front cover of The AIA Guide to Columbus
The AIA Guide to Columbus
Jeffrey T. Darbee
Ohio University Press, 2008

Columbus, the largest city in Ohio, has, since its founding in 1812, been home to many impressive architectural landmarks. The AIA Guide to Columbus, produced by the Columbus Architecture Foundation, highlights the significant buildings and neighborhoods in the Columbus metropolitan area. Skillfully blending architectural interest with historic significance, The AIA Guide to Columbus documents approximately 160 buildings and building groups and is organized geographically. Each chapter provides an opportunity to explore a special area of Columbus' built environment.

The Columbus Architecture Foundation has been affiliated with the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Columbus Chapter, for more than thirty years. Its first book project was Architecture Columbus, published in 1976. This new companion volume updates coverage of the buildings and provides a portable, accessible guide to the city's architectural history.

The AIA Guide to Columbus identifies buildings designated as historic and those that have won awards, and includes information on architectural styles, excellent photographs, maps, a glossary, and an index. The focus is on easy touring, whether the reader is walking or driving. Students, visitors, and residents with a penchant for knowing more about their city will enjoy discovering the rich heritage of Columbus' downtown, special districts, and neighborhoods.

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Boomtown Columbus
Ohio’s Sunbelt City and How Developers Got Their Way
Kevin R. Cox
The Ohio State University Press, 2021
Columbus, Ohio, and its ample cloud cover may be on the eastern edge of the Midwest, but the city’s unfettered suburbanization and rapid postwar expansion recall its Sunbelt peers. To understand why—and the social and economic stakes of this all-too-common model of urban growth—pioneering geographer Kevin R. Cox takes us through the postwar history of development in Columbus, a city that has often welcomed corporate influence at the expense of livability and equal opportunity for its residents.
How have development interests become entwined with government? How has a policy of annexation reformed the city’s map? Why have airline service and major league prestige lagged behind its status as a regional center? And what, if anything, makes this city with a reputation for being average stand apart? In Boomtown Columbus, Cox applies both scholarly expertise and his personal experience as a long-time resident of the city to look at the real-life costs of policy. The resulting narrative will fascinate not only locals but anyone with a stake in understanding American cities and a path toward urban livability for all.
 
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Capitol Punishment
An Andy Hayes Mystery
Andrew Welsh-Huggins
Ohio University Press, 2016

The job seems simple enough: Reporter Lee Hershey needs protection for a couple of weeks as he pursues the biggest story of his career with all eyes on swing state Ohio in the midst of a presidential election. Columbus private eye Andy Hayes, broke as usual, doesn’t have much choice but to sign on, even with his girlfriend falling for the charming journalist.

Then murder strikes at the Statehouse and Andy finds himself partly responsible for the death. With an innocent man behind bars, a mysterious vehicle following Andy around the city, and more lives in danger, the detective has his hands full trying to solve a killing in a poisonous political environment where everyone has a motive for murder and anyone could be the next target.

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Columbus, Ohio
Two Centuries of Business and Environmental Change
Mansel G. Blackford
The Ohio State University Press, 2016
Columbus, Ohio: Two Centuries of Business and Environmental Change examines how a major midwestern city developed economically, spatially, and socially, and what the environmental consequences have been, from its founding in 1812 to near the present day. The book analyzes Columbus’s evolution from an isolated frontier village to a modern metropolis, one of the few thriving cities in the Midwest. No single factor explains the history of Columbus, but the implementation of certain water-use and land-use policies, and interactions among those policies, reveal much about the success of the city. 
 
Precisely because they lived in a midsize, midwestern city, Columbus residents could learn from the earlier experiences of their counterparts in older, larger coastal metropolises, and then go beyond them. Not having large sunk costs in pre-existing water systems, Columbus residents could, for instance, develop new, world-class, state-of-the-art methods for treating water and sewage, steps essential for urban expansion. Columbus, Ohio explores how city residents approached urban challenges—especially economic and environmental ones—and how they solved them.
 
Columbus, Ohio: Two Centuries of Business and Environmental Change concludes that scholars and policy makers need to pay much more attention to environmental issues in the shaping of cities, and that they need to look more closely at what midwestern metropolises accomplished, as opposed to simply examining coastal cities.
 
