21 Sep 2012--Drove to Columbus, OH on Wednesday to see the state capitol and whatever else we could see within walking distance of it. I took this pic for Chris...I think he still pines for his days at Nationwide in San Antonio. (That's a joke...he hated it!)
It has been a few states since we saw one that had an interesting, or at least colorful, license plate, but Ohio finally came thru for us. The 2nd pic shows the current state seal, with the 13 rays around the sun indicating the original 13 states, the wheat on the lower right indicating the state's agricultural wealth, and the 17 arrows on the left representing the state's status as the 17th state admitted to the union. The 3rd pic shows the hand-painted 1847 version of the seal, and is on the dome in the Rotunda. And then Cathy is holding the state flag in the final pic.
The city is named after Christopher Columbus, so his statue is on the statehouse grounds. A little fun fact: the city of Columbus really didn't exist prior to the capitol being built. They wanted the capitol to be in the center of the state, so they picked this spot and then basically built a city after the fact!
The 2nd pic shows the most prominent statue, this one of William McKinley, a former president who came from Ohio. Why he is so prominent I don't know. Finally, a little clarification...I said the other day that Ohio has had 7 former presidents that came from that state, while Virginia has had 8. Ohio literature says that they have had 8 while Virginia has had only 7. So who is telling the truth? As Fox News says, "I report, you decide"...haha...this is the deal...They are both claiming William Henry Harrison, who was in my Cincinnati blog, because while he served as a senator from Ohio and then ran and won the presidency from Ohio, he was actually born in Virginia. I think I am in Ohio's corner on this one.
The capitol building, finished in 1861, was partially built with prison labor. They were used to do the foundation and ground floors, but stopped by protests of citizens complaining that they were taking jobs from law-abiding folks. It is in the heart of downtown Columbus, literally surrounded by businesses, office buildings, etc. When you step out the front door, the 3 pics below are what you see, with the high-rise directly opposite you in the center of your view. It is really pretty, especially as you can see the reflection of the Capitol building in the glass of the building.
As you enter the building there is an immediate staircase that leads you up to the rotunda and the beautiful dome. Because of the lighting the 1847 state seal gets bleached out of the dome pic, so it is by itself in the 4th pic here.
There aren't a lot of items on display in the rotunda, actually only this painting of a scene from the War of 1812, valued at over $1 million, and then a statue of Lincoln, the only bust he sat for in his life. Lincoln both spoke here while running for president and laid in state in the center of the rotunda for 11 days after his assassination.
A couple pics of me as we are entering the rotunda. It surprises me how small we are in these buildings.
The house and Senate weren't anything to write home about (like that play on words? haha). This is the House.
The ceiling was probably the most interesting aspect of it.
And this is the Senate. The only difference is the amount of seats and a lot more glass in the ceiling. I put the 2nd pic so you could blow it up and really check out the carpet. The tour guide liked it a lot more than we did (haha), saying that it was a replica of the original...must have been thought to be pretty at one time I guess, but I would call it "loud"...at a minimum!
You have to go thru an atrium to reach the senate offices, so you would walk out of the capitol where the columns are, across the atrium floor to enter where those people are standing in the 2nd pic. If you look at the column on the 1st pic on the right, there is a tablet indicating that Lincoln gave one of his speeches from that spot while running for president. In the 3rd pic is the entryway to the offices, with Sue, our guide, in the lower right.
So that was it for the statehouse...not the best we have seen, but certainly not the worst...that designation still goes to New Mexico.
So off we go down the street and run into this church, Trinity Episcopal. You're not going to believe this...the people of Ohio seem genuinely nice (unlike some other places we have been that shall remain nameless--haha), and Tom here is another indication of it. Cathy and I going door to door around the building, hoping to find an open one, when this guy with a backpack that is standing and waiting for the bus tells us that the church closed about 5 minutes ago, at 2 pm. We sigh, clearly disappointed, when he says "What do you want to do? Take some pictures?" I tell him that yes, we were hoping to, and he promptly tells us to follow him. So, Tom takes us to the front entrances, reaches into his pocket to take out the key, and then leads us inside where he goes and puts the lights on for us!!! He tells us we have to hurry so that he doesn't miss his bus. I was delighted on so many levels, not only to see the church, but the fact that this was the 2nd guy in the state (remember Tony from the Temple?) who was willing to go out of his way to help us. I am very impressed with Ohioans!
So here is Trinity Episcopal, built in 1869, and that is Tom down in the 3rd row of pictures.
Just a block or 2 up from Trinity was St Joseph's Cathedral, another beautiful Catholic Church. I have only been in one Jewish Temple, so I can't pass judgement on them, but I can tell you that Catholic Cathedrals far surpass any of the Protestant Churches we have been in. Some of them are pretty, but not too many will compete with the Catholic's. 1st row shows the view as you enter and look towards the altar.
What this arched piece over the altar is, I don't know, but it certainly is beautiful. And look how small I look as I look up at it in the 2nd pic...there is something deep there, but I won't go into it! haha
The organ in the back...Marie said she likes organs, so here you go, Marie! haha
The stations of the cross are made with inlaid tiles...how many times can I see "very pretty"! haha
Some views not focused on yet.
And finally, here is one more for you. I hope most of you aren't getting bored, but these churches are all around and I can't seem to help myself. haha This is the 1st Congregational Church, which is United Church of Christ, and was completed in 1931...just a baby!!!
We were told by a guy in the parking lot that we would have to ring the bell to get in, so that is what we did, and lo and behold, a man came and led us to the sanctuary, asked the practicing organist if she minded him turning the lights on for us, and then proceeded to do just that. So while I am bragging about Ohioans again, I feel bad that he got away from me before I could take his picture (haha), but I do have a picture of Mary the organist later! This is not as pretty as the Cathedral, of course, but it did have some nice features, so here are a few pics. You can actually see Mary in the 4th pic, up on the altar at the organ, on the right. (The building's architect also built the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC)
A lovely organ for Marie...I love the lights when they are on like in the 2nd and 3rd pics.
And, as promised, more prominently featured, here is Mary the organist. The other 2 pics I included simply because I liked them!
So this morning we left for Indiana for a few days. Just staying there long enough to see the Capitol and maybe the state history museum, and then Monday we leave for a week in Kentucky. Slowly but surely making our way back to San Antonio.