stomach ulcers for many years, died at 10:15pm the day after the dedication.

This is the offical link to St. Joseph's Cathedral. Here's a slideshow from The Discovery District. Also, the organ was restored and dedicated in December, 2006.
Fort Hayes Barracks

Headquarters
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Officers Quarters
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Main Building
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Parade and Review
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Band Concert
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Park Scene
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Guard Mount
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Outdoor Gymnasium
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Football Game
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At Leisure Hours
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Hospitals

Mt. Carmel Hospital
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Located near the intersection of Broad Street and St. Rt. 315Mt. Carmel Hospital was founded in 1886 by Mother M. Angela and Sister M. Rifna Dunn of the Sisters of the Holy Cross of Notre Dame, Indiana. This red brick hospital was known as "Hawkes Hospital of Mt. Carmel". In 1908 they purchased a 140 acre farm plot east of the red brick hospital, which gave the facility the room to expand over the years.

White Cross Hospital 1907
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White Cross Hospital 1920's
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Hotels

Christopher Inn
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Deshler Wallick Hotel
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The elegant Deshler Hotel (the red building in this picture) was built in 1915 and occupied the northwest corner of High and Broad Streets. John Deshler started a bank in the 1850's and was a conservative banker. His bank survived when others failed. He helped a former clerk of his, P.W. Huntington start his own bank. His son John Deshler built this elegant hotel that lasted until 1969.

The white building adjacent to the Deshler Hotel is the AIU Citadel (now known as the Lincoln LeVeque Tower) which was constructed in 1924, and was designed to be 6 inches taller than 555 foot high Washington Monument.

Deshler Wallick Hotel
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Green Meadow Inn
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Holiday Inn 4th & Town St.
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Neil House Hotel
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This is the third Neil House Hotel, constructed in 1924. It was replaced with the Huntington Bank Tower in the early 1980's. It was named after William A. Neil, who made his fortune in the stagecoach business before the Civil War. Neil's residence was located where the Ohio State's Main Library is today, and Neil Avenue was a private lane to access the home. (ref. Lentz, Ed. As It Were, Stories of Old Columbus , Red Mountain Press, 1998, ISBN 0-9667950-0-8)

Neil House
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Ohio State University

Mirror Lake
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The definitive history of Mirror Lake was writting by Professor John H. Herrick in 1984, and you can read it here.

From Herrick: The original University campus, which was chosen in 1870, included a ravine extending westward from High Street. Through this ravine there flowed a stream which drained the area east of High Street, and which emptied into the Olentangy River. Numerous springs in the valley emptied into this stream. There was a bog around a large spring on the north side of the valley south of the present University Library. In the spring of 1874, at the end of the first year of operation of the University, this bog was cleaned out and "pools of clear spring-water" were formed. These pools developed over the years into the present Mirror Lake. The spring which fed the original lake was a source of drinking water for both the campus population and the people living nearby...

Ohio Stadium
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Ohio Stadium, as built in 1922, stood 98 feet tall, covered 10 acres, had a circumference of 1/3 mile and could seat 66,210 fans. The first game was played on October 7, 1922 against Ohio Wesleyan University to a crowd of 20,000. The first game in the stadium against Michigan occured on October 21, and saw 72,000 in attendance (standing room tickets were available at that time).

In 1933 a dormitory was opened in the southwest tower to house 78 men. The dormitory spaces were expanded over the next 15 years to a capacity of 484 men. In 1960 part of the dormitories were turned into a rehearsal hall for the band. In 1950, a new press box was installed, and in 1964 an elevator to reach the press box was added. In the year 2000, the stadium capacity was increased to 101,568. The bleachers at the open end of the horseshoe were made permanent, and the C-Deck was expanded by constructing a new outer ring around the circumferance of the structure. Eighty one luxury suites and 2500 club seats were added. The track, which Jesse Owens had trod upon, was removed and the field was lowered 14.5 feet to allow more A-deck seating. They also, finally, installed enough women's bathrooms.

