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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Hello, Columbus: 1905

Hello, Columbus: 1905

Columbus, Ohio, circa 1905. "Great Southern Hotel." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Building to the right

I was just driving by here last week. It stands out in my memory because the building to the right of the hotel has a very fancy facade, but the rest of the building is a very plain brick box. My daughter thought it was a peculiar combination.

Columbus is nice like that though, lots of old buildings in and around downtown.


The view from almost the same perspective from September of 2006.

Now just where is that ATM?

Certainly looks like the lady is looking for something.

Comfort Out

I've stayed here, and the experience suggested a few reasons why most such hotels *have* been torn down. It's hard to make them work properly as hotels now.

When the building was constructed, hotel rooms didn't all have private baths, desks, two nightstands, easy chairs, giant TV armoires, and king-size beds. Add those things to this building's standard rooms and you have to sidle around the room, squeezing yourself past the furniture. (The bigger corner rooms, incidentally, are as ridiculously large as the standard ones are ridiculously tiny. Book one of those.)

When I was there, the lobby was lit with the original electric chandelier, i.e. 100 unfrosted light bulbs about 30 feet above the floor. This thing was a technical marvel in 1897, but the light it casts is like the light from 100 bare light bulbs 30 feet away. It's easy to forget when looking at long-exposure photos that to the people who inhabited these interiors at the time, these were likely all very dim and shadowy places when the sun was not shining.

Unflattering light or no, the lobby well worth a visit for Shorpy fans, as there is (or was, anyway) a collection of historical photos showing the differing appearance of the lobby over the years. Today's version is self-consciously "original" but with more comfortable furniture, but in the past they more or less took the approach of using the room as a setting for whatever decor happened to be in vogue at the time.

A familiar sight

I worked in downtown Columbus for three years in the late '90s. My office was on Broad Street across from the original Wendy's, about four blocks from the old Great Southern. Columbus is a neat town. I miss it. One of the greatest public libraries in the US is there.


I guess this is Shorpy's way of saying Happy Columbus Day!

My Home Town

It's nice to see it here on Shorpy. Have any more?

Still there

This is the one hotel from the late 1800s they did not tear down. It is still in operation as a Westin hotel. The section of the building at the left with the fancier arch is the Southern Theater, which was recently renovated.

View Larger Map

Hello Holly

There's another one of those Holly hydrants.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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