COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio History Connection’s Ohio History Center and Ohio Village are among the most recent properties added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 5.
The National Register is the official list recognized by the federal government as worthy of preservation for local, state or national significance in American history, architecture, archaeology, engineering or culture.
“The recognition on the National Register brings well-deserved attention to the iconic architecture of the Ohio History Center and establishes its storied place in Ohio architecture,” said Megan Wood, Executive Director and CEO of the Ohio History Connection.
The Ohio History Center and Ohio Village are on a 55-acre campus at 800 E. 17th Ave., approximately 3 miles north of downtown Columbus and adjacent to the Ohio Expo Center and State Fairgrounds and Interstate 71.
“The Ohio History Center and Ohio Village created architectural expressions – one ultra-modern anticipating Ohio’s future and one looking to Ohio’s past – and both designed to achieve the Ohio History Connection’s mission to tell stories from the state’s history,” said Barbara Powers, Department Head for Inventory & Registration in the Ohio History Connection’s State Historic Preservation Office.
The Ohio History Center, which originally was known as the Ohio Historical Center, serves as the headquarters for the Ohio History Connection and houses a museum, a library, the state archives and the State Historic Preservation Office.
Designed by W. Byron Ireland & Associates, the 5-story building features 283,609 square feet of interior space. Construction of the cast-in-place concrete structure, which contains post-tension concrete beams to support it, began in 1966 and was completed in 1970.
The Ohio History Center is a magnificent example of late modernist architecture expressed through its concrete construction and bold, geometric appearance, with three main sections: a delta-shaped first floor, a second-floor plaza level and a cantilevered block with the third through fifth floors. The three upper floors appear to float above the second floor.
The American Institute of Architects awarded the Ohio History Center a design prize in 1972, and in 1994, it honored the building with an AIA 25-year award to recognize its enduring excellence in architectural design and engineering.
Meanwhile, Ohio Village opened on the grounds in 1974 as living-history community designed to create a setting for historic interpretation.
It is a collection of replicated mid-to-late 1800s buildings modeled after a typical Ohio town’s structures of the time.
Originally planned to replicate a pre-Civil War Ohio village, its buildings have been updated to the 1890s. Its architecture includes interpretations of Greek Revival, Italianate, Gothic Revival and other vernacular Ohio examples, along with other building types such as a salt box, I-House and Upright and Wing.
Together, the Ohio History Center and Ohio Village created a complex described as “one of the finest historical centers in the nation.”
For interviews, photos or more information about the new National Register listing, contact Neil Thompson, manager of media and public relations, at [email protected] or 614-297-2330.
About the Ohio History Connection
The Ohio History Connection, formerly the Ohio Historical Society, is a statewide history organization with the mission to spark discovery of Ohio’s stories. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization chartered in 1885, the Ohio History Connection carries out history services for Ohio and its citizens focused on preserving and sharing the state’s history. This includes housing the State Historic Preservation Office, and the official state archives and managing more than 50 sites and museums across Ohio. For more information, go to ohiohistory.org. The Greater Columbus Arts Council provides support for Ohio History Connection programs.