Designing & Planning Local Development: “The Elm Plaza on High”

High St. view & key of The Elm

High St. view & key of The Elm

Gay St. View and sight of mural for The Elm

Gay St. View and sight of mural for The Elm

Elm Plaza

The Elm Plaza on High is located on the southwest corner of E. Gay Street and High Street as well as the southwest corner of E. Long Street and High Street.

Along the first floor of the building where the retail stores are located, we would like to incorporate retractable, glass panels as frequently seen in the Short North District. These panels give shoppers in the retail space a more modern shopping experience. The brick used to construct The Elm will be a red similar to that used on new buildings on Ohio State’s campus (think Ohio Union, or Park Stradley), the purpose of this is to pay homage to Ohio State, which not only represents Columbus, but also the state of Ohio as a whole. The residential area will be on the floors above the plaza and the retail area.

Moving up to the 4th story, two residential buildings will be separated by a plaza on Elm Street that will run from High Street to the back of the complex. Our team wants this plaza to be the main focus for our design, as it will reflect all the qualities that define “local” in the city of Columbus context. For example, since the plaza will have access from High Street, the area will be open to all people, not just patrons of “The Elm Plaza on High.” The citizens of Columbus are very friendly people who are extremely engaging, so it is only appropriate that our plaza is accessible for everyone. Also located in this plaza will be local, such as Jeni’s Ice Cream or even extensions to well rooted Columbus restaurants such as Thurman’s

or The Ohio Deli. Also, we’d like to incorporate newer restaurants founded here so that along with well established restaurants, new restaurants can have an opportunity to establish themselves in Columbus. Retail stores run throughout the bottom floor of the plaza, these stores will be Ohio based boutiques such as Sole Classics, Kingsrowe, and Homage; as well as local athletic merchandise retailers (i.e. Columbus Crew, Blue Jackets, Clippers, and Buckeyes). By having retail spaces mixed in with residential areas, our team feels like the plaza comes off as fashionable AND progressive. Over the last few years, Columbus has emerged as a national fashion hub, hence why the plaza features a great deal of retail space.

We would like to invite local artists such as Columbus’ very own Giovanni Santiago to design and create murals across the Long St. and Gay. St sides of the building. If you take a walk along High Street through the Short North District, you will immediately notice how artsy Columbus is. The Elm Plaza on High will be a testament to this creative aspect of Columbus.

5 Beers And A Coke, Local Neighborhood Food Environments

4thThe Weinland Park community is home to a highly crowded grid of housing. Fourth Street Farms offers the most green space in the area. Located between Summit and Fourth Street, it hosts a high density of traffic, and large housing options making it a large population. The lighting seems sporadic, and the sidewalks are square against the road with no real set back or quality width. Secured parking appears widely unavailable, resulting with people relying on walking and public transportation like COTA.


A trip to the nearest grocery store requires heading to 7th and High to stop at the Kroger on the corner. Between there lies numerous small corner stores, as well as numerous previously closed stores. 4th Street Farms finds itself the healthiest option in numerous directions for quality food. This is an alarming problem, seeing as this community is very high density, including numerous families that deserve a quality sustenance.

The number of local stores within walking distance gives a false promise of food security. Unfortunately, a rather large community has a lack of quality grocery stores that offer numerous foods for the area. This area appears to be a food swamp due to its high amount of convenience stores and plethora of fast food options provided to the west on high street. The one Kroger to the south is not adequate for the Weinland Park community compared to the other options offered to them.

The Beer Barn on 5th Ave is an example of wasted space that could be replaced with healthy option groceries.

The Beer Barn on 5th Ave is an example of wasted space that could be replaced with healthy option groceries.

Due to its high density area and lack of green space to work with and expand in, the best idea for the Weinland Park community is to work with what they are already given. As previously noted, numerous corner stores are home to nothing, just empty buildings taking up space. Renovating these buildings up to code and moving small, local groceries stores into these complexes holds numerous benefits. It stimulates the areas economy, offers numerous jobs to local residents in that area, and provide closer, quality groceries to this food swamp. The introduction of deli’s and fresh vegetables, like ones such as provided by Fourth Street Farms, makes strides in the right directions for providing a healthier standard of living for Weinland Park. As a community that has already taken good steps in the right direction in the last few years, an introduction of small local business to the area is the step in the right direction, for private sector and families alike.


Quick stores like these highlight numerous corners in the area


Above is the community farm of 4th Street Farms, and just a portion of the work being done there


The Chaire of Pierre : Resubmission Activity 3 Designing/Planning “Local Development”

Uptown Gardens


Our sign is made of Limestone with the lettering and designs chiseled in. The designs represent Uptown Garden’s core values which are to be clean, sustainable, and to honor Ohio’s history.
Our sign is made of Limestone with the lettering and designs chiseled in. The designs represent Uptown Garden’s core values which are to be clean, sustainable, and to honor Ohio’s history.

