Westerville’s Abandoned Armory

Much like any town, Westerville Ohio prides itself on its history. Westerville was once known as the “driest town in the nation”, coined after the start of Prohibition in the twenties; which originated from Westerville. Even since prohibition has ended, there are only a handful of bars in historic uptown Westerville. Down State street, past there is an armory that has been decommissioned for quite some time. The structure was created in 1946, just a year after World War II ended. The building was used for years storing munitions and other various military utilities up until 1984 when it was decommissioned from service. This building has stood for many years and will stand for many more to come. It currently lies abandoned. Though it was constructed during a time of peace, this facility acted as a safeguard for Westerville as much as it was for Columbus if any action were to happen during the Cold War.

While trying to research this building, there is no recollection of the armory, even with the unlimited information of the internet. The history of this building was derived from Westerville’s public library with the help of a studied librarian. The information on this building is much like its perception among today’s inhabitants of Westerville, hidden.


Back in its prime this place served as a place of safety from any danger. Not too far from the armory is the Westerville police station which also serves to protect the people. The Armory should be revived as a federal office of the sort. This use of the building would maximize the space that it is allotted. The parking for the offices is gated off and behind the armory which offers security to the vehicles. The buildings architecture is very serious and looks like it has been there for ages. This is a good attribute because it characteristically represents the U.S. government being a strong and ever-lasting democracy. This building would be commissioned by the federal government for the government, and would bring jobs to Westerville.

-Justin Nguyen

Covered Bridge at Sycamore Park

Though no particularly clear information can be found on when the bridge was erected, since the settling of the area now known as Sycamore park in 1811, the bridge has existed and undergone numerous reconstructions, updates, and upgrades for various reasons until its current state.

The covered bridge at Sycamore Park is the very identity of Pickerington Ohio, not just in the fact that is the mascot of all government and cultural programs associated with Pickerington but also for the fact that it is the center piece of the most beautiful park in Pickerington. The Covered bridge, despite all its beauty and importance falls victim to vandalism and is all too often used as a space for underage drinking and smoking after dark as evident from the amount of broken glass and cigarette butts littering the stream it crosses. In addition to the abuse of its interior and its surroundings, the covered bridge has also not had any amount of upkeep done on it for a rather long period and thus has several rotted portions of the floor and sidings. Though this damage is not enough to make it unsafe, it does make it somewhat of an eyesore when look at it from the banks of the creek.

I do not believe that the Covered Bridge at Sycamore needs a full reconstruction, however I do believe that it needs some of the flooring replaced, a good clean up, and a repainting to return it to its vibrant white that it had when it was constructed. Though I am not entire confident of Pickerington’s economic standpoint, I do believe that it is their responsibility to maintain the structure that they call their “pride and joy”.

Though the Covered Bridge at Sycamore is still used by some, I do firmly believe that after its restoration, the Pickerington community will be happy to increase use of it.

Logan Benson

Blog Post #4 – “4th”

2.        Newark Ohio may be a quiet town for now, but in the near future this town plans to expand and grow. To attract new people and improve the city, Newark has many plans to both preserve its historic nature while also accommodating for the future. in spirit of Newark’s promising future, we (the Pineapple Planners) were tasked with creating something within the area given to us to work with to aid in the expansion and renovation of Newark. Our vision for this plot of land is to create a multi-use building comprised of both commercial and residential areas. This complex would be created to provide the people of downtown Newark a new place to shop and support local business’s, while also serving as a place to live for newcomers of Newark or natives that want a different type of living.


3.         The building that we came to agree on is simply named “4th, giving homage to the unique  stair step” design that stands four floors high. Behind the complex is a three story parking garage to serve as a place for employees of the shops, customers, and most importantly the residents of the apartments. The front of the buildings, setback is about 6 feet from the curb which allows for a decent sized gap between traffic and pedestrians that are walking around. On each side of the complex there is a 3ft gap on either side allowing for a little more room for walking on the side of the building, especially next to the McDonalds located to the front right face of the building if you were to be staring at it from the street. The overall footprint of the building is 192 ft. for the width and 188ft. for the length. For the first floor there are a total of six stores able to fit in our complex with even dimensions for all of them, 45ft by 62ft. the parking behind the structure also has relatively the same footprint as the apartment complex at 192 ft for the width and 170 ft in length. The building stands (at its highest point) at four stories with an underground basement level. The complex has two arms that extend out to the face of the complex creating a “U” shaped as pictured.

