Columbus celebrated its 200th birthday in 2012 - there is a lot of history here right under your nose! Here are a few of our oldest attractions to scope out next time you visit.
When you think about historic neighborhoods in Columbus, we wouldn't fault you if German Village and its mid-1800s brick homes came to mind first. But it's actually Franklinton, right across the Scioto River from downtown, that takes the cake as oldest neighborhood in the city. Franklinton was actually founded before there even was a Columbus, in 1797. After decades of industrial neglect, Franklinton is poised to become Columbus' newest arts hotspot, with creative companies and residents repopulating it.
Hotel: The Westin Columbus
It may have been built in 1897, but its rooms offer the finest in modern amenities. The original grand marble front desk, flanked by Victorian griffins, greets you on check-in, and stained glass windows filter light into the grand ballroom. The brick exterior reminds you that this hotel was once at the northern end of German Village - before I-70 was built severing the neighborhood in the 1960s. The village and downtown are both walkable from the Westin.
Restaurant: The Jury Room
Named for its proximity to the courthouse, the Jury Room has a long and interesting history. When it originally opened in 1831, it was a tavern. For a time, the upper floors serves as a bordello. Today, the strongest vice you'll find there are the cocktails, including and the Misdemeanor Martini and cheap but strong Jury Juice. The original tin ceiling is still in place, and the food veers toward Italian-American and comfort food staples with a creative twist.
Colo is superlative in many ways. Not only is she the oldest gorilla at the venerable Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, at 57, she's also the oldest gorilla in any zoo in the world, and the first gorilla ever born in captivity. She is the backbone of the family of gorillas at the Columbus Zoo - go pay her a visit!
Donated to the City of Columbus by early settler Lincoln Goodale in 1851, Goodale Park is our oldest and most important public spaces. Just a block west of thriving Short North Arts District, it's home to some of the city's biggest events, like Comfest and Pride. If you're history-minded, bring a picnic lunch and set up your blanket right under the bust of Mr. Goodale along the Goodale Street side of the park.