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Early Parks: 1834-1909

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Early Parks: 1834-1909

1800-1909   1910-1929   1930-1949   1950-1959   1960-1969   1970-1979   1980-1989   1990-1994  ]

The City’s First Parks 


  • Columbus Named State Capitol


  • Columbus Incorporated


  • Livingston Park
    Livingston Archive
    The first parkland owned by the City of Columbus. Purchased for $1,125.00 as a graveyard Made into a public park in 1885, many of the graves relocated to Greenlawn Cemetery.


  • Goodale Park
    Goodale Archive
    Acquired as a gift from Dr. Lincoln Goodale for a public park. Used for a military camp for 6,000 Civil War troops for 7 weeks in 1861 (Camp Jackson). Housed small zoo in the park until turn of century.
    1896 East Lake House demolished.
    1912 Shelter and Residence built.


  • Population of Columbus 18,554.


  • Schiller Park

    Purchased for $15,000 and originally called City Park; laid out according to plans by a Detroit Architect.
    The park housed small zoo in the park until turn of century.

    1891 Schiller statue dedicated

    1917 New shelter dedicated as most modern recreation center in the city with gym, showers auditorium, kitchen and dining room. The cost was $40,000 which would be around $663,370 by today's standards. 


  • Columbus population grows to 31,274.

    Jefferson Ave. Park
    Renamed Thurber Park in 1977.


  • Franklin Park
    Franklin Archive
    1852 County Fairground site.
    1874 State Fair site until State purchased land north of Columbus in 1883.
    1886 Became known as City Park.
    1895 Conservatory built to resemble a Crystal Palace.
    1888 Chicago Exposition. Housed zoo animals until 1925.
    1913 Superintendent’s Residence was constructed.
    1914 Shelter and Recreation Center built in middle of park.
    1960s - 1970s Site of Recreation and Parks offices until moved to 420 Whittier St. Renovated in 1991 for Ameriflora and became home of SS Davis Performing Arts for Youth.


  • Population of Columbus 125,560


  • 196 acres of public parks 


  • The Beginning of Recreation and Parks
    City Beautiful Movement
    An 18 member Commission was created to oversee a citywide park system. Then in 1906, Columbus City Council authorized funds to study the extension of parks and public grounds to beautify the City.


  • Four playgrounds were developed on the following Park properties: Schiller, Livingston, Goodale and Glenwood Parks.

    The division of Parks and Forestry became a Division of City of Columbus Public Service Department.

City Beautiful Movement
Report of the Plan Commissioned for the City of Columbus, Ohio.

One of the earliest attempts at planning for the City, began in 1904. The Plan called for additional park space as a crucial aspect of the city’s development and recommended a variety of parks and land acquisition far beyond the city limits. It recommends a system of boulevards and parkways connecting city parklands, streams and open spaces.

1800-1909   1910-1929   1930-1949   1950-1959   1960-1969   1970-1979   1980-1989   1990-1994  ]