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Community In-Between / Urur Dhex Dhexad Ah
Portraits of Somali-Americans in Columbus
Qorsho Hassan and Ruth M. Smith
The Ohio State University Press, 2017
Community In-Between / Urur Dhex Dhexad Ah: Portraits of Somali-Americans in Columbus by Qorsho Hassan and Ruth M. Smith is a collection of stories and portraits of fifteen young Somali Americans involved in community building in Columbus, Ohio. By using their unique skills, these individuals balance their identities, build bridges, and create spaces for success. The rich, multifaceted stories in this book represent the heterogeneous experiences of the participants and show the deep connection to the diaspora and the interconnectedness of individual experiences.
 
A combination of storytelling and research connect each narrative to another, creating a strong framework for capturing the roles of young Somali Americans in community building through innovative initiatives such as designing a mixer bottle, beginning charitable programs, and educating the Somali community on voter rights. Two community artists help to capture the participants in their natural spaces, and their journey, aided by their empowering mentor, Riya Jama, bridges the gap of Somali females and their access to photography.
 
 
The portraits, stories, and artifacts throughout the book create a modicum of belonging. This new generation resiliently overcomes challenges such as racism, xenophobia, and Islamophobia while still maintaining their hope in the future. Community In-Between captures their spirit and unwavering faith.
 
 
The portraits, stories, and artifacts throughout the book create a modicum of belonging. This new generation resiliently overcomes challenges such as racism, xenophobia, and Islamophobia while still maintaining their hope in the future. Community In-Between captures their spirit and unwavering faith.
 
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Fire in the Big House
America’s Deadliest Prison Disaster
Mitchel P. Roth
Ohio University Press, 2019

On April 21, 1930—Easter Monday—some rags caught fire under the Ohio Penitentiary’s dry and aging wooden roof, shortly after inmates had returned to their locked cells after supper. In less than an hour, 320 men who came from all corners of Prohibition-era America and from as far away as Russia had succumbed to fire and smoke in what remains the deadliest prison disaster in United States history.

Within 24 hours, moviegoers were watching Pathé’s newsreel of the fire, and in less than a week, the first iteration of the weepy ballad “Ohio Prison Fire” was released. The deaths brought urgent national and international focus to the horrifying conditions of America’s prisons (at the time of the fire, the Ohio Penitentiary was at almost three times its capacity). Yet, amid darkening world politics and the first years of the Great Depression, the fire receded from public concern.

In Fire in the Big House, Mitchel P. Roth does justice to the lives of convicts and guards and puts the conflagration in the context of the rise of the Big House prison model, local and state political machinations, and American penal history and reform efforts. The result is the first comprehensive account of a tragedy whose circumstances—violent unrest, overcrowding, poorly trained and underpaid guards, unsanitary conditions, inadequate food—will be familiar to prison watchdogs today.

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Fourth Down and Out
An Andy Hayes Mystery
Andrew Welsh-Huggins
Ohio University Press, 2015

The job seems easy enough at first for private investigator Andy Hayes: save his client’s reputation by retrieving a laptop and erasing a troublesome video from its hard drive. But that’s before someone breaks into Andy’s apartment in Columbus; before someone else, armed with a shotgun, relieves him of the laptop; and before the FBI suddenly shows up on his doorstep asking questions.

Soon, there’s a growing list of people with a claim on the computer, all of them with secrets they don’t want uncovered. When one of those people ends up dead, Andy has his hands full convincing authorities he’s not responsible, while trying to figure out who is—and who’s got the laptop—before someone else dies. Soon the trail leads to the last place Andy wants to go: back to Ohio State University, where few have forgiven him for a mistake he made two decades earlier in his days as the Buckeyes’ star quarterback. That misjudgment sent him on a downward spiral that cost him a playing career, two marriages, several wrecked relationships, and above all his legacy in Ohio’s capital city, where the fortunes of the OSU team are never far from people’s minds.

As Andy tracks a laptop and a killer from the toniest of the city’s suburbs to its grittiest neighborhoods, he must confront a dark figure from his past and prove that this time he won’t drop the ball.

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The Haygoods of Columbus
A Love Story
Wil Haygood
The Ohio State University Press, 2016
Wil Haygood’s memoir of his hometown of Columbus, Ohio, is an uplifting and unsparing celebration of the ties that bind all loving American families. The lives of the Haygood clan—grandmother a hotel cook, mother a nightlife-loving waitress, father mostly absent, one brother a legendary pimp, the other a star-crossed dreamer, sisters whose fates included very little disposable income—were intertwined with that of Mount Vernon Avenue, a seductive street of shops, juke joints, and speakeasies at the epicenter of Columbus’s black community. Wil loved that avenue. Gifted and ambitious, he eventually found his first reporting terrain there, writing for the local paper, The Call & Post, while the first waves of urban renewal began to shake and shift the city of his childhood. Haygood tells here of his early passions: his fierce love for his restless mother, his enthusiasm for fishing in the Olentangy River, and his adolescent love of basketball, which drove him to ride buses surreptitiously.
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front cover of A Historical Guidebook to Old Columbus
A Historical Guidebook to Old Columbus
Finding the Past in the Present in Ohio’s Capital City
Bob Hunter
Ohio University Press, 2012

