Urbana, Ohio – October 2020 – Random Views of Champaign County and beyond

Todays road trip through the country takes us to the town of Urbana, county seat of Champaign County. Full disclosure – some of the photos are likely from border counties as I was on country roads without county line markers.

Each little town seemed to have a commercial block of 100 year old buildings, this one with a restored clock tower.

Talk about a barn find for the Ohio countryside – an old Mercedes with late 1980s license plates!

An abandoned school in a crossroads town.

This stylish little building was in the small town of Mechanicsburg.

Normally ‘Quilt Barns’ are much larger than this, but the contrast of the farm implements added to the look of this one.

Not too many farms date from 1814 in Ohio.

Eventually I reached the town of Urbana. As with most county seats it seemed to have the best collection of buildings in the area. Some nicely restored, some not so much, it was worth the stop.

The Hotel Sowles dates from around 1800, it is said to have hosted every Ohio governor from the beginning of the state until 1900. A community effort resulted in this great old building being restored.

This former bank in an Art Deco look is now a law office.

The Perpetual Federal Savings and Loan has been located in Urbana for 140 years. The building is generally designed in a Roman Corinthian style, but with classical touches. A true midwest building it is built out of Minnesota granite and Indiana limestone situated in a small Ohio town.

Personally I think the Yellow Mini sets it off nicely.

This classic Gulf Gas Station from the 1970s is still in use as an auto repair shop.

The local airport is home to a small museum where they are restoring a B-17.

This small theater started life in 1904, However in the 1930s it was destroyed in a fire, and was rebuilt in 1941 – hence the Art Deco look.

It is currently undergoing restoration.

Urbana has a number of great ghost signs.

This vacant, decaying building once housed a company that provided galvanized iron for railroad use.

Just across the street is the former train station, now a coffee shop. This station served the Pennsylvania Railroad for many decades.

Our time in Urbana is over, time to move on.

Mansfield, Ohio – September 2020 – Surprising Interesting Architecture

Mansfield, Ohio is another old industrial city, where much of the industry has left. Mansfield, unlike many of those towns, has managed to keep much of their downtown buildings in use and in excellent condition.

We start with an impressive old house that is currently undergoing restoration – it will be grand when finished.

St Peters Catholic Church

The Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Building

The tallest building in town – the Farmers Bank Building

This building dates from 1926.The upper level cornices are very detailed.

Mansfield is very proud that the movie Shawshank Redemption was filmed in the area, including Central Park.

Around this nice space are a couple of Art Deco style buildings.

We end our tour with a number of restored buildings along North Main Street.

Central Ohio – September 2020 – Views from Above Part 2

Part 2 of the Drone Views of Central focus more on structures.

Up first is the Perkins Observatory near the city of Delaware, Ohio. Completed in the 1920s it once had the 3rd largest telescope in the world, but they discovered Ohio’s cloudy weather, and light pollution from Columbus made it impractical.

The Delaware tour continues with the football stadium for the small college called Ohio Wesleyan. It too dates from the 1920s – with the claim to fame that all 9000 seats are between the 15 yard lines.

The Delaware County Fairgrounds is home to one of the largest harness races in the country with the Little Brown Jug. The race will occur this year, without spectators.

Somewhat of a continuation of the posting from earlier this year of Columbus Sports Venues is this birds eye view of a few of them, starting with the vacant and partially torn down former Cooper baseball stadium.

From above it is easy to see the outline of the field. The stands continued around the first base side – but were torn down years ago.

Not far away is the new stadium, Huntington Park.

The Ohio State Fairgrounds is home to Mapre Stadium – the Columbus Crew soccer stadium.

The new stadium is under construction just down the street from Huntington Park.

All over town you see ‘brown field in fills’, taking either vacant in town property or tearing down existing structures to build new apartments and condos.

Another brown field redevelopment near Grandview Heights.

Even suburban Dublin, Ohio has gotten into this, with this large new area called Bridge Park replacing a car dealership and shopping center.

A park in Dublin is home to Chief Leatherlips, who was a renown leader of the local Wyandot. This interesting sculpture of him goes down the side of a hill.

O’Saughnessy Dam and Bridge – This is one of my favorite of the recent drone photos.

In this part of Ohio we grow plastic houses in our fields.

The confluence of the Scioto and Olentangy Rivers. Clearly low water season.

From Bicentennial Park. The building on the left of the river is Center of Science and Industry (AKA – COSI).

The drone does provide some nice views of the bridges and buildings.

German Village is one of the most interesting neighborhoods in town – but tough to shoot with the drone because of all of the trees.

I will recreate later in fall after the leaves drop.

We end up in suburbia – with the distant view of the skyline of downtown along the horizon.

Central Ohio – September 2020 – Views From Above Part 1

Today’s posting is a collection of drone views from various points around Central Ohio.

We start with a number of Metro Parks.

Below is a smaller one called Homestead Metro Park. The large white bubble in the back right is an indoor tennis court.

There are numerous covered bridges in Central Ohio, and they are popular enough they build new ones on trails as shown in the center here.

Nearby is Prairie Oaks, featuring this lake for fishing.