You can see the Lane Avenue bridge in the background. Where those houses are located along Lane Avenue, the first Big Bear supermarket would be built in the 1934 by Wayne Brown.

Ohio Stadium
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Here you can see into the "horseshoe" in the early 1950's. The clean openness of the stadium didn't last - bleachers, and later an architecturally suspect scoreboard were added there later. Today, permanent seating is installed in the opening.

The left tower contained student housing - the students got a scholarship and in turn worked as ushers on game days and to maintain the structure. The right tower housed the victory bell, which surely must be worn out after all that ringing.

Here is a nice article about the shoe, and here are some hilarous remembrances of Woody Hayes' antics during his tenure as coach.

University Hospital 1950's
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The large building in this postcard is Ohio State University Hospital, which replaced the Starling-Ohio Medical College building at 775 Park Street (south of Campus near Goodale Park) when it was opened in 1951. You can also see Upham Hall (the shortest of the three buildings) which housed the mental health hospital. The building in front of it was Means Hall, which was the state Tuberculosis Hospital.

The stark, modern simplicity of these three buildings stands in contrast to the built-up complexity of the modern day campus. More history of the Ohio State University Hospitals can be found here.

Various Campus Buildings 1
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  • University Hall was the first Ohio State University (then known as the Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College) building constructed. It was completed in January, 1874 and housed the entire university, including living quarters and classrooms. In September, 1970, the structure was demolished and replaced with a nearly identical new structure.

  • The Armory was opened in January, 1898 and was used for military training. It contained a gymnasium / auditorium and had a distinctly military design. On May 17, 1958 a fire damaged the building. It was demolished in early 1959.

  • The Administration Building was occupied in August, 1924 and served as the administrative offices for the university. The Faculty Club was located there until 1940, when it moved to its own facility. The building still houses the office of the president of the university.

  • The Thompson Library opened on January 6, 1913 and has served as the main library of Ohio State since then. This postcard predates the 1948 tower addition.

Various Campus Buildings 2
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  • Mack Hall was opened for Autumn Quarter 1923 as a woman's dormitory in response to the growing number of women taking advantage of a university education.

  • Neil Hall was completed in October, 1926, and was another women's dormitory with a capacity of 300.

  • Pomerene Hall was opened in October, 1922 as a women's dormitory, and also contained a women's gymnasium. Further, the Dean of Women had her office here, and meeting rooms were also available for women's activities.

  • Orton Hall was completed in the late summer of 1893. From that time until 1913 it housed the University Library, which then moved to the new Thompson Main Library. This remarkable structure was constructed of forty different building stones found throughout Ohio. In 1915 the bell tower was added with 25,000 pounds of bells playing in the key of E-flat. The Department of Geology and its extensive collection is housed here.
Parks

American Rose Society HQ
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This is a picture of the American Rose Society headquarters, which was located at the Columbus Park of Roses from 1952 to 1970.

The Park of Roses is really a 13 acre park within the 150 acre Whetstone Park. The land that the park sits on was originally granted to John Rathbone for services rendered during the Revolutionary War. It was later owned by Thomas Bull, whose son Alanson founded Clintonville in 1846 (more Clintonville history here and here). By the 1930's the property was owned by the Fuller family. Whetstone Park was created at the behest of Rand Hollenback, who also organized the Clintonville Area Commission in 1940. During World War II, Hollenback oversaw the planting of 500 Victory Gardens on the future site of the park. Land was acquired from twelve different owners beginning in 1944.

The American Rose Society relocated to Shreveport, Louisiana in 1970, but the City and community have kept the roses growing. The area surrounding the park fell into steep decline in the late 60's and early 70's as the urban blight of the short north spread through campus and up into Clintonville. In the late 1980's the area began to turn around, and is today second only to Bexley as a desirable place to own a home in the City of Columbus.

