Goodale Park was given to the City of Columbus in 1851 as a “Public Park or Pleasure Ground” for the common use of the inhabitants of Columbus, and without admission fee. Dr. Lincoln Goodale said he gave the park in consideration of the good will he bore towards the people of the City. In 1851, pleasure ground meant a place to go for pleasant activities, and this concept, in that year, was the beginning of the modern municipal park. Though American cities long had commons and greens (parks, so called), Goodale Park was the largest municipal pleasure ground in the country, and in the generic sense of parks, was second in size only to the Boston Common.
Neighbors of Goodale Park, from time to time, have acted to promote and help with the care of the park. The most durable and active of these groups has been The Friends of Goodale Park (FGP). FGP was organized in 1984 after the neighborhood halted the clandestine installation of a large-scale train ride in the park. A severe windstorm in 1988, destroying many trees, prompted FGP’s active years continuing to the present. FGP has work worked with the Columbus Recreation and Parks Dept. to improve maintenance, re-establish flower beds in the park, and plan development. FGP has raised fundsfrom individuals, organizations, and foundations to support, among many projects, tree replacement, lighting, seating, planting, and sculpture preservation. FGP also coordinates the volunteer effort needed to maintain flower beds.
One of the first priorities for FGP in 2004 was to assure that there were flowers in Goodale Park during the year. Thanks to Director Paul Redman and his staff of the Franklin Park Conservatory, we not only had flowers, but professionally designed flower beds as well. The Conservatory donated a truck load of bedding plants so that all six of our annual beds had flowers. Of course the execution of the designs and the maintenance of the beds was accomplished only because of the many volunteers who helped set them out and helped weed them throughout the summer.
During 2004 we also tried something new and that was to recruit a point person or persons for each of the annual beds. While we did not end up with somebody for every bed, we did have several and it worked out really well. The point person may help with initial planting but more importantly is in charge of keeping the bed weeded throughout the summer. So if you would like to get your hands dirty and become a Goodale Park Bed point person please contact Stan Sells.
Another priority was to improve the appearance of the beds around the pond. Consequently, we had several weeding events where we concentrated on cleaning up those beds and as a result significantly improved their appearance – thanks again to volunteer labor.
The Board also concentrated on the next phase of sidewalk improvements in the park. The actual work will begin this next spring and will involve not only replacing and upgrading a number of existing sidewalks, but it will also remove a number of unused walks and create some new ones. In addition, the walks around the shelter house will be relaid, as they were originally, and the terrace platforms will be surfaced with pavers to greatly improve the usefulness of the shelter house.
During the year, two additional memorial benches were purchased with designated memorial plaques. Three new trees were added to the park and Community Festival (ComFest) purchased $1,030 worth of trees (3), shrubs, perennials, annuals and materials. This included plants for all three pond beds, the large perennial bed, the shade bed and some plants for the north side of the shelter house.
Lastly, and probably most importantly, we wanted to make sure that we made significant progress towards our goal of a sculpture fountain in the pond. Toward this end, the Friends of Goodale Park joined forces with the Brick Street Arts Association and set up a joint work group to accomplish this. This group then sent out a request for artists to which 54 artists responded from all across the county and from outside the country as far away as Japan and China.
A nine member panel of judges composed of artists, architects, area commissioners and organizational representatives selected four artists to submit design proposals. One of the four subsequently dropped out and was replaced by an alternate who the judges had picked initially. The four artists were: Malcolm Cochran from Columbus; Archie Held from San Francisco, California; Bob Seng and Lisa Hein from New York, NY; and Howard Kalish also from New York, NY. The artists came to Columbus to view the site and meet with the work group. Design proposals were submitted by the end of November with the four artists receiving $1,000 each for their submission.
The design models of each of the four proposals were displayed during the month of December at the office of the Wood Companies on High Street. During the December Gallery Hop, over 600 people viewed the designs and cast ballots to register their preferences. The models were also displayed at the annual FGP Gala. All of the artists then came back to Columbus in early January, 2005 to present their proposals to the judges and answer questions. The judges subsequently selected the design by Malcolm Cochran.
In support of the sculpture/fountain project, the Friends held two major fund raising events during 2004. The first event was a tour of swimming pools of the Short North Historic District held in July. The event raised $5,000. The second was the Annual Holiday Gala held December 15 at Greg Zanetos’ home at 76 Buttles Ave. Greg’s home was beautifully decorated for the season and the event was attended by close to 300 persons. Food for the event was donated by area restaurants and businesses. The event raised $8,000.
Throughout the year, the Board of the Friends of Goodale Park, having been expanded at the conclusion of 2003 to include representatives from Harrison West and Italian Village met on a regular monthly basis. Board members include: Stan Sells, President; Pat Lewis, Vice President; Andy Klein, Treasurer; Terry Sherburn, Doug Swartz, Greg Maynard, Don Damron, Steve Covert, Todd Law and Paul Cianelli.