Before and After Google Special: 2007-Present Part 3

In the 3rd installment, we look at the Arena District/Far Northern Downtown area.

Location: N. High and W. Nationwide Blvd, looking northwest.
Date: July 2007

Same location in June 2014.

Location: W. Nationwide Blvd. and N. Front, looking northeast.
Date: July 2007

Same location in May 2014.

Location: W. Nationwide Blvd. and John H. McConnell Blvd., facing north-northwest.
Date: October 2007

Same location in June 2014.

Location: W. Nationwide Blvd. at Neil Avenue, facing north.
Date: October 2007

Same location in July 2014.

Location: W. Nationwide Blvd. at Neil Avenue, facing northwest.
Date: October 2007

Same location in July 2014.

Location: W. Nationwide Blvd. and Huntington Park Lane, facing north.
Date: October 2007

Same location in June 2014.

Location: W. Nationwide Blvd. and Hanover Street, facing south.
Date: October 2007

Same location in June 2014.

Location: W. Nationwide Blvd. and Hanover Street, facing west.
Date: October 2007

Same location in June 2014.

Location: Neil Avenue and Broadbelt Lane, facing west-northwest.
Date: August 2007

Same location in June 2014.

Location: Neil Avenue and Vine Street, facing southwest.
Date: August 2007

Same location in June 2014.

Location: Vine Street and Convention Center Drive, facing south.
Date: October 2007

Same location in June 2014.

Location: N. High and Vine Street, facing west-southwest.
Date: August 2007

Same location in June 2014.

Location: N. High Street at the Convention Center, facing north-northwest.
Date: August 2007

Same location in June 2014.

Before and After Google Special: 2007-Present Part 2

For the 2nd installment, let’s take a look at Downtown.

Location: W. Mound at S. High, facing southwest.
Date: July 2007

Same location in August 2015.

Location: W. Mound at S. High Street, facing northwest.
Date: July 2007

Same location in August 2015.

Location: W. Main at S. High, facing northeast.
Date: July 2007

Same location in August 2015.

Location: W. Main Street, facing west.
Date: July 2007

Same location in August 2015

Location: S. Front and W. Main, facing south.
Date: July 2007

Same location in August 2015.

Location: W. Main and S. Front, facing north.
Date: July 2007

Same location in August 2015.

Location: W. Town and S. Front, facing south.
Date: July 2007

Same location in August 2015.

Location: W. Town and S. High, facing northwest.
Date: March 2009

Same location in August 2015.

Location: W. Town and S. High, facing east.
Date: March 2009

Same location in August 2015.

Location: E. Rich between S. High and 3rd, facing north.
Date: April 2009

Same location in August 2015.

Location: E. Rich and S. 3rd, facing northwest.
Date: March 2009

Same location in August 2015.

Location: Civic Center Drive at the Riverfront, facing north.
Date: July 2007

Same location in August 2015.

Location: Broad and High, facing northeast.
Date: July 2007

Same location in August 2015.

Location: W. Gay and S. Front, facing northwest.
Date: July 2007

Same location in September 2015.

Location: E. Gay and S. 4th, facing east.
Date: August 2007

Same location in August 2015.

Location: E. Gay and N. 5th, facing north.
Date: August 2007

Same location in August 2015.

Location: E. Long and Normandy, facing southeast
Date: July 2007

Same location in August 2015

Location: Cleveland Avenue and E. Gay, looking northwest.
Date: August 2007

Same location in August 2015.

Location: E. Gay and N. Grant, facing south-southwest.
Date: August 2007

Same location in August 2014.

Before and After Google Special: 2007-Present Part 1

Columbus has been changing so quickly the past several years and it’s easy to forget just what the city used to look like in the not so distant past. Let’s take a look!

First up…
Brewery District

Location: App. 507 S. Front Street
Date: July 2007

Same location in August 2015.

Location: App. 546 S. High Street
Date: July 2007

Same Location in August 2015.

Location: W. Sycamore and S. High Street, looking southwest.
Date: July 2007

Same location in August 2015.

Location: 570 S. Front Street
Date: July 2007

Same location in August 2015.

Location: The Clarmont Site, App. 687 S. High Street.
Date: July 2007

Same location in August 2015.

Location: Short Street and W. Livingston Avenue, facing southeast.
Date: July 2007

Same location in August 2015.

Location: App. 299 W. Whittier Street, facing north.
Date: July 2007

Same location in August 2014. Now Scioto Audubon Metro Park.

Before and After- July 2014 Edition

The Hippodrome Theater
Operated from October 26th, 1914 to December 31st, 1933.
Address: 77 N. High Street, Downtown
Seats: 300+
First movie shown: “The Nightingale” with Ethel Barrymore
Last movie shown: Unknown
Opening Admission: 10 cents

Photo of the entrance to the Hippodrome Theater, 1915.

The silent-era Hippodrome Theater was developed by G.E. Overton, who took over the Bonnett Jewelry store that occupied the building previously. News articles at the time of its opening described the d├ęcor in this way:

The little theater, which seats over 300, is neatly decorated in yellow. The lobby is attractive in white marble and the foyer is in yellow and gold. There is no stage; the picture being projected against a large screen as in most picture theaters.

