1954 Construction

An aerial view of Graceland Shopping Center nearing completion in 1954.
From the Citizen Journal Photo Archives at the Grandview Public Library, Grandview, Ohio.
Click image for a larger, and much broader view.

I've selected some detailed blow-ups from this great picture for further commentary. The following picture shows that you could turn into Graceland from High Street at several locations, and there was no traffic light. This quickly became a nightmare, and a light and limitied access were installed pretty soon after the center opened.

Across the street from Graceland was a Howard Johnson's built in the 1930's. It later became a Ground Round and The Melting Pot, and now sits empty but still looks pretty much the same. Behind the HoJo's was the Deaf School, I believe. The portion of the center visible shows the Albers Supermarket with a clock built into it's sign.

Detail showing High Street. On the left side is the Howard Johnson's. There is no traffic light installed yet, and no sign for the center.

This next detail shows the ravine that runs behind Graceland on the north side. This creek was given a formal name in the late 1990's, "Bill Moose Run". It is named after the last wild-born Indian (Wyandotte) in the state of Ohio, Bill Moose, who was born along the banks of the Scioto River near Dublin in 1837, and lived until 1937. He lived in a tin roofed lean-to built into the railroad tracks at the corner of Morse Road and Indianola Avenues in his later years, and spent most of his time sitting in downtown Worthington.

In 1961, it was proposed to locate the northernmost portion of the new I-270 Outerbelt just north of Graceland shopping center, essentially plowing over the deaf school and following and burying the ravine. It wasn't until Governer DeSalle, responding to the please of Clintonville and Worthington residents, moved the corridor north of Worthington in 1964, that a major disaster to the area was averted. Try to imagine I-270 located here, and the affect that would have had on the surrounding area. Yikes!

Detail showing Bill Moose run passing through the ravine north of the center. The original Wesley Glen retirement home can be seen as well. A Farrell's Ice Cream Store and Car Wash would be located in this area. Today, Bob Evans and a fitness center are there.

The next photo shows a trailer park that has been located at the site since before Graceland was built. The architect assumed that a busy connector road would be placed here, to run Morse Road across the Olentangy River and suck customers from the Bethel Road area into Graceland. The trailer park remains today, however (neatly kept I might mention), but the portion on High Street became a Goodyear Service Center. In the late 90's, it was the people on Rathbone Avenue who had to sweat when the car dealers across from the failing Northland Mall tried to shove through a referendum to build a bridge across the Olentangy and replace Rathbone Avenue and its homes with a four lane road. The days of siezing homes en-masse for roads are over, and the proposal was crushed at the poles by an outraged electorate on November 3, 1998.

Detail showing the trailer park on the south side of the center. Just out of the picture to the far right is Rathbone Avenue. The entire area has been coveted for half a century by developers who want to connect Morse and Bethel Roads.