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Demolition of Vets Memorial Approved to make way for New Memorial & Museum

Walker Evans Walker Evans Demolition of Vets Memorial Approved to make way for New Memorial & Museum
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The Franklin County Commissioners have been tasked with the tough job of deciding over the past four months whether or not to renovate or replace the Veterans Memorial facility located on the Scioto Peninsula.

In August, the Columbus Downtown Development Corporation (CDDC) made a proposal to replace the facility with a new Ohio Veterans Memorial & Museum which would be funded in part by a $25 million dollar donation from Les and Abigail Wexner. The new project would one one piece of a larger redevelopment plan announced for the entire 56 acre area that includes a new Columbus Zoo facility and future mixed-use office and residential development.

An alternate plan was proposed by local veterans groups and other supporters of the 58-year-old facility to renovate and modernize the building in order to make it more attractive again for conventions and regional events.

“When we received the CDDC’s plan, and since, I’ve asked a great many questions. I wanted to be certain that we were doing the right thing for our veterans, residents and our community and I wanted to hear from all sides,” said Franklin County Commissioner Marilyn Brown. “I’ve done those things and I am now satisfied that the plan brought forward by CDDC is the best way to move forward.”

In anticipation of the eventual demolition, the Franklin County Veterans Service Commission (FCVSC) will relocate in July 2014 to the County’s first veterans memorial at Memorial Hall at 280 East Broad Street. Events planned at Vets would continue as scheduled for now with Experience Columbus helping to assist in relocation efforts for ongoing events.

The Franklin County Board of Commissioners intends to approve a resolution on Tuesday, December 3 to authorize moving forward with the strategic plans set forth by the CDDC.

“Today represents a win-win for our community,” added Commissioner Paula Brooks. “By entering into a new relationship on the Scioto Peninsula, we join generous private sector leaders, the city, and heroes like Senator John Glenn and all Franklin County veterans in educating children about our nation’s armed services.”

More information can be found at www.downtowncolumbus.com/scioto-peninsula.

For additional discussion on the redevelopment Scioto Peninsula, CLICK HERE to visit our messageboard.

Renderings provided by CDDC.

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  • surber17

    Even though I understand the Veteran’s side of renovating the existing building, I think they made the correct choice. The new design is amazing and looks different than the “huge warehouse” design that it currently has. We already have that design at the convention center, we don’t need two of them.

  • BrianW

    To me the biggest difference isn’t one building or another, but rather should development on the Peninsula be owned and operated by the government, or by a public/private partnership? The former makes the decision-making and governance of the facilities accountable directly to the public (including a greater voice for the actual veterans), the later allows them to leverage private money. One follows rules for public contracts (prevailing wages, etc), the other streamlines the decision process. It would nice to have a greater voice, but I’m not sure anything would ever get done.

  • Eugene_C

    It looks like may have spoken too soon over in the “Construction Roundup Pt. 2” thread about people just parking out at vets when downtown gets built up. It looks like the Vets parking is going ‘bye bye’. O_o

  • jpizzow

    I love the design of the new building concept. My only beef with it is the huge setback from Broad and the lack of convention/meeting space, which is a huge part of what makes Vets viable today.

  • Achekov

    The old veteran arena has had its time. The last time I was there was for early voting, but I assume they’ll find a new place for early voting. The arena district and other areas are where the action is now.

    to jpizzow, The setback from broad doesn’t bother me so much only because this is right on the river. If it were farther up the street, then I’d be with you.

    to eugene, there may still be parking there and they just left it out of the drawing because, well, parking lots are ugly! If you notice, the parking over at COSI is also full of trees in the picture.

  • jpunkster

    During the presentation of the project I thought there was talk of underground parking

  • columbusmike


    Yes, I believe all the surface parking is going away. This will free up space for parks and development around these newly created parks.

    My hope is that some sort of urban “square” or hardscape plaza is included in the design. We have too many “parkland” parks in this town and could use a thoughtful public square. Look what Cleveland is doing:


    • corrums

      We have something like this already on the riverfront at bicentennial park.

  • Neutzy

    Thoughts from Jane Jacobs

  • Ned23

    Those buildings in the bottom of the drawing aren’t actually there, It looks like there are plans to sell of part of the land to the west for new development.

  • Graybeak

    The last time I was there was for early voting, but I assume they’ll find a new place for early voting.

    Well, for the last two years, early voting has been held at the old Kohl’s location on Morse road.

  • buckeyesd

    Oh yea they’re going to build 1000 apartments. Guess the article didn’t mention that

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