The Hipp, as it was referred by, had a 6-piece orchestra under the direction of W.H. Claspill. It was the first movie theater in Columbus to have an orchestra.

There seems to be a bit of confusion on just when this theater opened. The official first movie shown there was in 1914, but by some accounts, the theater actually opened in April, 1910. Also, there is some mystery on the lone photograph above. Some list it as having been originally taken in 1915, but others have it listed from 1934, after the theater had closed.

The current view of the site.

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The Park Theater
Operated until November 24, 1893. The date it opened is unknown.
Address: 217 N. High Street, Downtown
Seats: Unknown

The Park Theater began operations sometime in the 1880s or very early 1890s, and may have operated long after 1893 if not for a disaster from the building just to its south, the Chittenden Hotel. In 1889, Henry Chittenden purchased the office building of the B&O Railroad, added 2 floors and spent $400,000 (an enormous sum at the time) converting and renovating the building into a luxury hotel. In 1890, a fire broke out and gutted the entire building, but spared neighboring businesses like the Park Theater.

The second Chittenden Hotel. The Park Theater building can be seen on the very right. The photo is from 1892.

Chittenden decided to rebuild, and the 2nd Chittenden Hotel was completed in 1892. This second hotel had its own theater, the Henrietta, which was still partially under construction on November 24th, 1893. That evening at around 8pm, a fire started during a performance there. The fire originated in the auditorium, in an area that was still under construction and spread into the seating area itself. Once the flames breached the theater, strong winds quickly spread the fire and began to burn the hotel as well as surrounding buildings, including the one that housed the Park Theater. By the time the fire burned itself out just the next morning, both theaters, the hotel, a drug store, saloon, shoe house and clothing shop were all completely destroyed.

The second Chittenden and Park Theater, November 1893.

The Park Theater, November 25th, 1893.

Improbably, despite 2 hotels in the same locating burning down, Chittenden rebuilt for yet a 3rd time, with the largest and grandest version of all- not to mention with far better fire-resistant construction. The third time, it seems, was the charm, and the hotel survived from its completion in 1895 to its final demolition in 1973.

The unlucky Park Theater itself never rebuilt, though the lot had a new commercial building in its spot by 1895. That building also faced the wrecking ball in 1973.

The current location of where the Chittenden and Park Theater once stood.

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Before and After: May 2013 Edition

Downtown, more than any other neighborhood, has seen major changes over the years.

Before

The Central German School, or the Central German English Grammar School in 1916. It was located at 400 S. 4th Street.

After

400 S. 4th Street, present day.

The school was originally opened in December, 1863. In 1920, the school began an expansion and opened as an institution for physically challenged children in March, 1922. The building met its demise in December, 1967 to clear the right of way for I-70/I-71. The highway split the northern sections of German Village off from the rest of the neighborhood. Eventually, almost every historic building left to the north of the highway was demolished. One of the few still remaining is the nearby Trinity Lutheran Church at the corner of S. 3rd and E. Fulton Street, which was dedicated on December 20, 1857.

Before

The Southern Theater building in 1905.

After

The Southern Theater building, present day.

The Southern Theater came about out of the ashes of it’s predecessors. Fires had destroyed 5 separate Columbus theaters between 1889 and 1893, and with the sudden absence of major city theaters, the concept of the Southern Theater was born. The theater opened on September 21, 1896 and has changed very little over the years. Today, it is one of the oldest surviving theaters in Ohio. Very few other buildings can be seen in the old photo, but the 1895 building next door on High and Noble also survives.

Before

The Columbus Auditorium at 570 N. Front Street in 1901.

After

570 N. Front Street in 2010.

Opened on March 17, 1885, the Park Roller Skating Rink was a large, beautiful building across from where Nationwide Arena sits today. Originally for amusement, the rink only lasted a bit over a decade before being bought and remodeled to become the Columbus Auditorium in 1897. It’s large expanse of flat roof doomed the building however. After more than 15″ of snow fell on the city from February 16-18, 1910, the roof simply could not handle the load, and collapsed on the 18th. The building was deemed a total loss and was torn down not long after. While the 2010 photo shows a vacant lot, the site now contains a 5-story Nationwide office building that opened in 2012.

Before #1

Before #2

After

The Christopher Inn opened on July 29, 1963 at 300 E. Broad Street (next to the old COSI building). The iconic 140-room circular building was a popular motor inn for many years, and had a circular pool and convention facilities for up to 350 people. The building lasted just under 25 years before it was demolished on July 1, 1988. I haven’t really read why it was torn down, especially considering the site it occupied wouldn’t be developed until 1999. The 1st before photo is interesting because it shows part of Downtown from the 1960s. You can see many old factories, warehouses, commercial buildings and even a handful of remnant mansions from when the area was mostly residential. The vast majority of it is now long gone. When it was all torn down, a lot of the land ended up as surface parking lots for decades. Only within the last few years are some of those lots being redeveloped, including for the Neighborhood Launch project running along Gay Street.

Before

Ohio State Arsenal building, 1898

After

The Ohio State Arsenal building at 139 W. Main Street, seems to have a bit of disagreement as to when it was actually built (1861 vs. 1863), but regardless, it was a Civil War era arsenal that was used for this purpose for well over 100 years. It was put on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974, and became a cultural arts center in 1978, which it remains so to this day.