© 2024 WOSU Public Media
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Ohio Village to close for renovations as part of update to Ohio History Center

Buildings at Ohio Villlage.
Columbus Neighborhoods
Buildings at Ohio Villlage.

This summer will be the last chance to visit Ohio Village as it is now.

The Living History Village at the Ohio History Center, located at 800 East 17th Ave., will close in August for a year-and-a-half-long renovation.

The village was opened half a century ago on July 27, 1974.

“It's been 50 years. It's time to plan for the next 50 years to keep the facilities relevant,” said Ohio History Connection spokesman Neil Thompson.

The village is set to get a nature play area, an updated town square that could host music performances, and more walkways, lights and accessible streets.

“We’re thinking about how to provide new experiences for visitors” Thompson said.

He said that means more food and drink options in Ohio Village, and better connectivity between the Ohio History Center and the village, which will include more trees and landscaping.

The village will close after the end of the Ohio State Fair on Aug. 4. Before that, there will be plenty of celebrations for its 50th anniversary.

Ohio Village: A Living History

The 19th-century village opens for the season on Saturday with a bash that will include a look at fashion, culture and technology from the turn of the century. Visitors can look forward to a baseball game played by 1860s rules and a 19th-century magic show.

Then, on July 27, the village will have a “Founders Day” with live music, local artisans and vaudeville performances.

“When it closes, this will be part of a comprehensive renovation and revitalization project,” Thompson said.

The Ohio History Connection’s “Campus 2.OH” renovation will include the opening of a Collections Care Center in June. The new facility on 17th Avenue will house Ohio History Connection’s history and natural history collections, which will contain about half of the 1.8 million items in the organization's care.

Ohio History Connection is also partnering with the Ohio Expo Center and Ohio State Fair to build an Ohio showcase building that will feature an exhibit telling Ohio’s stories and some of Ohio History Connection’s larger artifacts. That building is expected to open in 2026.

Plans are also underway to restore and update the Ohio History Connection building, with was built in 1970.

“It's both a celebration and it's a preservation effort, and it's going to help us reflect on the 50 years that have gone before for places like Ohio Village, but also help us share Ohio stories for the next 50 years and beyond,” Thompson said.

Allie Vugrincic has been a radio reporter at WOSU 89.7 NPR News since March 2023.