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Nationwide Arena is the principal structure in the district, and its heart. Built as the home of the Columbus Blue Jackets hockey team, the arena is a major venue in the city, used to host many kinds of events. The masonry walls, large windows, and exposed steel elements of the arena are nods to the warehouse and industrial architecture that once prevailed in the Arena District, although they are blended into a clearly contemporary design. Most notable is the 135-foot light beacon at the building’s east end.

The building blends well into the streetscape and is set back from Front Street behind a large public plaza. The plaza accommodates large crowds during special events and provides an urban amenity for those who live and work in the district.

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