Columbus’ rich and storied history has left it with a great many significant historical locations for visitors to explore. Whether you’re an avid history buff or you simply want to know Columbus on a more intimate level, these historic locations in the downtown area are certainly worth the visit.
Immediately south of downtown Columbus sits the German Village. During the mid-to-late 1800s, this area of Columbus was a very popular destination for German immigrants who made their mark on the area in beautiful ways. From the Bavarian architecture to the cobblestone streets, it’s not difficult to find a piece of history wherever you walk in this quaint section of Columbus. Locations of particular interest in German Village are the commercial strip on Livingston Avenue, the Huntington Gardens in Schiller Park, and Frank Fetch Park.
THE OHIO STATEHOUSE
Head to the Ohio Statehouse for one of the area’s most memorable historical buildings. The Statehouse was completed in 1861 in the Greek Revival style, a common architectural style in the mid-1800s. The Ohio House and Senate began meeting in their new chambers in the Statehouse in 1857. The structure is unique and recognizable due to the rotunda that sits atop the building. Visitors wanting to learn more about the building and Ohio’s history can do so at the museum in the Ohio Statehouse.
KELTON HOUSE MUSEUM & GARDEN
The East Town Street Historic District is a good area to visit for any history lover, but if you want a specific location worth exploring, try the Kelton House Museum & Garden. This home was built in 1852 and offers an interesting look into what life was like in the late 1800s. This home also played a role in the Underground Railroad. The house has been revitalized and furnished with antique items to give visitors a good idea of daily life in early Columbus.
JOHN F. WOLFE PALM HOUSE
Though the Franklin Park Conservatory is prized among nature and gardening enthusiasts, the ground’s centerpiece — the John F. Wolfe Palm House — has an interesting place in history as well. Inspiration for the building came after the extremely influential 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. The grand glass structure, built in a Victorian style popular at the time, was erected quickly after the fair in 1895. It still serves its original purpose of being home to hundreds of species of plants, and you will even get to see one of the original trees the building housed.
Literature aficionados might find a special interest in the Thurber House. This beautiful brick-facade building was the home of cartoonist, author, and journalist James Thurber. The building is now home to the Thurber House Museum and is a gathering place for artists and writers in the area.
These historical landmarks and destinations are just the beginning of the visual history Columbus has to share. Mark these off your to-do list and dive deeper into the history of Ohio and its capital to learn why they’re the memorable places they are today.