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Columbus, Ohio

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Columbus in Ohio.

 

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Columbus is the capital and largest city in the U.S. state of Ohio. The broader metropolitan area encompasses several counties and is the third largest in Ohio behind Cincinnati and Cleveland. Columbus is the third largest city in the American Midwest, and the 15th largest city in the United States of America.

Culture

Landmarks

Columbus is home to several notable buildings, including the Greek Revival State Capitol, the art-deco Ohio Judicial Center and the Peter Eisenman-designed Wexner Center and Greater Columbus Convention Center. Other buildings of interest include the Rhodes State Office Tower, LeVeque Tower, and One Nationwide Plaza.

The Ohio Statehouse construction began in 1839 on a 10 acre (40,000-m²) plot of land donated by four prominent Columbus landowners. This plot formed Capitol Square, which was not part of the original layout of the city. Built of Columbus limestone from the Marble Cliff Quarry Co., the Statehouse stands on foundations 18 feet (5 m) deep, laid by prison labor gangs rumored to have been composed largely of masons jailed for minor infractions. The Statehouse features a central recessed porch with a colonnade of a forthright and primitive Greek Doric mode. A broad and low central pediment supports the windowed astylar drum under an invisibly low saucer dome that lights the interior rotunda. Unlike many U.S. state capitol buildings, the Ohio State Capitol owes little to the architecture of the national Capitol. During the long course of the Statehouse's 22 years of construction, seven architects were employed. Relations between the legislature and the architects were not always cordial: Nathan B. Kelly, who introduced heating and an ingenious system of natural forced ventilation, was dismissed because the commissioners found his designs too lavish for the original intentions of the committee. The Statehouse was opened to the legislature and the public in 1857 and finally completed in 1861. It is located at the intersection of Broad and High Streets in downtown Columbus.

Founded in 1975, The Jefferson Center for Learning and the Arts is a campus of nonprofit organizations and a center for research, publications, and seminars on nonprofit leadership and governance. Located at the eastern edge of downtown Columbus, The Jefferson Center has restored 11 turn-of-the-century homes, including the childhood residence of James Thurber. These locations are used for nonprofits in human services, education and the arts.

A to-scale replica of the Santa Maria is found on the Scioto Riverfront. It was installed in 1992 to commemorate the 500-year anniversary of the discovery of America by Columbus's namesake.

Within the Driving Park heritage district lies the original home of Eddie Rickenbacker, the famous WWI fighter pilot ace. Reconstruction of the home is underway.

Museums

The Columbus Museum of Art opened in 1931, and has a collection focusing on European and American art up to early modernism. The Wexner Center for the Arts, a contemporary art gallery and research facility, is located on the Campus of The Ohio State University. Also on campus is the Ohio State University Athletics Hall of Fame, located in the Jerome Schottenstein Center (home of the OSU basketball and men's ice hockey teams), as well as the Jack Nicklaus museum next door.

Located in Franklin Park, the Franklin Park Conservatory is a botanical garden which opened in 1895, situated on 88 acres (36 ha) just east of Downtown.

COSI, (Center of Science and Industry), is a large science museum. The present building, the former Central High School, was completed in November 1999, opposite downtown on the west bank of the Scioto River.

The Ohio Historical Society is headquartered in Columbus, with its flagship museum, the 250,000-square-foot (23,000-m²) Ohio Historical Center, located 4 miles (6 km) north of downtown. Along with the museum is Ohio Village, a replica of a village around the time of the American Civil War.

The Kelton House Museum and Garden is a museum devoted to Victorian life. Built in 1852, it was home to three generations of the Kelton Family and was a documented station on the Underground Railroad. In 1989, Columbus hosted the "Son of Heaven: Imperial Arts of China," a cultural exchange display from China featuring the artifacts of the ancient Chinese emperors.

Parks and outdoor attractions

The Columbus and Franklin County Metropolitan Park District includes Inniswood Metro Gardens, a collection of public gardens; Highbanks Metro Park; Battelle-Darby Creek Metro Park; as well as many others. The Big Darby Creek in the southwestern part of town is considered to be especially significant for its beauty and ecological diversity. Clintonville is home to Whetstone Park, which includes the Park of Roses, a beautiful 13-acre (53,000 m2) rose garden. The Chadwick Arboretum is located on the OSU campus, and features a large and varied collection of plants. Downtown, the famous painting Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte is represented in topiary at Columbus's Old Deaf School Park. Also near downtown, a new Metro Park on the Whittier Peninsula is scheduled opened in 2009. The park includes a large Audubon nature center focused on the excellent bird watching that the area is known for.

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is world renowned for its collections that include lowland gorillas, polar bears, manatees, Siberian tigers, cheetahs, and kangaroos. Its director emeritus, Jack Hanna, frequently appears on national television, including on The Tonight Show and The Late Show with David Letterman. In 2009, it was ranked as the best zoo in the United States.[19] Also in the zoo complex is the Zoombezi Bay water park and amusement park.

Performing arts

Columbus is the home of many renowned performing arts institutions including the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, Opera Columbus, BalletMet Columbus, the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra, CATCO, Columbus Children's Theatre, Shadowbox Cabaret and the Columbus Jazz Orchestra. Throughout the summer, the Actors' Theatre offers free performances of Shakespearean plays in an open-air amphitheatre located in German Village.

The Columbus Youth Ballet Academy was founded in the 1980s by internationally celebrated ballerina and artistic director Shir Lee Wu, a discovery of Martha Graham. Wu is now the artistic director of the Columbus City Ballet School, while her instruction remains in strong demand globally. Her students of the last couple decades have furthered their education at institutions such as The Juilliard School, School of American Ballet, Houston Ballet Academy, and Pacific Northwest Ballet Ballet School, while some have gone on to perform with companies including the New York City Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Martha Graham Contemporary Dance Company, and BalletMet Columbus. Her students have won gold medals at the Youth American Grand Prix competition in New York, while others have been finalists in competitions such as the Concord De Dance de Paris.

There are many large concert venues in Columbus, including arenas such as Nationwide Arena and Jerome Schottenstein Center. The Lifestyle Communities Pavilion (the LC for short) (formerly the PromoWest Pavilion), Veterans Memorial Auditorium, Mershon Auditorium, and the Newport Music Hall round out the city's music performance spaces.

In May 2009, the Lincoln Theatre, which was formerly a center for Black culture in Columbus, was reopened to the public after extensive restoration. Not far from the Lincoln Theatre is the King Arts Complex, which hosts various cultural events. The city also has a number of theatres downtown, including the historic Palace Theatre, the Ohio Theatre, and the Southern Theatre. Broadway Across America frequently presents touring Broadway musicals in these larger venues. The Vern Riffe Center for Government and the Arts houses the Capitol Theatre and three smaller studio theatres, providing a home for resident performing arts companies.

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