Rust Belt Takeover of Columbus: April 27-29

Photo Source: Columbus Metropolitan Library

The Young Ohio Preservationists (YOPs) are hosting the Rust Belt Takeover of Columbus, April 27-29.  Advance Registration Required, sign up here! Tour registration is on a first come basis; we will offer a waitlist if a tour reaches capacity. 

Thanks to support from the Create Columbus Commission, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, MKSK, and Columbus Landmarks, all activities are free! 

Want to support the Young Ohio Preservationists and their efforts to promote preservation? Donate here! 

Friday Night, 6:30pm – ‘Til We Drop


Launch Party Hosted by Columbus Landmarks @ Two Dollar Radio Headquarters

You’ll find a hearty welcome upon your arrival to Columbus at Two Dollar Radio Headquarters! Two Dollar Radio is a local book publisher that sells indie titles and also has a killer vegan food & drink menu. Reunite with friends, meet new buddies, and learn about the good, the bad, and the ugly of Columbus’ urban history. We’ll have pecha kucha style mini-presentations on what launched the preservation movement in Columbus: highway segregation, LGBTQIA history, and our neighborhoods. There will be a special treat for registrants courtesy of Columbus Landmarks. (Capacity: 100)

After Party @ The Highball Tavern

Leave Two Dollar Radio Headquarters at 9:00pm, and venture a couple blocks north on Parsons Avenue to The Highball Tavern! You will love the drinks and ambience at this local gay bar.

Saturday Morning, 10 am- Noon

Breakfast: On Your Own

Make sure to eat before our action-packed Saturday! We will be posting food recommendations closer to the event.

Postcard image of Fort Hayes in the early 1900s. Source: Columbus Metropolitan Library

Tour of Fort Hayes, 10-noon

Fort Hayes, a National Register of Historic Places designated site, tells the story of early Columbus and racial segregation in the military, and highlights a unique partnership between arts and history. Split into small groups to explore Fort Hayes and learn the history of the site and its evolution to a public arts school. Tour highlights include visiting the award-winning Franklin County Veterans memorial poppy field, the Shot Tower art gallery (exterior due to gallery installation), and seeing which buildings are left to renovate! (Capacity: 100)

Lunch: On Your Own

Grab a bite to eat before your afternoon tour! We are full of recommendations for you depending on which tour you sign up for.

Saturday Afternoon Breakout Tours, 2:00pm-4:00pm*

*asterisk indicates which tours are longer than 2-hours.


Green Book Bike Tour; Sponsored by the Create Columbus Commission

Referred to as “the bible of black travel during Jim Crow,” the Negro Motorist Green Book was an annual guidebook that listed black-friendly businesses like restaurants, hotels, and bars where black travelers could feel safe visiting. This bike tour will lead you through various Columbus stops as listed in the Green Book and give you insight on the history of civil rights & the city. Tour will be led by Rory Krupp of Owen & Eastlake; Owen & Eastlake is in the process of researching the African American Civil Rights sites in Ohio for the Ohio Historic Preservation Office .BYOB (bring your own bike) or request a free bike pass to rent one! (Capacity: 15)

All brick everything in German Village. Source: Matthew Dickey

Wo ist mein handy? A photo tour of German Village.

Join Matthew (an instagram-and history- obsessed photographer from Boston) and Sarah  (a preservationist, local historian, and the coolest cat around) as we zag and zig around the picturesque German Village, a 233 acre historic district in south side Columbus. Our tour will include the quaintest corner of Ohio, ample red brick, seedy history, and extremely Instagrammable corners. We’ll stride and hop through German Village, Schumacher Place, and Parsons. We will tip back some suds in the beautiful Two Dollar Radio HQ, a Columbus-based indie publishing company. There might even be an historic car or two. #Itwillbeawesome! (Capacity: 30, split into 2 groups)

Jimmy Rea is how many people fondly refer to Fire Engine House #6. Source: Robert Tobin

Finding a Future for Franklinton’s Fire Engine House #6

Let’s take a deeper dive into some preservation tools. We will be exploring and learning from the Fire Engine House #6 in Columbus’ Franklinton neighborhood. Workshop participants will have an exclusive tour of a former firehouse turned electronics shop prior to redevelopment. Touring the building with Heritage Ohio, you’ll have the opportunity to learn their vision for the space and their hope for ensuring the structure stands another 100 years. Following the tour, your group will deep dive into historic tax credits. The conversation will discuss the ins and outs of tax credits from development to the State Historic Preservation Office review process. This workshop will give you a greater understanding of the financial incentives available to restore a historic structure! (Capacity: 15)


Urban Rangers Hike*

This hike will bring participants through various places in the core neighborhoods of Columbus. This is an immersive experience where we will be examining connectivity between neighborhoods, public space, and our relationship to urban form. We promote conversations along the way about preservation, pedestrianism, development, etc. We may stray a little off course if an opportunity arises. We’ll be stopping approximately mid way through at a local watering hole for a rest and refreshment. Be Prepared: We suggest wearing sturdy, broken in shoes, appropriate outerwear, and for participants to bring water – we want everyone to feel good! Notes: This hike is not a historic tour developed from our research. Instead, it’s part of an ongoing project that examines cities through a pedestrian lens.