This design was incorporated so that the open space of the “U” can be used for a community center for the occupants of the apartments and is also an open area for Newark natives to relax after shopping around the first floor stores. this courtyard is beneficial to the new residents and the public because new people to Newark will need to branch out and meet people of Newark, the courtyard acts like a medium for people to meet people and create a relationship that will strengthen this new community.

4.      The design of this building was constructed with utilitarian views in mind. We wanted to create both a place that people would find interesting and want to experience such as the stores on the first floor, but we also wanted the residences to not feel like they are living in the middle of a shopping center. To compensate for the public space, residents have access to four roof gardens.

Each flat of the stair step design is used for each separate small garden accessed only by the residents of the apartments. These little gardens give the residences a part of the land that they can call their own, and not have to share the space with just anyone.

Another balance we wanted to achieve was class diversity. Each level (after the first level) offers different formats to accommodate to different styles of living. The second floor is mostly limited to smaller apartments for younger people who may not be spending a lot of time at home. The 3rd level is comprised of bigger apartments suited towards people with the need for more space. The top floor is for pent houses almost as they are suited with extra amenities such as number of bathrooms and overall area.

For the expansion of Newark, and for the people of the complex, we offer a 3 story parking garage located at the back of the apartment building. Again, the second floor is restricted to apartment owners as there is direct access from the parking garage to the residential living areas above the first floor. The first and second floors are for both residents and the public for access of the shops and events around Newark.

The Logistics of this sight also allows for this type of structure to be able to exist on this land. There is a sewage port located on the bottom right corner of the land to allow for proper sewage to come out of the building. As for getting clean water in, there is a water line directly in front of the complex. For safety there are three fire hydrants located at both ends of the arms of the apartment complex, as well as one located near the parking garage. The location of the building also is not prone to flooding as it is not in the flood zone.


Appendix: A couple ideas that we were thinking of approaching was an Park. The idea for a park came when we visited Newark and saw that their idea of a park is just a rectangle of clear, grassy land. We wanted to create a park that felt more like a park, but decided to end that pursuit because we thought that a multi-use building would be more beneficial to the city of Newark.


The Banana Peel: Blog 5

The Banana Peel was a small, local, and community -based sandwich and desert restaurant in small town New Concord, Ohio. It was built in the early 2000’s and had been serving loyal community members and visitors of the area until it was closed down in October of 2015 due to a heartbreaking lack of business.

The Banana Peel gave me my first job. I was just 16 years old coming into a new reality of working for myself and my high-maintenance lifestyle. I was offered a position as a server nearly immediately. We served lunch, dinner, and a full-blown Velvet ice cream selection. Our unique little restaurant had just 8 black tables and an 8 seat bar. The floors were a diner inspired black and white tile. The walls were painted a calming cream and covered in college pendants from around Ohio, John Glenn school artifacts such as old jerseys and helmets, and Ohio State memorabilia. It is safe to say that my beloved bosses truly appreciated and honored our community, while implementing it into their restaurant.

The Banana Peel is worth saving because it is where our community came together. It was the only eat-in restaurant in New Concord. Just in my short time serving there I met members of my community that I became so extremely close with. For instance, The Banana Peel proudly served Ron Vessles, a highly respected New Concord resident of nearly 80 years, on a regular basis. Mr. Vessles and I acquired a once-in-a-lifetime relationship. Being a cheerleader for John Glenn for many years gave me a responsibility of doing a senior athlete scrapbook for every season. While I enjoyed doing this for my peers as they moved on to the next stage in their life, it became a quit time consuming task. Mr. Vessles helped me with that! He would personally bring in newspaper articles from all of the surrounding newspapers into the high school office in a Ziploc bag with my name on it every Wednesday. He knew who my assigned athlete was and would cut out the articles that would fit appropriately. That’s just one example of the community we have in New Concord. I also met so many other respected community members through my serving job at The Banana Peel.

