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Downtown Columbus Businesses Clean Up After Protests Damage Storefronts

Chad Goodwin at the door to his restaurant 4th & State on May 29, 2020.
Nick Evans
Chad Goodwin at the door to his restaurant 4th & State on May 29, 2020.

At 4th & State downtown, a team of workers are punching broken panes of glass out of their window frames. 

The corner restaurant takes its name from the intersection. With a wry smile, owner Chad Goodwin admits his block must have presented a target-rich environment as protestors moved away from the Statehouse on Thursday night.

“I’m guessing as police pushed people out and away, our block kind of got caught in the spillover,” he says. “There’s a lot of windows, so it’s kind of understandable, it’s a window-laden block for sure.”

Businesses throughout downtown are cleaning up after demonstrations in honor of George Floyd, a Minneapolis man killed by police.

Next door, the windows of Two Men And A Vacuum have already been removed. Around the corner, most of the windows at the Angela Meleca Gallery have been smashed. 

Still, Goodwin expresses empathy with the demonstration.

“The protests are representing something much bigger than a minor inconvenience,” Goodwin says. “So to be collateral damage in a scenario where a lot of people’s lives are at risk, yeah, tough, an inconvenience, but above all else it’s a sign that the system definitely needs some repair.”

Workers cleaning up glass at 4th & State on Friday, May 29.
Credit Nick Evans / WOSU
Workers cleaning up glass at 4th & State.

Goodwin says it could be up to week before repairs are all done.

Meanwhile, workers at the Ohio Statehouse are boarding up ground floor windows in case there are further demonstrations over the weekend. In total, 28 windows and two doors were damaged during the protests. There was also damage to a handful of outdoor features, including light poles and benches.

The Ohio Theater suffered damage as well. Early estimates put that damage at more than $15,000

Nick Evans was a reporter at WOSU's 89.7 NPR News. He spent four years in Tallahassee, Florida covering state government before joining the team at WOSU.