A Vision for the Future

We here at LOUA are still abuzz about all the support we’ve received for our vision of what could happen with the White Castle property. Many other organizations support that same vision, and a new coalition is forming to shepherd this project to completion.  If the coalition ends up getting everything on its wish list, eventually, the buried portions of the ravine would be daylighted, with a bridge over Glen Echo at High Street. There would be small park where the White Castle used to stand, creating a beautiful gateway to Clintonville to the north and the University District to the south. And add to that, a walking trail from Glen Echo Park all the way to the Olentangy River.

(Personally, here’s what I would like to see there, once again…this Looping-The-Loop ride was at the Olentangy Park that used to be on the spot.)

olentangy5All of this might seem a tad ambitious, but everything that we envision has already been proposed in both the Clintonville Neighborhood Plan and the Columbus Comprehensive Plan. The Clintonville Neighborhood Plan specifically states:

  • Recreation and Parks Department should develop a walking path along Glen Echo Ravine from Glen Echo Park to the Olentangy River. Path should be developed in a way to minimize its impact on the natural setting. A worn path already exists. Formalizing the path would help to minimize the impact on the surrounding ravine.
  • Glen Echo Ravine at High Street should be considered for “daylighting” as part of the redevelopment of the adjoining area where economically feasible. “Daylighting” is a measure to restore the ravine to its natural state.

The Columbus Comprehensive Plan states:

  • It is the recommendation of the Columbus Comprehensive Plan that ravines be fully integrated into the city’s greenway system. The Columbus Comprehensive Plan recommends that the city develop a system of greenways incorporating the area’s major waterways and tributaries. Because the major waterways of Columbus run north and south, ravines provide important east-west connections between and among larger greenways. Some ravines, such as Walhalla and Overbrook, already function well as greenways. They have public access and some parkland. Other ravines are totally under private control.
  • The city should pursue ownership or control of the most significant portions of the city’s ravines. This can be accomplished by purchase or acquisition of easements or property rights. Parkland within the ravines should be maintained in a predominantly natural state. Bikeways and walking paths should be constructed through the ravines and public access points should be provided where possible.

Even the Ohio State Framework plans mentions that the “restored stream tributaries and associated open space elements are critical contributors to the green reserve.”

If you inclined to read either the Clintonville Neighborhood Plan or the Columbus Comprehensive Plan (or both!), they are located to the right under “Blogroll”; you might have to scroll down a little bit to find them.

I looked high and low on the Internet for a picture of the bridge that used to be at the intersection of High and Arcadia, and for once, the Internet failed me. But I can imagine how it would look – native plants, towering trees, people meeting there to walk to the river. A showcase that in the long run will benefit the environment as well as community members and businesses in our wonderful part of the world that is known as Clintonville.

Until next time!


2 responses to “A Vision for the Future

  1. Susanne Wightman-Rochester

    Peter, Have you seen the George Bellows collection at the Art Museum?  There is a painting of folks strolling through a park that reminds me of the vision for White Castle property.  George grew up in East Columbus in the area known as the Silk Stocking District.  His mother lived in Olde Towne East until her death.  I think Olentangy Park as it was called, influenced this particular painting.  Might be worth tracking it down.   You could contact Doreen Uhas at the UAC.  She is a historian of the area and could probably come up with some photos of the area you are considering. Good luck!  This sounds fascinating to me:) Sue   Sue Wightman-Rochester 101 North Township Road 165

    Tiffin, Ohio 44883 cell: 614.915.4343

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