Great Southern Hotel-1

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Columbus Rooftop Scenes - 1909

From The Great Southern Hotel View-1

        The Columbus Rooftop Scenes are photos that were taken from building rooftops before aerial photography became common. This particular photograph and the other three photos in the series were taken from the roof of the Great Southern Hotel located on the southeast corner of High and Main Streets. The photo is from the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Co. Collection.


        In the above photo the camera is looking west down Main Street toward the Scioto River. The area on the west side of the river is the Franklinton community that will be devastated by the Great Flood of March 1913.

        In this 1911 map of Columbus the camera view is denoted by the blue lines. On the left of the map are two railroad bridges over the Scioto River and on the right in the far distance can be seen another railroad bridge and the location of the Columbus Municipal Power Plant at the confluence of the Olentangy and Scioto Rivers. The red spot on the map labled "Power Plant" is the location of the CRP&L Co. Power Plant.

        When the photo above was taken in 1910 the T&OC RR Scioto River Bridge was where the dashed yellow line is shown on the map. By the time the 1911 map was printed the T&OC right of way had been relocated over the Scioto River with a new bridge adjacent to the Hocking Valley Bridge.

        A few landmarks are noted. Very little of this dense area of south side Columbus is unchanged in 2017. The Columbus Feeder canal is gone as is the Main Street dam that created a pool in the Scioto River to float canal boats. Many of the buildings have been torn down and replaced and a park/wet lands has been created along the river.

        A closer look at the Main Street Canal crossing and the two railroad bridges across the Scioto River.

        Barely discernable in the haze is the Hocking Valley Bridge over the Scioto River between MI Cabin and HV Cabin.

        The municipal Power Plant still stands in 2017 although it hasn’t produced electricity for many years.

        The Armbruster Scenic Studio located at 249 S. Front Street was a unique building. Mathias Armbruster built stage scenery for the many theaters in Columbus. Samples of his art work are in the Armbruster collection at OSU. To learn more about his exceptional artistry click here.


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