Columbus Ohio Tourism
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Spirit of 98 Statehouse Statue

Discovery Plaza

Located alon the south side of the Ohio Statehouse, is a hammered copper plate statue of Christopher Columbus made from hammered copper plates that were riveted together, sitting atop of a a granite base. The statue was commissioned by Monsignor Joseph Jessing in 1892 and was originally on display at Pontifical College Josephinum Courtyard when the college was located on E. Main Street. When Josephinum moved to its present location north of I-270 in Worthington in 1932, they college made a gift of the statue to Ohio.

Christopher Columbus Statue Statehouse CapitolThe base the statue now sits upon was created in 1992 to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus' voyage to the Western Hemiphere looking for a shorter route to India.

The base also has a cascadin waterfall flowing down over cut faced stone. Embedded in the stone are multiple stones with etchings that represent the significant contributions made by Ohioan's.

Examples include a small phonograph record and an early lightbulb. There is also an etching of a book of matches and a rubber tire.

Before the installation of the new base, there was a more modest base made of cut limestone that had the same basic design pattern found on the new base. With the installation of the new base, the copper sculture was restored to its original color which had long disappeared and old Chris was a bright tourquoise thanks to the copper tarnishing.

The west side inscription reads:

The spirit of discovery has the power to change the course of human history as demonstrated by the voyages of Christopher Columbus whose imagination shattered the boundaries of the western world Modern history has been shaped by one man's courage to pursue a dream.

The south side inscription reads:


A dream shared by later generations who explored a vast continent where freedom and opportunity beckoned to those with the courage and immagination to venture westward.

The east side inscription reads:


Westward into Ohio came the successors to the spirit of Columbus, naming the capitol city of the new state after the man who symbolized the spirit of the frontier…

The north side inscription reads:


Frontiers explored by later generations of Ohioans extend beyond land and water to a new world whose potential remains to be unlocked by the spirit of discovery.

Discovery Plaza Etchings

Among the most prominent features of the Ohio Statehouse and Capitol Square is the symbolism found in the historic statues, monuments and markers expressing the ways different generations of Ohioans have understood their history and own experiences, and how they wished to be remembered.

Surrounding the Ohio Statehouse are numerous statues and monuments. As part of a new program, you can telephone the statues and they will tell you in some detail about the subject. Here are the numbers:

The Ohio Statehouse is open from
7 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends.

See also:

Veterans Plaza

World War I Doughboy

Spirit of 98

William McKinley Statue

My Jewels


Touring the Ohio Statehouse

Abraham Lincoln's Connection with the Ohio Statehouse