Itching to get out and enjoy Spring? Head for some sunny streets in Dublin, like I did recently!
To fuel up for my journey, I met Dubliner for another stellar installment of “the Craic” at Sunny Street Café. This Columbus-based chain of breakfast-and-lunch restaurants serves creative spins on familiar staples, such as breakfast quesadillas, Bananas Foster pancakes, and stuffed biscuits.
Sunny Street follows the growing trend of quick-service, fast-casual, limited-service dining establishments that offer a comfortable atmosphere and distinctive, affordable renditions of the comfort food we like to wake up to. From healthy wraps and trendy breakfast burritos to traditional standbys like quiche and omelets, the menu offers something for everyone.
It also supports the community by hosting charitable events like PJ’s and Eggs. Last month, all five Sunny Street Columbus locations opened one night for dinner and invited customers not only to wear their pajamas, but also to bring in a pair of children’s pajamas to donate. In return, with a hand from the Ohio Poultry Association and Ohio Poultry Farmers, diners received a dozen Ohio farm-fresh eggs to take home. The event raised $1,500 for Nationwide Children’s Hospital and collected over 1,000 pairs of pajamas.
Now lunch at Sunny Street was enough to make a red-letter day right there, but there is more to see in Dublin than Dubliner. So, with some extra time before the next item on my day’s docket, I set out to see a new Dublin attraction: The Town Pump.
On April 17, this new sculpture by Westerville resident Michael Tizzano was installed at the corner of Bridge and High Streets, close to the original location of Dublin’s main water pump.
In the days before drinking water was plumbed directly to homes, Dublin residents had to tote a pail and collect water at one of four local hand-operated water pumps. Dublin’s main water pump sat in the intersection of Bridge and High Streets and was surrounded by a 22-inch concrete barrier with a horse trough at one end. After an early motorist hit the barrier, the pump was removed.
Tizzano commemorates this chapter in Dublin’s history with this bronze sculpture with a fountain feature. The sculpture — also known as “Daily Chores” — will be dedicated on June 5. To read more about Tizzano’s sculpting process, click here.
Then, I hit the highlights of a self-guided walking tour of the Dublin Historic District, available at the Dublin Convention & Visitors Bureau’s office at 9 South High Street.
Across North High Street from this circa-1845, ruddy-hued, fish scale-shingled building that is home to the Brazenhead, the site of a few long-ago lunches with Dubliner…
and the former Dublin Christian Church, both from the same period.
as well as the 1835 limestone building on the southeast corner that once was an inn and stagecoach stop and is now home to a Donatos Pizza.
As I passed a former tin shop and a boardinghouse, I came to the place where I’ve been ordering the Biddie’s Tea Basket for years. The circa-1835 home at 76 South High Street was added on to in 1845 by successful entrepreneur Holcomb Tuller, who operated a general store, an ashery and a flour mill. Later, the building was the Sells Hotel. Today, it’s known as Biddie’s Coach House & Tea Room.
Walk down one of the side streets that slope toward the river and you’ll come to Riverview Street, originally known as Water Street, where the first houses in Dublin were built in the 1820s. There, you’ll see the oldest frame house in Dublin, at 63 South Riverview Street. Built by William Kilbourn, nephew of Worthington founder James Kilbourn, the house has rusticated wooden siding similar to that used on Washington’s Mount Vernon.
37 South Riverview Street was built by an itinerant minister in 1841.
The oldest stone house in Dublin stands at 83 South Riverview Street. Originally, it was a two-room cottage; by 1832, it had a second story and a kitchen at the rear.
Dublin’s oldest brick house stands at 109 South Riverview Street. If you look closely, you can see where the second story was added in 1842.
From all of these houses, you can admire the Scioto River Bridge, which was built in 1935, then widened and resurfaced in 1987. During a Dublin Historical Society program I attended at the Dublin Library the next evening, I learned some interesting facts about the bridge’s construction. Two construction companies won the bid to build it, so Elford, the oldest local commercial construction company in central Ohio, got the job on the flip of a coin. It was the only project Elford had at the time, so employees worked in two five-hour shifts to give everyone a chance to work. The project was completed in nine months and cost $197,000 to build. Most of the stone for the two-lane bridge was dressed and laid out at the Marble Cliff quarry, then put in place at the construction site.
I can’t talk about Dublin bridges without sharing the fact that my grandpa helped to build the O’Shaughnessy Dam bridge over the Scioto River, on Glick Road near the Columbus Zoo. Here he is posing on the bridge on February 21, 1926.
Named for Jerry O’Shaughnessy, who served as the superintendent of the Columbus Waterworks, the dam forms a reservoir that is a major source of drinking water for the city of Columbus. The bridge was designed by noted central Ohio architect Frank Packard as part of a five-year program of water works improvements during the 1920s. Built between 1922 and 1925, the two-lane Neoclassical-style bridge featured 12 reinforced concrete arches, a balustrade, a pavilion and power gatehouses topped by a red tile roof. Recently, the bridge was replaced by a reinforced concrete span providing four traffic lanes, a bikeway and a sidewalk, but the original balustrade was replicated.
To learn more about this listing on the National Register of Historic Places, see its entry in volume 2 of the Ohio Historic Places Dictionary and “O’Shaughnessy Dam and Reservoir: Features of Its Design and Construction,” by Edward M. Sevcik, The Ohio State Engineer 11(5) (March 1928): 7-8, 20-21.