Columbus Commons

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Columbus Commons
Columbus Commons.jpg
Type Urban park
Location Columbus, Ohio
Coordinates 39°57′31″N 82°59′56″W / 39.958488°N 82.998801°W / 39.958488; -82.998801Coordinates: 39°57′31″N 82°59′56″W / 39.958488°N 82.998801°W / 39.958488; -82.998801
Area 9 acres (3.6 ha)
Created 2011
Operated by Capitol South[1]
Status Open all year 7 a.m. - 11 p.m.[2]

Columbus Commons is a 9-acre (36,000 m2) park and green space in downtown Columbus, Ohio located on the site of the former Columbus City Center mall. The park features gardens, a performance stage, carousel, reading room and a cafe.[3] The project was developed by Columbus Downtown Development Corporation (CDDC) and Capitol South Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation (Capitol South), private, non-profit development organizations.[4]


With the decline of Columbus City Center, plans were announced in February 2009 to replace the mall with a project that includes an urban park, homes, offices, restaurants and shops. In April 2009, Capitol South requested federal stimulus funds to help finance the demolition of the mall and construction of the park, but was rejected. Financing eventually came in the form of Columbus City Council allowing Capitol South to refinance existing City Center parking garage loans and use funds earmarked for downtown housing.[5] CDDC, Capitol South, the Franklin County Commissioners and Columbus Metro Parks, funded the creation of Columbus Commons with a goal to redevelop this downtown property.[1] The first phase of the project cost a total of $20 million.[6] Demolition of City Center began in September 2009 and construction of the Columbus Commons began in mid-2010. The design team was made up of construction manager Corna-Kokosing, architects Moody Nolan and landscape architects EDGE Group.[3] The park opened to the public on Memorial Day weekend (May 26) 2011.[6]


The gardens at Columbus Commons


A 20-seat carousel with characters hand-carved by Mansfield's The Carousel Works.[7] Characters range from the traditional horses to a fish, a tiger, a giraffe and an OSU-themed cart. The rounding boards that surround the canopy feature locally-inspired murals with scenes ranging from Ohio Stadium to the Franklin Park Conservatory.[8] The cost to ride the carousel is $1 except on Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.[7]


The current stage at Columbus Commons is temporary for the 2011 program season. The Columbus Bicentennial Pavilion is scheduled to replace the stage for the 2012 season, coinciding with the city's bicentennial. The $5 million[9] pavilion is being designed by FTL and will feature a 40-by-60-foot (12 m × 18 m) stage.[10]


Mikey's Late Night Slice a permanent walk-up location at the south end of the park from May through October and Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams opened in 2013 opposite Late Night Slice.[11]

Reading Room[edit]

An outdoor reading room on the southeast corner of the park features about 1,600 books courtesy of the nonprofit group Friends of the Columbus Metropolitan Library. The reading room has tables and chairs under umbrellas and offers free Wi-Fi from the Columbus Metropolitan Library. A bookmobile visits the park from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fridays.[12]


The park is lined with 12 2,000 sq ft (190 m2) garden plots that contain seasonal plants throughout the year.[13]


  1. ^ a b Worley, Guy (2011-05-23). "Columbus Commons another asset in downtown revitalization". This Week Community Newspapers. Retrieved 2011-06-22. 
  2. ^ "Park Rules » Columbus Commons". Retrieved 2011-06-21. 
  3. ^ a b "History » Columbus Commons". Retrieved 2011-06-21. 
  4. ^ "CDDC & Capitol South / Development Organizations Lead Downtown Change". Retrieved 2011-06-21. 
  5. ^ "Decades of change" (PDF). Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 2011-07-08. 
  6. ^ a b Ferenchik, Mark (2011-05-26). "New park stands out like an emerald in the city". The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 2011-06-21. 
  7. ^ "A play area for the public". Columbus Dispatch. 2011-05-25. Retrieved 2011-07-08. 
  8. ^ "Pavilion » Columbus Commons". Retrieved 2011-06-21. 
  10. ^ Wynalek, Leah (2011-05-25). "Reading room inspired by visit to Big Apple". Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 2011-07-08. 
  11. ^ Weiker, Jim (2011-05-25). "Gardens reflect four seasons". Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 2011-07-08. 

External links[edit]