University District Community Collaborates on Placemaking Project

Promoting the University District's arts and bringing it to public realm has become a new community objective. The recent completion of the University District Arts & Character Plan fostered an idea to improve a barren concrete plaza space at High Street and East Fourteenth into a new public space that featured art and amenities.


The University District Organization engaged the Neighborhood Design Center to imagine several concepts that would improve the space for people.  The goal was to create an engaging focal point on High Street that would bring attention to the business district during its transformation by several adjacent construction projects. The final plan included seating, planters, an iconic sculpture piece, and mural art.

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Input on the plaza makeover was gained from the University Area Commission and University Student Government. The sculpture piece was approved by the Columbus Arts Commission since it was located in the right-of-way.

Funding collaborators on the project included University Student Government who sponsored the "High Street" sculpture, the University District Special Improvement District purchased the seating and planters, and Campus Partners who provided funding for the adjacent wall art on the side of SBX Bookstore.

The furnishings and sculpture will remain until summer 2018. Infrastructure work associated with the 15th + High project will eventually close down the space for new sidewalks, paving, and street trees. The mural designed by Stephanie Rond with poetry by Dionne Custer Edwards will be displayed until the building that its on is demolished.

Be sure to visit the space, take a pic with the High Street sign, and view the artwork before its gone!

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