Columbus – February 2021 – Nosing Around Town in the Cold and Snow

After 4 months of hanging around the house building wooden toys to avoid the cold, snow and covid, it was time to wander around town for a couple of hours on this cold, sunny Sunday afternoon.

It is time to nose around in the snow…

One cold, lonely deer statue.

A colorful house on a dreary day (actually better than most – there is a bit of sun)

In the summer there are signs all around this pond saying ‘no wading, no swimming’ – no need for those today.

Plenty of bike shares available.

The statues standing sentry at the statehouse.

It feels like a Russian Winter.

Winter – the time of year if the streets aren’t covered in snow they are white from all the salt to melt the snow, and rust the cars.

Central Ohio – October 2020 – Views From Above Part 3

The drone tour of Central Ohio continues….

Highbanks Metro Park, with the first tree changing colors for fall

Big Meadows in Highbanks

The sheep farm across the road from Highbanks Park is the last bastion of the former rural atmosphere. The entire area around it is now suburbia.

The largest office building in Ohio – a horizontal skyscraper. The Chase offices in Polaris has 2 million square feet of office space. To compare the tallest building in the state is Key Tower in Cleveland (947’/289m) only has 1.5 million square feet.

Note the entire roof is covered in solar panels and the parking lots and garages to the right are being covered in solar panels.

Ohio gets cold, Ohio gets snow, but alas – no mountains, so this qualifies as a ski resort. Snowtrails near Mansfield.

Mansfield Reservoir

A covered bridge in Union County.

Just down the road from the covered bridge is this corn maze (Maize maze?)

A berry field with a pumpkin sales.

A grain elevator in Urbana, Ohio.

Literally turning to the right you get a view of the old train station, the vacant factory and the rest of the town.

A massive shrub nursery surrounds the town of New Carlisle.

Deceased people and cars.

This view of Madison County shows Interstate 70 along the upper right, US 40 (The National Road) through the left middle, and an airport runway running along side – all in perfect East-West orientations.

Scioto Downs Horse Race Track and Casino (newer building on the left)

The 105,000 seat Ohio Stadium. The GPS in the drone would not allow me to fly any closer without seriously violating FAA rules (which I did not!)

Franklin Park Conservatory

A view along East Broad Street in Columbus

New apartments surrounding Columbus Commons Park.

We end this tour with a view of downtown Columbus, including the State Capitol surrounded by 30 to 40 floor buildings.

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.

Columbus – August 2020 – Sunday Morning Lake Views

Sunday morning at O’Saughnessy Reservoir.

With a lack of rain the dam wasn’t allowing any water to flow downriver, giving an unusual view of the rocks.

The nature preserve was busy.

The marina was just coming to life for the day.

The sunflowers are in bloom.

They attract the colorful Goldfinch that unfortunately destroys the flowers pecking at the petals.

Columbus – July 2020 – Sports Venues Past and Present

Today we take a look at the extensive history of sports venues in Columbus. While many are associated with Ohio State University, the city has a long history of professional sports.

 

Baseball

For more than 150 years they have played professional baseball in Columbus – all at the minor league level.

The first true stadium in the city was one of the first in the country to be constructed of concrete and steel. Previously many were built of wood, and often burnt down.

The stadium was called Neil Park.  It was located on Cleveland Avenue just north of downtown.

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This stadium was the home to professional baseball until the 1930s. Today there is no sign of any history of the venue, now being a facility for Abbott Labs

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The next stadium was built on the near west side of the city, along Mound Street. It was originally named Redbirds Stadium, as the team was a farm team for the St Louis Cardinals, and were called the Columbus Redbirds.

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The stadium served the city until 2008, although it changed names a few times, usually when the team changed names. From 1955 until 1970 they were the Columbus Jets

 

 

Finally it was named after a county commissioner who was able to secure a team in the 1970s after a 6 year absence, Harold Cooper.

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Today it sits vacant, partially torn down. It has been the subject of numerous schemes for redevelopment over the years, but nothing has come of it.

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The current stadium is called Huntington Park (the naming rights were sold to a local bank). It is located much closer to downtown, in the middle of a large area of gentrification.

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Professional Football

The National Football League generates the most revenue of any sports league in the world, with it’s 32 teams scattered across the United States. But the NFL did not start out that way – they started in an assortment of cities and towns scattered around the Great Lakes, including Columbus.

For 12 years their headquarters was in  the historic New Hayden Building.

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The Columbus team was comprised mostly of railroad workers who worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad’s Panhandle Division. So named because it traversed the Northern West Virginia panhandle, the railroad had a large yard on the south side of the city.

