Central High School (Columbus, Ohio)
Central High School
|Architect||William B. Ittner|
|Architectural style||Classical Revival|
|NRHP reference #||85000484 |
|Added to NRHP||March 7, 1985|
Central High School, also known as High School of Columbus and High School of Commerce, was a four-year secondary school (grades 9–12) located in Columbus, Ohio. It was a part of Columbus City Schools (at the time Columbus Public Schools). The last building was located at 75 South Washington Boulevard and opened in 1924. Prior to that, Central High School was located Downtown at East Broad and Sixth streets from 1862 until 1924.
The school building operated on South Washington Boulevard closed in June 1982. In 1999, the school's historic façade was incorporated into COSI, a science center designed by renowned architect Arata Isozaki. Isozaki used the high school's 1924 exterior facing downtown as its east entrance; a balance to the facility's progressively futuristic west entrance. On March 7, 1985, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Central was one of the original 6 high schools in Columbus Public Schools. The other five were North, South, East, West and Linden McKinley, of which only South, East, West and Linden McKinley remain open. North High School (not to be confused with Northland, which opened in 1965 and remains open) suffered the same fate as Central only 3 years before, closing in 1979.
Ohio High School Athletic Association team state championships
- Howard Cassady, Heisman Trophy winner of 1955 for the Ohio State University. Professional football player for the Detroit Lions, Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles and baseball coach for the Columbus Clippers.
- Harold Cooper, Franklin County Commissioner, President of the Columbus Jets and the International League
- Bob Kline, Former MLB player (Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia Athletics, Washington Senators)
- Dave Roberts, major league baseball pitcher
- Dom Sigillo, American football player
- Ernie Wheelwright, American football player and actor
Because of declining enrollment in the school district and deterioration of the building, Central was closed following the 1981–1982 school year in June 1982 and never opened again.
After its closure, Central High School was used as a shooting location for scenes in the 1984 satirical dark comedy-drama film Teachers. The movie depicted a fictional school, "John F. Kennedy High School," where, as a key element of the storyline, students received passing grades even though they couldn't read. Columbus Public Schools rented the building to the filmmakers, but did not review the script or know at the time how the fictional school in the movie would be depicted. Although the fictional school depicted in Teachers wasn't set in Columbus, CPS still took the storyline of the movie as a discredit to the school district.
Columbus Public Schools sold the building to the City of Columbus for $15 million in 1988. In July 1994, Columbus City Council granted COSI Columbus a 28-year lease on the building. COSI remodeled portions of it for the new site of a museum. Most of the front of the school remains facing the river. The new addition sits on what was the football field of the school.
On November 6, 1999 COSI Columbus moved into the old Central High School building.
- National Park Service (2008-04-15). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- "About COSI".
- OHSAA. "Ohio High School Athletic Association Web site". Retrieved 2006-12-31.
- Yappi. "Yappi Sports Baseball". Retrieved 2007-02-12.
- "COSI Wins Central Lease". Columbus Dispatch. July 19, 1994. pp. 01A.
The Columbus City Council voted 6-0 last night to approve a 28-year lease on old Central High School. It will allow COSI to develop the abandoned high school building into a 300,000-square-foot museum and science education center, with a Scioto River view of Downtown. City officials praised it as the type of development they envisioned when Columbus purchased the site for $15 million in 1988.
- "Columbus Mileposts - June 11, 1997: COSI breaks ground for riverside location (Photo)". Columbus Dispatch. June 11, 2012. Retrieved November 18, 2014.
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