Ever look at a modern skyscraper or a vacant lot and wonder what was there before? Or maybe you have passed an old house and been curious about who lived there long ago. This richly illustrated new book celebrates Columbus, Ohio’s, two-hundred-year history and supplies intriguing stories about the city’s buildings and celebrated citizens, stopping at individual addresses, street corners, parks, and riverbanks where history was made. As Columbus celebrates its bicentennial in 2012, a guide to local history is very relevant.

Like Columbus itself, the city’s history is underrated. Some events are of national importance; no one would deny that Abraham Lincoln’s funeral procession down High Street was a historical highlight. But the authors have also included a wealth of social and entertainment history from Columbus’s colorful history as state capital and destination for musicians, artists, and sports teams.

The book is divided into seventeen chapters, each representing a section of the city, including Statehouse Square, German Village, and Franklinton, the city’s original settlement in 1797. Each chapter opens with an entertaining story that precedes the site listings. Sites are clearly numbered on maps in each section to make it easy for readers to visit the places that pique their interest. Many rare and historic photos are reproduced along with stunning contemporary images that offer insight into the ways Columbus has changed over the years.

A Historical Guidebook to Old Columbus invites Columbus’s families to rediscover their city with a treasure trove of stories from its past and suggests to visitors and new residents many interesting places that they might not otherwise find. This new book is certain to amuse and inform for years to come.

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The Hunt
An Andy Hayes Mystery
Andrew Welsh-Huggins
Ohio University Press, 2017

As a serial killer stalks prostitutes in Columbus, Ohio, a distraught brother asks private investigator Andy Hayes to find his sister before it’s too late. In a deadly race against time, Andy soon learns he’s not the only person hunting Jessica Byrnes, but he may be the only one who wants her alive. Byrnes hasn’t been seen in weeks following a downward slide that started as a runaway teenager and may have ended permanently on the streets.

Assisting Andy is ex-prostitute Theresa Sullivan. She now works at St. Andrew’s, the mission church run by Andy’s pal the Reverend Roy Roberts, who is less than keen on Theresa reliving the memories that nearly killed her. A local congresswoman making headlines with her work against human trafficking puts pressure on Andy to solve the case, while the police don’t want him near their exhaustive search for the murderer. At the same time, Andy’s hunt for Jessica exposes the buying and selling of trafficked women across the region. Looming over Andy’s increasingly desperate search is the shadow of his most dangerous adversary yet.

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Our First Family’s Home
The Ohio Governor’s Residence and Heritage Garden
Mary Alice Mairose
Ohio University Press, 2008

This richly illustrated volume tells the story of thehome that has served as Ohio’s executive residence since 1957, and of the nine governors and their families who have lived in the house. Our First Family’s Home offers the first complete history of the residence and garden that represent Ohio to visiting dignitaries and the citizens of the state alike. Once in a state of decline, the house has been lovingly restored and improved by itsresidents. Development of the Ohio Heritage Garden has increased the educational potential of the house and has sparked an interest in the preservation of native plant species. Looking toward the future, the Residence is also taking the lead in promoting environmental issues such as solar powerand green energy.

Photographs by award-winning environmental photographer Ian Adams and botanical art by Dianne McElwain showcase the beauty of the home’s architecture and the myriad of native plants that grace the three acres on which the Residence stands. Dianne McElwain is a member of the American Society of Botanical Artists in New York. Her botanical paintings have won numerous awards and are found in prestigious collections throughout the United States.

Essays highlight the Jacobethan Revival architecture and the history of the home. The remaining pieces cover the garden and include an intimate tour of the Heritage Garden, which was inspired by Ohio’s diverse landscape. Finally, former Governor Ted Strickland and First Lady Frances Strickland discuss the increasing focus on green energy at the Governor’s Residence and First Lady Emerita Hope Taft explains how native plants can help sustain the environment.

