May 18, 2014 marked the rededication of the historic 1870 Goodale Gates at the south entrance to the Park. The gates are most likely the oldest architectural feature owned by the City of Columbus. The Friends had realized a number of years ago that the gates were in a seriously deteriorated condition but had struggled with identifying the most appropriate method for restoring and preserving them. In 2007, thanks to a grant from the Gordon Chandler Fund at The Columbus Foundation, the Friends were able to hire Rogers Krajnak Architects to develop a restoration plan and to supervise the restoration process. The Friends also secured $150,000 in Urban Infrastructure Recovery Funds from the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department to fund the preservation effort, with additional contributions from the Neighborhood Partnership Fund, Victorian Village Society, the Community Festival, board members, and private individuals.
With funding and plans in hand, Columbus Recreation and Parks Department then hired Quality Masonry of Marion, Ohio to undertake the actual restoration. Work began in the fall of 2009 with the complete dismantling of the stone columns and iron gates and removal to an off-site work area. The stone columns were repaired, the iron gates were cleaned and painted, with missing finials replaced, and a new stainless steel support structure was fabricated to support the iron gates. The following spring in 2010, the entire structure was re-assembled back on its original foundations, but with its new support structure supporting the iron gates. Cap stones for the stone columns were also reintroduced to replicate the original column cap stones. However, missing at that point were the original gas lanterns that had graced the main columns.
With the assistance of Terry Sherburn, details of the original lanterns were developed along with mock-ups of the five foot fixtures. Replicas of the fixtures were then fabricated by local metal sculptor, Steven Bush, and outfitted with electric lights rather than gas. Quality Masonry installed the lights in 2012.
Given the effort to restore and preserve the Goodale Gates, the Friends of Goodale Park wanted to commemorate the restoration of this historic element in the park and felt a rededication ceremony would be fitting. Columbus City Council also passed a resolution recognizing the Friends work in achieving the restoration. The May 18 event was noteworthy for several reasons, one of which was that Lincoln Goodale made an actual appearance at the event. Although Dr. Goodale was portrayed by retired school teacher and amateur actor Paul Hammock, Mr. Hammock was dressed in period attire for the occasion and was well versed in the benefactor’s life. Truly, Paul presented a most convincing portrayal of Dr. Goodale.
In addition, since Lincoln Goodale was a Mason, members of the eponymously named Goodale Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Ohio were invited to conduct a ceremony as part of the rededication. Members of the Goodale Lodge brought with them the three Masonic “Jewels” originally donated by Lincoln Goodale: the square, the level and the plumb. They also brought with them a commemorative granite stone which was consecrated with corn, wine, and oil as part of the ceremony. The stone will be be engraved to acknowledge the re-dedication and will be placed in the park.
Marshall McPeek of ABC6 and Fox28 News emceed the event and introduced speakers including Columbus City Council Member Hearsel Craig, Columbus Landmarks representative Ed Lentz, and Eric Brandon from Columbus Recreation and Parks.
Subsequently, the Ohio History Connection (aka, formerly the Ohio Historical Society) awarded the Friends of Goodale Park with a 2014 State Historical Preservation Office Award for the restoration of the 1870 Goodale Gates. The award presentation was made at the Ohio History Center on October 18, 2014.
Another project in 2014 involved the next phase of restoration of the 1899 Wm Fish Gate at the northwest corner of the park. The initial phase, completed in 2012, was followed this year with FGP contracting with the Centennial Preservation Group to clean and repair the stone columns along with carving new animal heads to replace the deteriorated carvings in the stand-alone column of the entrance. Creation of the new carvings is occurring over the winter and the new carvings should re-appear by the spring of 2015.
During 2014, FGP undertook the initial phase of updating the Goodale Park “Vision” Plan and the development of a framework for on-going planning discussions. These efforts were supported by donations from Pizzuti Companies, Hefner Family, Community Festival, Short North Civic Association, Pride, and FGP. Funding allowed for the hiring of four summer interns from the landscape architecture program at The Ohio State University’s Knowlton School of Architecture. Working in coordination with Master Plan Committee and FGP President Jason Kentner, the interns traced the development/design history of Goodale Park, conducted on-site interviews with park users, inventoried area demographics and development trends, and completed analysis of site circulation, park uses, tree canopy conditions, and visual character. By the end of summer the summer interns had developed agendas for park development/stewardship initiatives including creating an interior pedestrian loop retracing portions of the historic park carriageway. Other aspects of the proposal focused on reducing pedestrian and vehicular conflicts in and around the park, networking paths to increase accessibility of park features, increasing flexibility of park amenities to reflect/anticipate changes in how the park is used. In the short term the plan will be used to direct future park improvements including increasing lighting along primary pathways and locating water service in support of park maintenance and beautification. FPG anticipates continuing planning efforts through this year with the focus shifting to public engagement and discussion around long-range plans.
As always, a major element of the FGP mission is to maintain and improve the appearance of Goodale Park. To that end, Julie Hallan, the FGP Volunteer Coordinator, continues to provide exceptional support in publicizing FGP work days through social media and in recruiting volunteers by connecting with various organizations and individuals. During 2014, FGP offered 32 volunteer opportunities in the park during which 634 volunteers donated nearly 1,600 hours of labor. In the five years that Julie has served as Volunteer Coordinator, FGP has recruited nearly 3,000 volunteers who have donated more than 6,500 hours of labor in the park. Moreover, FGP planted twenty trees in the park during 2014. That is why Goodale Park continues to be voted the “best” city park in Columbus.
In addition to the volunteer events throughout the year, FGP also sponsored five “Walk and Talk” park tours during the summer and fall. Two of the walks were Tree Tours with FGP Board Member and Arborist, Rick Frantz. The other tours involved presentations on “wildlife in one’s back yard,” “container gardening” and “gardening with winter pizzazz.”
On December 5, 2014, FGP concluded the year with its annual Holiday Gala. The event was held at the home of Rama and Bharati Jayanthi across from the park at 154 Buttles Ave. The Gala again included a silent auction or artistic items as well as a fantastic array of food and drink donated by area restaurants and merchants (including Piece of Cake, Spinelli’s Deli, The Table, Level, Union, Basil, North Star, Skully’s, Giant Eagle, and Anthony Thomas Candy. Sponsor for the event include Dooley and Co. Team – Keller Williams. Approximately 90 folks attended the event which raised over $4,000 in support of park projects.
Members of the FGP Board include: Jason Kentner, President, Maddy Weisz, Vice President; Andy Klein, Treasurer; Eric Anderson, Secretary; Greg Krobot, Beth Vogt, Rick Frantz, Bryant Fried, Rick Harrison, Stan Sells, and Dave Snow. Rick Miller, our representative from the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, continues to provide incredible support to the Friends.