Friday, September 02, 2011

Segway Tour - Part 1

We left the Convention Center with Able Jim leading the pack. We resembled a Momma Duck with her little ones trailing behind.

Passing by the Nationwide plaza, we stopped to look at the Elevator Brewery. The Elevator Brewer and Draught Haus finds its home in the historic Columbia building, built in 1897 by the Bott family to house the Bott Brother’s Billiards and a gentleman’s saloon. The Building houses a beautiful hand-carved, hand-split Philippine mahogany bar which was created to serve the whiskey distilled on the second floor. The saloon enjoyed a brisk business from the turn of the century until the advent of prohibition in 1920. The building, rich in history, is on the National Registry of Historic Landmarks and has been restored to much of its original grandeur. Among the original architectural elements that remain today are the beautiful bar, intricate mosaic tile floor, much of the stained glass and of course the decorative ceiling. The luxurious back-bar won the coveted blue ribbon for craftsmanship at the 1893 World Colombian Exposition in Chicago. Many myths and legends surround this historic building, including the presence of ghosts and spirits. (I am most certain spirits are still here!)

The Old and New Hayden buildings are located across from the Ohio Statehouse. The New Hayden Building served as the original offices of the National Football League. They were built in 1869 and 1901 respectively and both are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

We Segwayed around the Ohio Statehouse and the Veterans Plaza. The statue of William McKinley was most interesting.

The location of the McKinley statue is particularly important. The statue gazes west across High Street to the site of the former Neil House Hotel, where William McKinley and his wife Ida lived when McKinley was in Columbus. Ida McKinley's health declined greatly during her time as First Lady of Ohio. She was frail, and often bed ridden. Her devoted husband, hesitant to leave her side, every morning when he was required at the Statehouse, would make a point of waving to his wife as she gazed out the second story window of their hotel window.

The U.S. Post Office and Courthouse was built in 1887. Also known as the Old, Old Post Office, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

The LeVeque Tower is a 47-story Art Deco-style building. It was the tallest building in Columbus from 1927 until 1974 when the Rhodes State Office Tower was completed. The LeVeque Tower is 555 feet 6 inches (169.32 m) tall, which at the time of its completion made it the tallest building between New York City and Chicago and the fifth tallest building in the world. It was meant to be built exactly one half foot taller than the Washington Monument in D.C.

We stopped by City Hall to observe a fine statue of Christopher Columbus. This was a gift of the citizens of Genoa, Italy to the City which so proudly bears the name of Columbus. Jim pointed out that the head was smaller than the body. Dan had the answer. Seems that the process of making a statue is very labor intensive. When an order would be received, sculptors would use precast bodies and then mold the head to fit.

Tomorrow we continue the tour and glide through Battelle Riverfront Park. This peaceful park has been utilized by walkers, photographers, and families and is located between North Bank Park and Bicentennial Park which is connecting the Scioto Trail and Scioto Mile Promenade on the east bank of the river.

See ya tomorrow!


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