About: Urban rangers brings people together to explore the urban environment. We promote a curiosity for ecology of cities and urban form though guided community hikes and other events. Your guide Derek is the VP of Cincinnati Preservation Collective and works as a freelance creative contributing to organizations and immersive events that help folks discover more about places and relate to the communities they live. For more on Urban Rangers visit their website. Tour will be from 2:00-5:30pm. (Capacity: 20)

You’ll have the opportunity to learn how photographer Stephen Takacs utilizes traditional technology for contemporary images. Source: Stephen Takacs

Art Spaces in Old Places*

Artists often lead the way with neighborhood resurgence and we will visit two artists work spaces (400 W. Rich and Blockfort) and one artist living space (Milo Grogan High School) that are doing just that. We will get a tour of each space and hear about how and why they ended up in their location and what their plans are for the future. This will include visiting a couple of artist studios, viewing a current art show up in one of the spaces, and touring an artist residence. You will love learning how Stephen Takacs is using the traditional tintype techniques for contemporary photography! This tour will involve carpooling to the three locations and last 2.5-3hours. (Capacity: 15)

One of the many buildings you’ll stroll by on our downtown Columbus walking tour! Source: Robert Tobin

Cap Square, the heart of Ohio and its Capital City*

Cap Square will include not only the historic square, but the host of fascinating structures in the immediate neighborhood which is the true core of Ohio’s Capital. The walking tour will begin at the historic Supreme Court of Ohio at the intersection of Front and State Streets, and weave through downtown. Highlights of the tour will include the following structures and points of interest: the Supreme Court of Ohio, The Lazarus Building (once housing Columbus’ legendary department store), the Ohio Theatre; Historic Trinity Church; the Columbus riverfront and the 1930s governmental complex which includes the police headquarters, the old post office (now federal court house) and Columbus City Hall, the exact center of the city, and more…! Don’t worry, we will be stepping inside a few buildings along the route! Check tour guide Robert Tobin’s instagram and get excited! Tour will be from 2:00-4:30ishpm (Capacity: 20)

Saturday Evening, 7:30pm – ‘Til We Drop

588 third st-5
No better place to drink than an old fraternal hall! Source: German Village Society

Prost to Preservation: 3rd Annual #BeerSavesPlaces Competition; Sponsored by MKSK and the Create Columbus Commission

Join your fellow preservationists and Prost! for preservation at the German Village Meeting Haus! The German Village Meeting Haus was built in 1923 for the Moose Lodge fraternal organization. Bring your own 6-pack to enter the third annual Rust Belt beer competition (full rules here), screenprint a Columbus-centric koozie with Alison Rose, and enjoy local grub from Pierogi Mountain (Guy Fieri approvedguyfieri)! Beer competition winners announced at 9:00pm. (Capacity: 200)

Image of the Brewery District in 1900, published in The Story of Columbus. Source: Columbus Metropolitan Library

After Party: Brewery District Bar Crawl

Leave the German Village Meeting Haus at 10:30pm and enjoy a bar crawl through the locally designated Brewery District. You’ll enjoy strolling the streets like the German brewers in the 1800s!


Sunday Morning, 10am-Noon

Example of a heart bomb created by the Young Ohio Preservationists during their 2016 Igloo Letterpress Workshop

Craftivism: Advocacy and Letterpress Workshop; Sponsored by the National Trust for Historic Preservation

Enjoy this unique opportunity to learn letterpress and refine your advocacy techniques at Igloo Letterpress in historic downtown Worthington! This 2-hour advocacy workshop will begin with a letterpress workshop, where you will have the opportunity to create preservation-themed postcards. After printing your postcards, we will learn advocacy techniques from Diana Tisue, Marketing Campaigns Project Manager for the National Trust for Historic Preservation. We will conclude the workshop with all participants writing a postcard to a legislator to promote a historic preservation effort they are passionate about. Postage, pastries from Angry Baker, and coffee will be provided. (Capacity: 40)

The Ohio History Center  opened in 1970. Source:

Ohio History Center

Self explore at the Ohio History Center! This Brutalist building is home to an incredible Lustron exhibition, a new public housing exhibition, and much more! Complimentary admission to registrants, thanks to support from the Ohio History Connection. Registrants must pick up tickets from event organizers on Friday or Saturday. (Capacity: 30)

Sunday Afternoon, Noon – 1pm

Downtown Worthington Walking Tour

Enjoy strolling through downtown with the Worthington Historical Society. Established in the early 1800s, visiting Worthington is like stepping back in time. We look forward to finding out the hidden histories of the buildings downtown! (Capacity: 30)

A sleek midcentury sign. Source: Sarah Marsom

Photo Walk of Rush Creek Village

Go on a stroll through one of the most unique mid century neighborhoods in central Ohio. Homes in Rush Creek Village were built in the style of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian Homes. Theodore van Fossen planned the entire community, selecting house sites and designing the homes. This is private residential area, so please keep your exploration to the road/sidewalks. (Capacity: 40)

We would like to thank the German Village Society, Ohio History Connection, Two Dollar Radio, Columbus City Schools, Ohio V. The World podcast, Igloo Letterpress, Owen & Eastlake LtdWorthington Historical Society, and Heritage Ohio for their in-kind support.











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