Funding The Banana Peel would be easy with proper advertisement and communication throughout the area due to New Concord’s high support within the community. A highly influential factor in The Banana Peel closing was its location. It was just a mile off the interstate on Route 93. If travelers knew about the relaxing restaurant, chances are they would stop for a quick lunch and desert. If The Banana Peel could raise money for a spot on the closest billboard, I am positive that business would have been booming. To raise money for a billboard, I would suggest a Buffalo Wild Wings or Chipotle fundraisers where 25%-50% of sales goes towards to the organization. A spot on a billboard through Barnes Advertising ranges from $190-$300. That’s only 150 sales! Also for funding, I would suggest reaching out to community members for donations and offering a spot for their family name or business on a sign inside the restaurant. Our community is really heavy in supporting by means of donation. For instance, our basketball and cheerleading Disney tournament trip was completely funded by our community… within less than a week! If efforts like these mentioned were made sooner, I’m positive The Banana Peel would still be living in New Concord.

*Pictures will not upload*


First hospital in Lancaster

This Old Victorian style home is located in Lancaster Oh and should be saved by the historical society to ensure its preservation. This building is located at 632 North Broad Street and is currently a multi-family house that is vacant.

This building was built in 1900 and was originally used as the first hospital of Lancaster. Even though the amount of time this building was a hospital is uncertain,  it is safe to say that it was during the early 1900’s that this was a hospital. There was an addition added to this house in the late 1900’s but that addition is located in the back and is small in proportion to the original building. The architecture of this building can be described as Victorian with the structure built using brick.

This building should be preserved just because of the fact that it was the first hospital in Lancaster. Members of the community would feel great satisfaction knowing that this building was used as a hospital to possibly their ancestors. This building has major issues including chipped brick and old paint that should be taken care of to make the building more aesthetically pleasing.

The funding for this building should come from an historical tax credit so that it can be preserved by the historical society. Getting this historical tax credit should not be a problem because of the history of the building and the rehabilitation would not be that expensive compared to other buildings.

On the Preservation of the Ace Morgan Theater

On December 12th of last year, the Granville Village Planning Commission approved the demolition of Denison’s Ace Morgan Theater. First opened in 1956 the building is dedicated to a Denison theater student, LeRoy Morgan, who was killed in combat during the Second World War. Posthumously awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart, Morgan’s classmates and friends raised the money and support necessary to persuade the Denison administration to dedicate the then-new theater to him. Since 1956, it has been used to host a variety of productions, in addition to the administrative and logistical support wings needed by the Denison Theater department.

While the Granville Historical Society has “after careful consideration” given their blessing to the demolition of the theater and the construction of its replacement, their focus was first and foremost on the historical significance of the building. In order to appease them, Denison administration has promised to both try to reuse material from the original building and “look into” dedications for Morgan. However, the author holds the opinion that when considered from a holistic perspective, including not just historical significance, but also its stylistic effects upon the area, the building should be preserved. The Theater has an architecture style that uniquely contrasts the rest of the nearby Denison buildings. This contrast helps to create a modern, but intelligent atmosphere in the adjacent green space where everything from concerts to graduation ceremonies are held. All of this will be lost with the demolition of the building.

Currently, the Ace Morgan Theater is being demolished as part of a larger project to create a new Arts Center and the building’s requisite access and parking needs. Instead of demolishing the theater, the $30 million allocated to the project could be used instead to renovate the existing buildings. If further funds are required, they could be raised through the Granville Historical Society, though such a situation seems unlikely.

As for its use, the building has been in use by the Dension Theater Department for years, as it should be. If they have outgrown it however, it could be reused as an administrative building, given to another department (perhaps it could be used to host their new Data Analytics major), or simply sold to a private entity. Though the latter is a touch extreme, it would be preferable to demolishing the building, its history, and the carefully cultivated atmosphere of the entire block.

