Columbus Ohio Tourism
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Capitol Square

THE IMMEDIATE AREA surrounding the Ohio Statehouse is known as Capitol Square. This is the heart and the reason for the city. The Statehouse is actually the 2nd statehouse to occupy this square plot of ground. The first was constructed in 1816 when the land was still covered with tree stumps and pasture land. That building stood at the southwest corner of Capitol Square and served as the capitol building for a number of years until the existing building was completed in 1861. Construction began in 1839.

Capitol SquareDirectly behind the statehouse, on the east side, is the Senate Building, also called the Statehouse Annex. It was completed in 1901. In 1996 the Statehouse and Senate Building refurbishment was completed that returned the buildings to close to their original designs. For example, the original statehouse had about 53 rooms all lit by sunlight. When the $116 million renovation process began in in the 1990s, there were over 300 rooms in the same square footage as the original. After the renovation, once again there were 53 rooms. The two buildings were also joined by a new structure called the Capitol Atrium that today serves as a protected transitional room between the two buildings and also services as a public meeting room.

Huntington Center

Huntington CenterStanding on the west front porch of the capitol, you'll be facing the 37 story Huntington Center completed in 1984. The lower level and ground floor of the Huntington Center house retail stores and offices. The mezzanine provides access to a hotel and private club with tunnels connecting various government buildings around Capitol Square.

Prior to the Huntington Center, a large hotel was located here called the Neil House. It was actually the 3rd and largest Neil House to occupy the land. The Neil House was named for its founder William "Billy" Neil, one of the most influential city fathers that first came to Columbus in 1818.

Rhodes State Office Tower

State Office TowerThe State Office Tower is currently the tallest building in the downtown at 41 story. It was built in 1974 as state office buildings. The Ohio Supreme Court was located here until the renovation was completed for their new location in the Ohio Judicial Center located on Front Street. At street level their is a statue of former Governor James A. Rhodes for whom the building is named.

Ringside Cafe

Ringside CafeOn the west side of the State Office Tower, is North Pearl Alley. About a half block in there is a small restaurant called the Ringside Cafe. Ringside Cafe was built in 1910 after another bar located there burned down. The small cafe was first known as the Chamber of Commerce Cafe which was located in the Board of Trade Building where the State Office Building now stands. However, the Chamber of Commerce objected to the small establishment using its name, so the owners covered up the"Chamber of Commerce" part of the name with carvings of grapes and grapevines, leaving the word "CAFE".

After Prohibition, new owners took over and changed the name to "Ringside Cafe" because prizefights were held in the Board of Trade auditorium.

Ohio Theatre

Ohio TheatreOriginally built in 1928 and called the Loew's Ohio Theatre. The terra-cotta Beaux-Arts exterior is a bit misleading as to the opulent interior described as Moorish Baroque. Today the theatre is called the ohio Theatre and is a National Historic Landmark.

Columbus Dispatch

Columbus DisptachLocated directly across from the Senate Building Annex, the Columbus Dispatch Building was built in 1925 in the Second Renaissance Revival style.

The large neon sign atop the building has become an iconic landmark of the downtown. All of the newspapers printing facilities are now located in a 400,000 square foot facility on the west side of Columbus.

Old Post Office

Old Post OfficeOriginal building was built in 1887 and served as the city's main post office. In 1907, the structure was added to that doubled the post office. The detailed enlargement to the structure thoroughly integrated the original Romanesque Revival style with the new High Victorian Gothic style. In 1986 the building was again renovated for law offices.

Trinity Episcopal Church

Trinity Episcopal ChurchFirst built in 1869, the Episcopal parish founded in 1834, built this building to become their home. It took 3 years to complete the sandstone Gothic Revival building. The building continues to serve the spiritual needs of many people in the downtown area. Trinity contains many artistic works of historic significance. One of which is an 18th century Russian icon on display above the credence table.