“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Short North Arts District in Columbus in Franklin County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

Union Station

— Short North Arts District —

Union Station Information Kiosk image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. J. Prats, June 5, 2016
1. Union Station Information Kiosk
Inscription.  The Grand Union Station and its ornate arcade was the third and final train station to occupy the spot where the Columbus Convention Center now stands. Designed by celebrated architect Daniel H. Burnham, it featured the Grand Concourse which housed a marble-lined waiting room, the swanky Merkle’s restaurant, and numerous service facilities. The impressive High Street arcade’s stores and offices were connected to the station via a long, canopied walkway.

Columbus’ first Union Station, built in 1850, was a crucial step toward establishing the area’s reputation in transportation and manufacturing, Ecstatically welcomed at first, the station and tracks came to be hated for cutting the city in half. By 1864, at least four railroads crossed High Street, blocking traffic and infuriating citizens who lived or had business in the growing North Side.

To resolve the problem, a new station was built 350 feet east of High Street. However, with thirteen railroads ultimately crossing the street, the congestion between train and road traffic became unbearable. In 1875. a tunnel was dug beneath the tracks for High Street
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Unfortunately, the horse-powered streetcars soon so befouled the tunnel that other traffic and pedestrians refused to use it, preferring to brave crossing the tracks at street level.

By 1891, the traffic situation on High Street reached a crisis for the nearly 55,000 pedestrians and commuters, with the roadway blocked for up to seven hours per day by over 200 crossing trains. Finally in 1893, the viaduct that we use today was built over the tracks, thus eliminating the problem.

The magnificent third station and arcade opened in 1897. It was drastically remodeled in 1929, but as rail travel declined and finally ended in Columbus, the station was demolished in 1976. One of the great arches was preserved and now stands at the end of McPherson Commons in the Arena District.
Erected by Short North Special Improvement District.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Railroads & Streetcars. A significant historical year for this entry is 1850.
Location. Marker has been permanently removed. It was located near 39° 58.672′ N, 83° 0.214′ W. Marker was in Columbus, Ohio, in Franklin County. It was in the Short North Arts District. Marker was at the intersection of North High Street and Warren Street
Union Station Information Kiosk image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. J. Prats, June 5, 2016
2. Union Station Information Kiosk
, on the right when traveling north on North High Street. Touch for map. Marker was at or near this postal address: 756 N High St, Columbus OH 43215, United States of America.

We have been informed that this sign or monument is no longer there and will not be replaced. This page is an archival view of what was.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this location. Father Rocco Petrarca (approx. ¼ mile away); Reverend Father Alexander Cestelli / Chiesta Italiana di San Giovanni Battista (approx. ¼ mile away); James S. Tyler / Tyler Family Legacy (approx. ¼ mile away); Lincoln Goodale (approx. ¼ mile away); Tod Barracks, 1863 (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Fireproof Building (approx. 0.4 miles away); Flytown (approx. 0.4 miles away); Arnold Schwarzenegger (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Columbus.
More about this marker. The High Street viaduct mentioned in the marker’s text is between Goodale Street and Poplar Avenue. Today it carries High Street over Interstate 670, which replaced the railroad tracks. Driving or walking on High Street you are not aware you are on the viaduct because the buildings housing shops and restaurants on either side of the street also straddle Interstate 670,
Preserved Union Station Great Arch at McPherson Commons Park image. Click for full size.
By MJ (CC BY 4.0) via Wikimedia Commons, March 22, 2020
3. Preserved Union Station Great Arch at McPherson Commons Park
blocking your view. To view the viaduct, walk west on Goodale Street and look through the wrought iron fence.
Also see . . .  Wikipedia Entry. Excerpt:
The new station opened in 1897, and the arcade was finished in 1899. The arcade was unique to Columbus and consisted of stores and offices built atop the viaduct and facing High Street. An elevated roadway connected High Street to the station to the east. The station increased the number of depot tracks from seven to nine.

The architecture of the station drew on Burnham's experience designing the Chicago World's Fair in 1893. The style was Beaux-Arts Classicism, a late 19th-century style often applied to monumental structures.
(Submitted on November 27, 2022.) 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 3, 2023. It was originally submitted on November 27, 2022, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 58 times since then and 10 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on November 27, 2022, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.

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Apr. 23, 2024