The Michigan Central Station

The Michigan Central Station-Kailyn Gullatt

(Fig 1)

Michigan Central Station is located in Detroit,Michigan. When Detroit was still known as Motor City ,and bankruptcy was far from concern, the train station functioned to bring thousands through cross city transport. As the desire to live in Detroit and the desire to use trains declined, the Michigan Central Station’s necessity declined. The building has been abandoned since 1988,but has served as a landmark for Detroit in various films and its architecture,(see Fig 2), has remained astounding

This Detroit Landmark should be saved because it’s still generating revenue in its decrepit state and maybe because of it.This means the building is unlikely to be torn down by the owners ,but vacant buildings are often a source for crime. With Detroit’s notoriously high crime rate leaving the building open is not an appealing option for the city. Michigan Central Station is an emblem for Detroit’s peak as the motor city and should be preserved as a piece of history.

(Fig 2)

The main issue with this Detroit building is that a full restoration  is expected to cost around a hundred million dollars. There have been multiple plans to restore this structure ,but due to lack of funding or commitment the building has not found new utilization. The Moroun family that owns the building replaced the windows in 2015 and since then no plans to progress have been released.

With the whole building costing so much to rebuild, the best option would be to do something that would not require a total restoration to generate money. If some of the bottom floor was restored it could be turned into an market for artists and farmers. This would leave an option to temporarily close when enough money is generated to cover a fuller restoration. At that point there would be an option to turn the space into a multi-floor shopping mall,apartment/retail, ,or even a wedding venue. Funding could be provided by potential vendors and communities of farmer markets. The Detroit Community Markets or even Detroit’s Urban Craft Fair may be able to assist in restoration in return for the space.

The Factory

In a small town called Sunbury Ohio there is a building that sits empty, and partly destroyed.  When someone walks by this building they don’t appreciate that this building was once a thriving factory that provided jobs and other benefits to the community.  This old building is the former Nestle Factory, and it plays a critical role in the history of the small town of Sunbury.

The factory was built in the late 1800’s and sold to the Nestle company in 1919.  Nestle used this factory to create butter, cheese, and evaporated milk.  The factory would eventually become known for a specialty product it made, instant coffee and instant tea.  The factory was actually the first Nestle factory to make an instant tea product known as Nestea, a product still sold today.  The factory continued it’s growth, including a 27 million five story addition in 1981, to perform an additional function of decaffeinating coffee beans.  However the good times would come to an end.  In 1993 the factory closed it’s doors as Nestle deemed their decaff coffee was no longer popular.  With the closing of the factory, Nestle took with it its many jobs it provided for the community and its large income tax for the community.

The factory is now partly torn down  and other than one small steel manufacturing plant, sits empty.  The factory leaving had left a huge hole in the village of Sunbury as many people where now out of a job and many businesses started to suffer.  It took Sunbury a while to recover from this, but from the ashes the phoenix will rise.  Sunbury is now a thriving community once again, and is still expanding.  The addition of an outlet mall, and several new schools, Sunbury’s population and businesses are on the rise.  Yet the factory still sits there like a scar on the community.  But all that can change.

The plot where the factory sits is in a great location.  It’s right by the Sunbury square, which is really the life of Sunbury and its very close to the middle school, high school, and several elementary schools.  An apartment complex built on the lot would make perfect sense.  Sunbury’s current problem is the population continues to expand, and they are running out of homes, an apartment complex would help that problem.  Sunbury also doesn’t have a lot of apartment buildings within the city.  It really only has one, and the rest are houses that are probably out of many peoples price range who might want to move to Sunbury.  An apartment complex would bring more teachers, police, firefighters, and many other crucial jobs that are necessary for a growing community.  With the addition of new businesses to Sunbury, finding the funds for the creation of this building wouldn’t be difficult.  The building will need fixed up a lot too, as many of it fell apart as it was not properly maintained.

An apartment complex on this location would also be somewhat poetic.  The disfigured empty factory is a painful reminder of the rough stretch Sunbury had when it closed its doors.  Especially it being so recent that many adult residents of the town remember the time when it used to be open.  But Sunbury bounced back and building this apartment complex would show how far the town and community have come since then, and showcase that Midwesterner never die spirit that Sunbury has.


