Ohio - Gallipolis


Photos head north along Second Avenue, Ohio Route 7.

I've gotten the impression that much of downtown Gallipolis was built in the 1890s. The sandstone building is the Lupton Block, opened in 1894 as a commercial building - not a church or similar, although it housed the city library for 6 years at the turn of the century. It is topped by an owl, which is reason enough to visit Gallipolis.

Continuing from Court Street to State Street, the tall roof belongs to the 1896 Ohio Valley Bank, the tallest building in Gallia County at that time. In a remarkable story, the bank took the building back over in 2015 to rehabilitate it and save it from the wrecking ball.

Not so lucky was the Park Central Hotel, the only building I feature on the east side of Second Avenue and the oldest, born on New Year's Eve 1883. It was a luxurious hotel in its time, but appears to have gone through residential use and then abandonment. It finally collapsed from accumulated neglect a few years after I visited.

This photo features the Colony Theater, but it's the Ariel next door that I want to talk about. Although its marquee is not glamorous, as it's a show theater instead of a movie theater, the Ariel has the historical intrigue of an erstwhile underground passageway linking it to the Park Central, allowing performers to stay in the hotel, walk to the theater in any weather to perform, and walk back without sullying their costumes.

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