Sullivant Plaza, Ohio Dept. of Transportation, Columbus, OH Lower Plaza
Scale: 280 feet x 90 feet diameter ~ Materials: Concrete, Stainless Steel, Mosaic Tile, Historic Artifacts, Lighting
This tribute to transportation is a stroll through related history, from the hand-carved replica of a milestone marker found along the Cumberland Trail to the various artifacts we refurbished for exterior installation, to the historical timeline etched in granite.
In the center of a central gathering place with stepped seating, mosaic tiles and various plantings, stands the instantly recognizable symbol of transportation, a 15-foot stainless steel sculpture representative of the wheel, rolling along an historical path laced with quotes from local residents.
Steps lead to a lower plaza that includes a basalt stone “bubbler” fountain, stepped seating, stainless steel arbor that suggests a spine, referencing history.
A Personal Story
I was a finalist for the Ohio Dept. of Transportation project, riding on a car-rental bus. The man across from me politely asked about my line of work. I told him I’m an artist visiting to review the location and do some research. He knew the history of the space and described how the city reclaimed the land, destroying the historic tuburculoses sanitorium and displacing its residents.
The next day I visited the historical society and asked the museum director if there were artifacts left from this historic building. She pulled out a string of keys and took me to a decommissioned high school. There we saw hundreds of pieces of history stacked on shelves and sitting on the floor. Beautiful corn ornaments chiseled by Italian masons ~ dozens of cast iron fireplaces ~ ornate archways. It was a true treasure trove!
It turns out the citizens of Columbus were outraged when the saniturium was destroyed, so it became my mission to honor the residents and their families in some way. I revered them using artifacts atop columns, placed throughout the project.
Research can begin anywhere...even with a stranger on an Alamo bus!