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While most of the teams in the league were made up of former college players, the Panhandles were tough railroad workers who quickly became known for their physical play. Their logo was reflective of the Pennsylvania Railroad Logo

 

Because they worked for the railroad, and had free travel on the trains, they played most of their games in other cities. Their home field in Columbus was at Indianola Park, an amusement park located just north of the city.

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Today the former Amusement Park and NFL home is a strip mall and church.

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College Football

What Columbus lacks in professional football it makes up in college football. Ohio State  football. The budget for athletics at Ohio State is over $200m a year, with the football program generating much of that revenue. But it wasn’t always that way.

The first team was fielded in 1890, with 22 players making the trip to the nearby town of Delaware, Ohio for a game again Ohio Wesleyan College.

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Later that year they had their first home game. It occurred a few miles away from campus at a field in German Village – now home to a grocery store.

 

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Football quickly became popular and the university built their own stadium – Ohio Field. This field was located on North High Street – near 17th Avenue.

Most people sat around the field until 1907 when the first stands were built. As college football continued to be very popular and by the time the stadium was abandoned in 1921 it has seating for 14,000.

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Today a parking garage and campus buildings occupy the site.

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With much debate and fanfare the university opened Ohio Stadium in 1922, with an astounding 62,000 seats. Many thought they would never fill it, but by the last game of the year again Michigan they did.

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Today it seats over 105,000.

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Ohio State football is such a big deal they have this airplane hangar sized indoor practice facility, complete with a statue of legendary coach Woody Hayes out front.

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Arenas

Columbus is home to a number of arenas that have served the city and university over the years.

The State Fairgrounds Coliseum (aka – Taft Coliseum) was built in 1918 with 5000 permanent seats. It has hosted everything from Ohio State basketball to minor league hockey games to horse shows, and one of the venues for ‘The Arnold’.

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St Johns Arena

The Fairgrounds Coliseum served as the home to Ohio State basketball until the 1950s when St Johns Arena was completed on campus.

It was opened in 1956, named for a former basketball coach and athletic director. The 13,276 seats are very cool old school wood.

Once Scottenstein Center was completed, the arena has been relegated to secondary sports like gymnastics and volleyball.

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Nationwide Arena

The only major league team in town, the Columbus Blue Jackets, play their home games at Nationwide Arena. Completed in 2000 for the expansion Blue Jackets it is typical of the arena’s built in the last 25 years – with a large number of luxury suites, and quirky designs including an ear piercing cannon that they shoot off when they score.

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Schottenstein Center – Value City Arena

This 20,000 seat arena opened just a couple of years before Nationwide Arena, so the city has 2 very large indoor venues.

When they were planning both arenas the city wanted the site to be downtown, whereas the university wanted it on campus – 3 miles north. When the university didn’t get what they wanted they ‘took their ball and went home’.

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Soccer

Mapfre Stadium

When the MLS started in the 1990s all of the teams played in stadiums built for American football. The Columbus Crew was no different, playing in the 105,000 seat Ohio Stadium.

In 1999 they became the first MLS team to build a soccer specific stadium. This 20,000 seat stadium sits on part of the Ohio State Fairgrounds. Ironically they sometimes played high school football here as well.

In 2015 they sold the naming rights to an insurance company, hence ‘Mapfre Stadium’.

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After shaking down the city and state with a threat to move to Austin, Texas the Crew has received 1/2 of the $200m required to build a new stadium downtown.

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The artist renderings show what a difference it will be.

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Jesse Owens Stadium

Our last venue is on the Ohio State campus, Jesse Owens Stadium. This facility is home to track and field, as well as soccer.

In front is a statue and Ohio Historical Marker detailing the amazing feats of Jesse in the 1936 Olympics.

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Columbus – July 2020 – Birds and Buds of the Backyard

Continuing to stay close to home doesn’t mean you can’t find subjects for photography. Sitting on the patio on a Saturday morning checking out the birds and buds of the backyard.

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It has been 4 months since returning from Argentina. With ‘nothing else to do’ I, like many people around the world, have taken to gardening – a new skill for me.

Everything has been grown from seeds. All of these buds are from the same ‘family’.

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The first couple sunflowers have fully bloomed – guessing many more are soon to appear.

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As a new gardener I made the mistake of planting seeds in the small planter on the right and throwing away the packaging – the mystery plant has yet to be identified via the apps on the phone. I could be carefully cultivating weeds for all I know.

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