Stories Behind The Buckeye State
Monday September 25th 2017

Columbus non profit hopes to resurrect trolley complex

Photograph by the Columbus Compact Corporation

Local nonprofit developer, the Columbus Compact Corporation (“the Compact”), has big plans for a property just south of Franklin Park—at the corner of Oak Street and Kelton Avenue.  Built in 1872, the dilapidated complex has become the object of neighborhood scorn in recent years, but that’s all about to change.

The Compact, along with the city of Columbus, is seeking community input, regarding future use of the facility. So far, suggestions have included: performance space, artist studios, retail stores, and restaurants. To learn more about the Compact, and how you can become involved in this project, please visit their website or facebook page.

 

See It For Yourself:


Sources:
Columbus Dispatch– “Officials hope to rescue old trolley site

 

Info Wanted: The Seneca Hotel

We’re looking for any information you might have about the Seneca Hotel in Columbus, Ohio. Information about it’s history, owners, old photos etc. Information that is verifiable is preferred but we’d love to hear your personal accounts or experiences there as well. If you can help us trace back the history of the building and do a write up we’d be most appreciative. Contact me at wdzinc@gmail.com!

History In Your Own Backyard

I’ve become quite the amateur architecture and history buff as of late thanks to great websites like Buildings of Detroit and Scouting NY. I had never really paid much attention to the buildings and places around me in Columbus until recently. I started a little side project to take pictures of places on the National Register of Historic Places in Franklin County. The map above is only some of them but you can quickly see that you don’t have to travel far to find something historical and architecturally significant; they are right here in your back yard.

If you live in a county other than Franklin, and want to help us document NRHP listed structures and places please contact us

Remembering The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire – 100 Years Later


The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of 1911 is one of the greatest tragedies in the history of the United States and one that very few Americans remember. The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory occupied the top floors of the then named Asch building in New York City. Workers spent long hot hours and earning meager wages making a then fashionable garment known as the shirtwaist.

At approximately 4:45 pm on March 25th 1911 a horrendous fire broke out. Workers, most of whom were young immigrant women, had trouble escaping the fire because of purposely locked fire exits. Matters were made worse by exit doors that only opened inward creating a bottleneck as people tried to escape. 146 people lost their lives, many jumped from the upper stories to escape the flames but the majority burned alive in the inferno. In the end the owners of the company actually profited greatly off of this disaster by filing fraudulent insurance claims. The whole story must simply be read to be believed. I deeply encourage you to check out the links at the bottom of this story to read about it in greater detail.

Watch the full episode. See more American Experience.

The one bright spot in all of this (if you can call it that) is that this incident set up the framework for modern fire code, fueled labor unions to fight for workers rights, and is ultimately the seed that OSHA would spring from many years later.

I hope you’ll join me for a moment of silence or prayer on this day to remember those who needlessly lost their lives 100 years ago today.

 

See It For Yourself:

Sources:
The New York Times– “Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire” Coverage
The History Blog- “The Centennial of The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire
Wikipedia- “Triangle Waistshirt Factory Fire”

Detroit’s Grand Dame To Get Face Lift

Photo by flickr user bigoteetoe

 

Though we generally only cover the historic places and happenings of Ohio, we sometimes have news from elsewhere that’s simply too important not to share with you. Today that news is coming from the motor city. One of Detroit’s most beautiful and simultaneously most neglected buildings, the Michigan Central Station is slated to get a face lift.

My Fox Detroit is reporting that the buildings owner, Manuel “Matty” Moroun is making plans to at least partially renovate the building. The project calls for replacing the station’s roof and windows to help prevent further deterioration of the structure. They are stopping short of a complete renovation due to the astronomical cost involved.

The station was built in 1913 by the architecture firm Reed & Stem who also constructed New York’s Grand Central Station. The station had a long and grand history but saw a slow and painful death as commuter rail traffic  declined in favor of the automobile. Michigan Central Station saw its last train in 1988 and has been slowly deteriorating due to lack of maintenance, the elements, and of course vandals since then.

While it may be short of the great come back and revitalization we would love to see, it’s certainly a step in the right direction for a city that demolishes its historic gems in favor of over-grown plots and unused parking lots.

 

See It For Yourself:

 

Sources:
MyFoxDetroit.com– “Facelift Planned for Detroit’s Michigan Central Depot
Buildings Of Detroit- “Michigan Central Station”
Wikipedia- “Michigan Central Station” & “Reed & Stem

 

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