- Architects: W. Byron Ireland & Associates, Columbus
- 800 East 17th Avenue
The Ohio Historical Society created quite a stir when it constructed this building on the north end of the Ohio State Fairgrounds. The Brutalist design of this memorable building is one not typically associated with a historical organization. Its monumental scale, daring structural design using post-tensioned concrete, and simple forms received considerable attention in the architectural and general press.
The center sits on what appears to be a mounded site. In reality, however, the museum and office space under the sloping lawns to the north and south are at ground level. At the next level is the main entrance in a glassed-in plaza. High above, the large, brown, boxy structure, finished in Ohio silo tile, seems to float over the site. The design is deceptive, as this portion of the building houses a large library reading room with skylights in the center with offices around the perimeter. The space also includes archival space and two floors of library stacks. North of the main building is Ohio Village, a collection of buildings constructed in the mid-1970s. Based on numerous Ohio architectural models, the Village depicts a typical small Ohio community in about 1850.