The northern end of the park crosses Big Darby Creek with a unique bridge (I need a drone with a zoom!). This cable stay suspension bridge has towers 86′ above the creek.

As the name suggests Prairie Oaks is in the middle of fields with some trees.

The late summer colors were vivid.

The last of the Metro Parks for this day is Darby Creek.

Darby Creek is famed for their bison (again – drone with a zoom is needed).

The park was once a massive farm/estate of the Galbraith family, who owned (among other things) race horses.

Closer into town is this interesting view from above. My first thought when I saw the photo is it looks like a graveyard.

From the ground we see the concrete corn cob sculptures – indeed a graveyard for the farmlands of Ohio.

There are a number of abandoned quarries around Columbus. This one is partially filled with water.

Another mystery from above

It is a Native American mound. The natives in this area were prolific mound builders, this one (Shrum) being one of the smaller ones.

The military cemetery portion of Greenlawn Cemetery from the ground.

Much more impressive from 200′ up.

The drone views will continue with part 2 in a day or two.

Columbus – September 2020 – Murals Part 2

The mural tour continues downtown and in Short North and beyond.

James ‘Buster’ Douglas was a heavyweight boxing champion from Columbus. A restaurant in an alley downtown has him taking down Mike Tyson!

Around the corner is a blues bar with a full back wall of murals.

Graffiti on the walls that seems to have itself been graffitied.

In the Short North area nearly every street corner along High Street has a mural or two.

Gentrified murals.

Sideway Mona Lisa in an alley.

The BLM movement has resulted in numerous additions to the collection, with relevant social commentary.

The artist Daniel Rona has many murals throughout the city feature characters with X’s for eyes.

How true – live every day like it is your last!

A retaining wall along Broadway showing the history of the Clintonville neighborhood.

This drive through carry out on Parsons Avenue had an eclectic collection of people, and the used car lot next door’s collection of cars.

Columbus College of Art and Design (CCAD) has an entire alley of fantastic murals.

Next stop – the Milo Grogan neighborhood, and an artist group’s collection.

This food pantry had a nice mural, with the well placed left over paint bucket.

Our final mural is along a gym in Grandview Heights.

Columbus – September 2020 – Franklinton Murals

In the continuing effort to find subjects and maintain social distancing I have found that there are at least 600 murals scattered across Ohio. This posting will be the first in a series featuring some of these murals.

We start in the Franklinton neighborhood in Columbus. This neighborhood is home to a number of artist groups, but is going through a significant amount of gentrification, so they may be in danger of being priced out.

A few of the first group is in fact from a new residential building’s exterior walls.

Throughout the neighborhood is a mix of old and new, both celebrating the art.

Eastern Ohio Towns – August 2020 – Architecture Along the National Road

The final posting on the National Road day is of architecture in the towns and small cities along the way. Much like in Wheeling, there is both nicely restored and the delightfully appealing vacant buildings.

Every county has restored their historic courthouse – could be a theme for a posting of it’s own in the future – the 88 courthouses of Ohio.

St Clairsville, Ohio

Morrisville, Ohio

Cambridge, Ohio

Zanesville, Ohio

Wheeling, West Virginia – August 2020 – Architecture

Wheeling, West Virginia is typical of a number of cities in the Ohio River Valley and on into Pennsylvania – it has had a population drop for decades.

Peaking out at about 62,000 people, the city now has about 25,000, which is less than lived there in 1880. As a result there are a number of old buildings, many vacant.

Beautifully restored, or interestingly vacant, it makes for great photography. In addition there are more ‘ghost signs’ in Wheeling that anywhere I have ever seen.

National Road Revisit – August 2020 – Views from the Ground and Above

In 2015 we did a trip across Ohio on the National Road – the original cross country road. This posting is a revisit focusing on the bridges, using the drone for additional views.

The National Road eventually gave way to U.S.40, which in turn was replaced by Interstate 70. All 3 have been considered ‘The National Road’.

We start out again in Wheeling, West Virginia with the Wheeling Suspension Bridge. It was the longest suspension bridge in the world when completed in 1849.

Currently it is closed to vehicle traffic – making a perfect place to stand in the middle of the bridge for photos.

This view from the Wheeling Island side is 60′ up with the drone.

Just west of Wheeling, back in Ohio, is the Blaine Viaduct. This bridge was built in the 1930s to carry U.S. 40 traffic. Below it is the original National Road S Bridge from 1828, and just to the right (out of the photo) is Interstate 70.

The Viaduct bridge has massive concrete arches.

The views of the S Bridge from the drone.

Once you crossed the S bridge there was a steep incline of the road, made completely out of bricks. A portion of the Viaduct is visible in the background.

Further west U.S. 40 the road becomes abandoned.

The view from the drone shows why, I-70 was built directly over top it’s path.

Reaching Guernsey County we find another fantastic stone S Bridge.

This bridge still has a road on it, but it has been closed off to traffic.

Our final S bridge is located just west of the town of New Concord. Again U.S. 40 is literally next to it.

Our final bridge is the famed Y Bridge in Zanesville. This is actually the 5th Y Bridge built at this site.