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Historic Columbus landmark facing demolition; apartments, retail, amphitheater proposed

Historic Columbus landmark facing demolition; apartments, retail, amphitheater proposed

Sav McKee

A piece of history was constructed in Columbus in the early 1930s, and almost one hundred years later, it could be torn down to make way for housing, stores, and an event space.

Cooper Stadium, first named Red Bird Stadium, is located at 1155 Mound Street. What once was a bustling baseball stadium, hosting several baseball teams like the Columbus Red Birds, the Columbus Blue Birds, The Columbus Jets, and finally, the Columbus Clippers, it now lays empty, overgrown, and deserted.

Photo via Columbus Landmarks
Photo via Columbus Landmarks

Franklin D. Roosevelt even held his first presidential campaign at this local stadium in 1932! But, the last game to ever be played there was in September of 2008, for the Clippers officially made their way to Huntington Park in the Arena District. 

A couple of years ago, the preservation organization called Columbus Landmarks, placed Cooper Stadium on their “Most Endangered List” after there was a proposal to convert the stadium into an auto racing facility. Those plans fell through.

Now, it appears that a piece of history could soon be gone forever. But – only a piece. A building application submitted to the City of Columbus by Lion Construction Services shows plans for some of the area to be razed. The project details show that mostly everything would be demolished, but that they’d plan to keep the primary stadium structure intact.

Interestingly enough, at an October 2023 meeting, Columbus City Council approved rezoning the historic stadium for mixed-use buildings, 200 apartments, and an outdoor amphitheater, which could be why the actual concrete stadium itself is proposed to remain. Lion Construction could not be reached for comment.

Photo courtesy of The City of Columbus

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