Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Downtown I

I finally made it downtown..for neoning purposes anyway. While the area of course, like most major city's downtowns, has some great examples, it is not the most concentrated area of neon. That honor probably belongs to the short north or campus areas. But downtown does have some great neon, and a lot of it. I had been wrestling how to best cover the area. I decided to just head down after work, but before MOST signs would be off (like the previously covered Ho Toy restaurant..sure enough, at 10:30pm, it was as dark as a black hole). I roughly decided to cover the downtown area from Broad Street south to approximately Livingston. The borders of downtown are sorta rough but basically from the Scioto River to I-71, and from Livingston to Goodale. So I figure I can cover downtown in roughly thirds, south, middle, and north downtown. And the Arena district gets it's own coverage, hopefully soon! Since there is a large amount of neon in a relatively dense area, I may miss a few things here and there, and can come back and place them in future 'downtown' tours. And there is the "downtown sleep at 6pm" effect, which means probably the best time for neoning is later in the fall and winter, which is why I tend to do more neoning in fall and winter, with the sun setting early and by December, basically still business hours before the sun goes down. All pictures taken the evening of Mon. 10/13.

Close to I-71, on E. Broad Street.

The Columbus Dispatch sign. One of the most famous and photographed neon signs in the city; in fact two other people were snapping pics of the sign while I was there! The paper is no longer actually printed here, at the corner of Broad and 3rd Streets, but retains some offices in this old building.

Another gem of downtwon, probably tied with the Dispatch sign for most well known neon icon, the Palace Theater sign. One of the oldest theaters in Columbus, it is actually part of the Leveque Tower, which was the tallest building in the city for nearly fifty years, and is probably still the city's signature skyscraper, though no longer the tallest. Many famous actors have graced the stage of the Palace before moving to the bigger and brighter neon of Broadway.

Another of the three remaining major downtown theaters, the Ohio, located on E. State St. between High and S. 4th near the State House. Nothing was playing this evening so I was able to snap it fairly easily.

The only neon adorning the large, rotating, moving, ultradigital new fangled Times Square wannabe "4 on the Square" message system, which was installed last year. It is pretty cool, but sadly, only the Kroger outline and the beer logo are neon, everything else is computer graphix.

Some of the neon of S.3rd St. near E. Main.

Pawn shops, near Main and S. 4th. There are a few more interesting photo ops here, but a few creepy characters were staring at me.

Southern edge of downtown, near the courthouse and Franklin County government offices.

This is about where downtown becomes the Brewery District and German Village. I guess a lot of people get shot at this place.

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