Reference: Lentz, Ed. As it Were, Stories of Old Columbus, "Park of Roses", Red Mountain Press, 1998, pp 177-181.
Public Buildings

City Hall
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City Hall
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Governor's Mansion
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Ohio State House
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State Capital
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State Office Building
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In 1929, the City of Columbus donated 2.1 acres of riverfront property to the State of Ohio for the purpose of erecting a state office building. Harry Hake of Cincinnati designed the art deco masterpiece, which was constructed from 1930 to 1933, and was formally known as the Ohio Departments Building. After 65 years of wear and tear, the building was repurposed to be the home of the Ohio Supreme Court in 1998, and a complete renovation of the structure was completed in February 2004. Now known as The Ohio Judicial Center, this is possibly the most beautiful building interior in the state. You can (and should) go downtown and visit it - it will take your breath away.

Go here for an excellent history of the building.

Ohio State Office Building
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Veterans Memorial Auditorium
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Public Schools

North High School
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Railroad

Double Decker Streetcar 1916
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Union Station
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Restaurants

Mills Restaurant
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The Riviera Restaurant
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The Riviera Restaurant was located near the intersections of Sandusky (now Rt. 315) and Spring Streets. We've all heard of the "Spring-Sandusky Interchange", that long awaited interconnection of State Rt. 315 and I-670 on the tip of the Whittier Peninsula (unfortunately, Columbus squandered the confluence of its two great rivers, the Olentangy and the Scioto, first as an industrial zone and later as a freeway wasteland). Well, this art-deco gem was located where the highways are now.

From the back of the card: "The finest and most popular Restaurant and Cafe in Central Ohio. Located on Olentangy Blvd (note - the front of the card states the address as 360 Sandusky Street), one mile from the beautiful Civic Center of Columbus. The best of foods at reasonable low prices. The Riviera caters to private parties and banquets of any size. Phone - Main 0229"
St. Mary of the Springs

St Mary's of the Springs
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Service Organizations

The Downtown YMCA
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The YMCA was a service organization dedicated to providing single young men who had come to the city to start their careers a safe and wholesome place to live and meet, and to provide them with diversions other than the dissolution and worse that was available in the city. First organized on January 15, 1855, the YMCA occupied several buildings over the years, including a 5 story structure on Capital Square.

This building was opened in 1924, and is located at the corner of Spring and Front Streets, the Columbus YMCA cost $1.45 million to build and was the largest in the world at that time. Over 9 million people have stayed in the building during its lifetime, and it was recently renovated. Both Franklin University (in 1902) and Capital Law School got their start in this building.
Shopping

Lazarus, Town & High Streets
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Simon Lazarus opened a one-room men's clothing store on the corner of Town and High Streets in 1851. The building shown here opened in 1909 with 115,000 square feet of floor space, and Lazarus expanded into women's clothing. In 1912, annual sales passed the one million dollar mark. In 1920 the building was expanded to add cameras, yard goods and records.

In 1929, Lazarus pooled its stock with Abraham & Strauss and Filenes to form Federated Department Stores. In 1934 Lazarus establishes a credit union and begins selling items on credit. To lengthen the holiday shopping season, Fred Lazarus Jr., grandson of Simon Lazarus, launches a campaign to move Thanksgiving to the fourth Thursday beginning in November, 1941. The idea is supported by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

A parking garage was added in 1947, and in 1951 Lazarus sponsers a television show "Look to Lazarus". Beginning in 1960, Lazarus expanded to the suburbs including Northland, Eastland, Westland and Kingsdale Malls.

In 1986, Lazarus merged with Shillito-Rikes, shed 900 jobs and moved its headquarters to Cincinnati. The City Center Mall opened in 1989, including a bridge across High Street which blocks the view of the front of the original store. In 1998, Lazarus reduced the floor space at its flagship store from 933,000 to 300,000 square feet. All Lazarus stores were renamed "Macy's" in 2003. On August 14, 2004, the downtown Lazarus store closed for good. City Center Mall began a steep decline into bankruptcy. The building was turned into offices for the Ohio State University.

