AT&T Switching Station, Columbus

31 – AT&T Switching Station

Architect Paul Kennon wrapped existing and new portions of this building with a reflective façade that blends into the neighborhood by reflecting it.

The colorful heating and air conditioning system intake and exhaust pipes on the west side of the building are one of the most frequently photographed and iconic architectural details in Columbus.

Like Eliel and Eero Saarinen, Paul Kennon’s son also designed a building in Columbus, the Learning Center on the north side of town.

Take me to the AT&T Switching Station.

alley walkway project - Columbus

32 – Alley Walkway Project

The pedestrian alleyway improvement program continued the spirit of the Streetscape project and features rhythmic sidewalk brick paving pattern, landscaping, and lighting. Alley projects can be explored on the 400, 500, and 600 blocks of downtown Columbus, featuring granite-topped benches, goose-neck lighting, and English Ivy ground cover along with flowering perennials planted on trellises.

Some who donated for the name-a-brick program chose intriguing or humorous words for their brick, so be on the lookout for those.

The walkway project was managed by William Johnson of Seattle, who also created the master plan for the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Johnson was Dean of the School of Natural Resources at the University of Michigan from 1975 to 1983.


33 – Streetscape

Architect Paul Kennon was given the challenge to create an attractive, accessible, pedestrian-friendly downtown. Michael Shirley and Michael Van Valkenburgh completed the design after Paul’s untimely death.

New street lights, complete with banners, provide increased illumination to sidewalks and storefronts. Concrete paver bricks create plazas at major intersections; brick sidewalks use contrasting colors for pattern; corner amenities include marble-topped benches, trash receptacles, and concrete planters with seasonal plantings, junipers, and pear trees.

Funding for the Streetscape project included an “Adopt-A-Brick” program, which allowed people, organizations, and businesses to have names or messages inscribed on bricks. Over 7,000 inscribed bricks have been laid in the Washington Street sidewalks.

Friendship Way at Dusk

34 – Friendship Way

Cork Marchessi, a San Francisco artist, created this colorful neon light sculpture as part of the Friendship Way project, a partnership with sister city Myoshi, Japan.

It is most dramatic when viewed after dark when its neon glows in vibrant colors.

The bricks that make up the sidewalk are inscribed with the names of citizens of Myoshi who financially supported this gift to the community through their purchase.

Flamenco sculpture, from west

35 – Flamenco

Created by artist Ruth Aizuss Migdal in 2010 in Chicago. The abstract, painted steel sculpture was part of the Columbus Sculpture Biennial for two years, until a fundraising campaign by community members raised money to make it a part of the Columbus permanent art collection in 2016.

Take me to Flamenco


36 – The Commons

Designed by the Boston-based firm, Koetter Kim, and completed in 2011, the Commons is sometimes referred to as “our community’s living room.”

A 5,000 square-foot indoor playground with a 35-foot tall “Luckey Climber” is a feature families will enjoy.

Jean Tinguely’s large, kinetic sculpture, Chaos I, is the quirky centerpiece to the space.

Take me to The Commons.

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