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front cover of Slow Burn
Slow Burn
An Andy Hayes Mystery
Andrew Welsh-Huggins
Ohio University Press, 2015

Almost two years have passed since Aaron Custer supposedly set a fire at a house in Columbus that killed three college students, including the young woman with whom he had argued just hours before. Prosecutors had an ironclad case against Custer, a convicted firebug whose fingerprints were found on the lighter that started the blaze and who quickly pleaded guilty to avoid the death penalty.Private investigator and fallen Ohio State football star Andy Hayes is skeptical when Custer’s grandmother asks him to reopen the investigation by finding a mysterious witness who may have seen the real culprit that night. Andy’s doubts fade as he uncovers a tangle of motives for the victims’ deaths, implicating the state’s natural gas fracking boom, drug dealers, and more. But to delve deeper, Andy must once again make amends with his past. TV reporter Suzanne Gregory, a former fiancée, has more information on the Orton Avenue fire than any journalist in town, but asking for her help means reopening old wounds—just as Andy has embarked on a new relationship he’s determined not to screw up. As Andy follows Custer’s trail down ever-darker paths, he must revisit his past and decide whether he can afford to forfeit his future.

Author and reviewer Bill Osinski called Fourth Down and Out, the first of the Andy Hayes mysteries, “A tall, frosty stein of Middle-American noir, backed with a healthy shot of wry.” In this second installment, Andrew Welsh-Huggins draws on real events and current affairs to bring his city to life—warts and all.

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Somalis in the Twin Cities and Columbus
Immigrant Incorporation in New Destinations
Stephanie Chambers
Temple University Press, 2017

In the early 1990s, Somali refugees arrived in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. Later in the decade, an additional influx of immigrants arrived in a second destination of Columbus, Ohio. These refugees found low-skill jobs in warehouses and food processing plants and struggled as social “outsiders,” often facing discrimination based on their religious traditions, dress, and misconceptions that they are terrorists. The immigrant youth also lacked access to quality educational opportunities.

In Somalis in the Twin Cities and Columbus, Stefanie Chambers provides a cogent analysis of these refugees in Midwestern cities where new immigrant communities are growing. Her comparative study uses qualitative and quantitative data to assess the political, economic, and social variations between these urban areas. Chambers examines how culture and history influenced the incorporation of Somali immigrants in the U.S., and recommends policy changes that can advance rather than impede incorporation. 

Her robust investigation provides a better understanding of the reasons these refugees establish roots in these areas, as well as how these resettled immigrants struggle to thrive.

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The Third Brother
An Andy Hayes Mystery
Andrew Welsh-Huggins
Ohio University Press, 2018

It’s a violent encounter that private investigator Andy Hayes could have done without. One minute he’s finishing up some grocery shopping ahead of a custody visit with his sons. The next, he must come to the rescue of a Somali American mother and her young children as anti-immigrant bullies torment them.

Grateful for his intervention, the Somali community hires Andy to find a missing teenager who vanished without a trace and is now accused of plotting a terror attack in his adopted hometown of Columbus, Ohio. The government is certain that nineteen-year-old Abdi Mohamed followed in the footsteps of his brother, who died in Syria a few months earlier in a jihadi assault. But Mohamed’s family isn’t convinced, describing a soccer-loving American kid who renounced his brother’s actions and planned to attend college in the fall and become a diplomat someday.

Soon Andy is fending off fed-up FBI agents and dueling with a mysterious foe with links to the white supremacist movement. As he draws ever closer to the truth behind Mohamed’s disappearance, Hayes stumbles onto a conspiracy that could put hundreds of lives in danger, including his own two boys.

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Thurberville
Bob Hunter
The Ohio State University Press, 2017
James Thurber’s Columbus was not today’s Columbus—or even yesterday’s. It was a Columbus he both knew and created, a place perched on the fringe of reality and the fringe of his imagination. It is the place Bob Hunter revisits in Thurberville, a book where the author separates truth from fiction and identifies what parts of the famous humorist’s hometown of 180,000 exist in the burgeoning metro area of more than two million today.
Thurber’s Columbus was a wild and crazy place, a city full of fascinating and sometimes peculiar characters, many in his own family. Because of the widespread popularity of his stories, that was also the Columbus that many of his readers around the world came to know.
Thurberville chronicles those characters and explores that world. But it also examines the real city where Thurber struggled and then blossomed as a college student, worked as a newspaper reporter and a press agent, and achieved international fame as a humorist and cartoonist after he left town, in part by writing about the subjects he left behind.
Much of Thurber’s best work was cultivated by experiences Thurber had in Columbus and in his dealings with family, friends, teachers, and acquaintances there. They are worth a revisit and, in some cases, an introduction.
 
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