Source: http://bigwalnuthistory.org/Local_History/Creameries/Nestles/Nestle.htm

KEK Design’s Latest Project Unvieled

KEK Residentials

Newark is a small traffic friendly city that has been expanding rapidly in recent years. Currently, Newark’s city center is being restored, driving up property values and attracting a far wealthier demographic than those who have lived there in recent history. It is in this setting that KEK Designs has decided to unveil KEK Residentials. The overall goal with this project is to capitalize on the future influx of wealth and overall lack of upscale housing. KEK Residentials is a three floor gym-apartment complex hybrid, designed to offer a modern, upscale alternative for wealthy tenants.


Figure one demonstrates an aerial view of the plot that the new residency intends to cover. Figure two demonstrates the floor plans of the three story building with underground parking. Figure three is a rough sketch of the front of the building.


(Fig 1)


(Fig 2)

(Fig 3)

Proposal Justification:

After discussing a number of different ideas of varying seriousness (see appendix for a sample), KEK Designs decided on a hybrid gym and upscale apartment complex for a number of reasons. The principle reason for the gym part of the project is the lack of a nearby, upscale gym. There are a handful of gyms sprinkled liberally throughout Newark, but many would feel unfamiliar to a wealthy Columbus expatriate. Furthermore, income can be supplemented by selling gym memberships to the general public, with the intent of providing an alternative source of revenue to the owners to insulate the project from fluctuations in the housing market. The upscale apartment portion of the project was decided upon after the gym portion, though the gym is supposed to supplement the apartment complex, rather than the inverse. This portion of the project is a bit of a gamble, reliant on Newark doing well financially in the relative long term. While finding investors at this moment would be extremely difficult, KEK Designs is confident that funding could be secured within a few years, as long as Newark’s growth continues to accelerate at the same rate it is now.

The building is offset from the sidewalk by the green space located in front of the building and this is approximately 412/192 feet. This offset and the associated green space is designed such as to both draw the eye into the front of KEK Residentials while simultaneously being consistent with the setbacks of the surrounding buildings. KEK decided the green space would also be a beneficial touch to the apartments as it adds a backyard like feeling to the space and thus inspiring a notion of home.The green space contains three picnic tables for outdoor lunches and meditation. The gazebo outside of the residence has a stone path and serves as a great place for pictures or simply enjoying the view.   The first floor houses half of the gym, a small indoor track and basketball court (as currently proposed) as well as a lobby area, mailroom, and offices.The first floor is designed to be a common area, where the public gym goers mix with residents freely. One heavily debated feature of this floor is the indoor basketball court and track, with concerns about the resulting noise being the main complaint. In any case, much like the underground parking, the basketball court is an addition that may or may not be realized, depending on other external factors. The second floor encompasses the other half of the gym and features the first set of apartments. As currently planned, there are ten spacious apartments, each with private bathrooms and pseudo-balconies overlooking their respective sides. The remaining space is reserved for a common area, which serves as a buffer between the gym and apartments. The third floor offers penthouses and larger sized rooms to accommodate families while the second floor consists of smaller rooms for those who want a more solitary space.

The strengths of this proposal include an adaptable plan that allows the residence to adjust to threats,a potentially substantial return on investment,easy access to downtown Newark, and nearby access to necessary utilities. The weakness of the proposal are the proximity to other gyms and less appealing infrastructure of Newark’s downtown. However, these weakness may be overshadowed by the opportunities that the residence provides and may take part in. Opportunities include expansion to vacant lots that may be easy to acquire and the opportunity to attract millennials to its downtown creating a diverse generations for the city of Newark. Threats that may impede the implementation of KEK residentials are limited demand for high end apartments, assumption of Newark’s economic expansion, competition of smaller high quality lofts in the area, and the surrounding buildings not tailored for high end clients.


Appendix: Rejected Ideas

  • Shopping Complex
  • Public Park
  • Space Elevator
  • Parking Lot
  • Tannery and Rendering facility
  • Low cost housing apartments
  • Vertical Shooting Range
  • Low cost gym