As of August, 2007, the City Center Mall sits 77% vacant, leased by Simon Property and GMAC in Indianapolis. The City of Columbus owns the land under the mall, and is suing Simon Property for back rent and for being a neglectful absentee landlord.
Skyscrapers

AIU Citadel / LeVeque Tower
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Designed by C. Howard Crane of Chicago, the American Insurance Union building was designed to be six inches taller than the Washington Monument, 555.5 feet! The steel frame structure rests on 114 foot deep caissons, and contains an adjacent 2800 person capacity theater called the Palace. Completed in the late 1920's, the building was forced to face the depression. In 1935 the American Insurance Union that had built it collapsed. The LeVeque family aquired the structure, and have owned it ever since. The Columbus Association for the Performing Arts purchased the Palace Theater, and it continues to host performances today.

Some more information on the tower is available from Wikipedia and the SkyscraperPage.com.

AIU Citadel
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Civic Center
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Sports

Franklin County Stadium
Red Bird Era
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Built in 1931, this stadium has had several names. From 1931 to 1954 it hosted the Columbus Red Birds, and was known as Red Bird Stadium (the time period this picture was taken).

The Columbus Jets took up residence in 1955 and the stadium was known as "Jets Stadium" during that time. The old stadium needed an estimated $300,000 in repairs by 1969, and race riots in the Summer of 1969 which required a curfew scared suburban fans from attending games. In 1970, the Jets abruptly relocated to Charleston, West Virginia. For 6 years the stadium was left abandoned and deteriorating.

In 1977, Franklin County Commissioner Harold Cooper lead a drive to purchase the Jets and moved them back from Charleston, West Virginia. A 2.6 million dollar renovation made Franklin County Stadium the first minor leage park to have astroturf. The jets were renamed the Columbus Clippers, and in August, 1984, Franklin County Stadium was renamed Cooper Stadium in honor of Harold Cooper's hard work.

Franklin County Stadium
Jets Era
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Same stadium as above picture, but 30 years later.
State Fairgrounds

Coliseum
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State Penitentiary

Dining Hall
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Main entrance
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Street Scenes

Gay Street 1920's
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High & State Streets
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High & State Streets
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Looking North on High St
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Downtown at Night
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Theaters and Public Halls

Columbus Memorial Hall
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Located at 280 E. Broad Street, Veterans Memorial Hall was designed by Frank Packard and served as a memorial to Ohio's fallen soldiers as well as a community auditorium capable of seating 4,200 people (5,000 if floor chairs were used). The structure was dedicated on January 4, 1906 and hosted public performances until 1946. Enrico Caruso performed on May 1, 1908, Isadora Duncan on October 29, 1909 and Marian Anderson on April 4, 1941.

From 1946 to 1956, the building lay unused until the Ohio Historical Society took up occupancy. By that time the heating system no longer functioned, voters had refected a $1,000,000 bond levy in 1956 to update the structure, and the demolition of the "white elephant" seemed imminent.

However, in November 1961 the board of the Ohio Historical Society presented the Franklin County Commissioners with a proposal to renovate the structure into a Center of Science and Industry (COSI). Admission fees and contractual arrangements with the Columbus Public Schools were intended to make the center self sufficient. On March 29, 1964, after spending $1,000,000, COSI opened to the public. A large modern glass enclosure had been constructed on the front of the building, and the atrium space was used for popular exhibits such as the Gemini Capsule and hot air balloons.

COSI left the building for the newly renovated Central High School on November 6, 1999. The building was restored to its original condition, including removal of the glass fascade, and now serves as offices for the City of Columbus and Franklin County.

Keith's Theater
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Loew's Ohio Theater
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