Columbus has been spearheading its downtown urban development with a theme of preserving the historic buildings that are in existence and merging the surrounding buildings with progressive green innovations. The town has enormous pride in itself and the new development around High, Gay, and Long Street are reflective of this due to the quality of thought that has gone into the area. We believe that the buildings should display Columbus’s desire for a more sustainable and green model of design of buildings by having efficient passive and active HVAC systems, using sustainable and long lasting building materials, and having a green space and solar panels on the roof. Our Uptown Gardens multi – use building will attempt to cover all three of these desires in a pleasing way that fits in the existing area and also encourages similar development in the future.

The arches on the front façade of the building facing east serve two purposes. First is for the aesthetic property of Columbus being the ‘City of Arches’. We like keeping this theme going along because it makes Columbus stand out from other cities and even if it is not anything astounding, it is still something Columbus can call its own. The arched windows are also grouped in three to represent Long, Gay, And High Street. The second purpose is that the windows will be set back in the arches at a scientifically determined depth so that it provides optimal shading from the sun at the peak hours of the late morning in the summer reducing the energy needed to cool the building, while also allowing some light in for the winter to help heat the windows.

The materials we are planning to use are brick, limestone, and energy efficient glass. The brick ties the building to the road that will be going underneath the building and connecting the access roads to the parking garage. It is symbolic of how this building will try to tie the existing area into the new building. The use of limestone in the arches and columns will show how this building will be built to last a long time and exemplify the solidarity of the structure. The two large columns bordering the side extremes of the front façade will be symbolic of supporting the green space on the terrace and the solar panels on the roof that will reduce the carbon footprint of the building over a long time. The main goal of Uptown Gardens is to create a long lasting structure the will tie into the existing area while creating the least amount of disturbance on the environment as possible.

Front View: High Street


The front side of Uptown Gardens will face High Street. With multiple stories used for retail, the bottom portion of the building will be made with brick along with glass doors and windows. The upper half of the retail section will be used for apartments also being made out of brick. We have created tall pillars made out of limestone to separate the retail sections. The center of the first floor will have a tunnel entrance to the underground parking area.

North Side: Long Street


South Side: Gay Street


The north and south view facing Long and Gay Street will give the tenants’ and the people of Columbus additional access to enter our Uptown Gardens. We wanted to reassure the tenants that no matter how busy the retail stores became, they should not have any issues entering their apartments; also creating a better flow for the retail stores and eliminating a clutter of people entering and exiting the stores. We really focused on creating a symmetrical perspective for each side of the building. We strategically placed our variety of windows all around so all the occupants could gaze at downtown Columbus at any given time.

Top View


For the rooftop of Uptown Gardens, we first and foremost wanted to make sure we could supply our apartments and retail stores with renewable and clean energy. To achieve this, we covered the roofs of the apartments with solar panels, and decided upon this so they can be on the highest point of our complex to capture the most direct sunlight. For the balcony experience, we wanted to try and capture a sense of community for our tenants, and did so by creating a community garden, as well as an individual garden square per apartment, and a greenhouse to access year-round. As well as the gardens, we have created a washing station for the tenants to have easy access to wash their fresh food without having to worry about making a mess in their own kitchen. Lastly for recreation, we made an outdoor kitchen space, infinity pool to overlook scenic downtown Columbus, as well as a park for kids and families to enjoy.

The Chaire of Pierre : Assignment 4 Local Neighborhoods and Food Environment

Fourth Street in the Weinland Park area is extremely busy, and there are very limited cross walks. Most food in the area is on the west side of Fourth Street and the closest grocery store is as well. There are many abandoned stores, and most of the housing is on the east side of Fourth Street. The closest grocery store is Kroger on High Street which is a decent walk away. A lot of people in the area walk or use COTA so this is an issue. The 4Th Street Garden is a nice option for close, healthy food, but there is limited space to grow food. It is helping the problem, but it would have a larger impact if there was a larger quantity of produce. There are a couple of other similar gardens so there has been some progress. The most convenient places to get food are corner stores which lack healthy options, and carry out food places which are tasty, but not nutritional.


We would call the Weinland park area food insecure. There are good things happening with the arrival of these urban gardens, but we still believe there is a lot of work to be done because there is no variety of food options. The neighborhood can’t be called a food desert by definition because the Kroger on High Street is technically in the Weinland Park district, but it is in the least accessible place and far away from most of the residents in need. There are also not enough fast food places to call it a food swamp.


What Weinland Park needs is a grocery store with food options, but that is not a reality in the world we live in. A company would look at the area and see no potential for profit. In a completely economic analysis of building a store in the area there would be every sign to stay out you can think of. Until this fact changes some better temporary options would be to get some smaller produce markets to move in to some of the abandoned stores, or set up a system of food truck style produce trucks. The urban gardens are great, but they can definitely be improved.