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Gazebo Gazing in Harrison Park

Gazebo in Harrison Park

by Matthew Williams

If you haven’t wandered down to Harrison Park in the last two weeks, perhaps it’s time you stopped by. After much worry and waiting, construction on the centerpiece of our newest neighborhood park has begun. Indeed, construction on the Harrison Park gazebo is nearly complete. The actual erection of the structure took a little more than two days and a very large crane. Some electrical work remains to be done and the column bases need to be installed. As those items are completed, the gazebo will be crowned with a beautiful copper roof comprised of overlapping petals echoing the Harrison West Society logo. The cupola already has its crown, and it’s glorious in the morning sunshine. The gazebo is so prominent a feature in the park that you can see it from Dennison Avenue! The only things blocking its view from High Street are the newly-leafed trees. This fall, we expect it to add greatly to the color of autumn that will blossom along the river bank.

Crane in Harrison Park

In addition to the gazebo, the Snack Shack in the Harrison Park playground is now open for business. Mud pies are the only entrée on the menu at the moment, but the neighborhood chefs are already working on a wider array of tasty treats. Perhaps they’ll add Mrs. Grass soup to the menu in the next couple weeks. Crews got enough of a break in the rain and cold to pour the safety surface in Funk-ee-Town about three weeks ago, but further construction on the park has been delayed due to the near-constant rain. With April showers nearly behind us now, changes should begin to happen rapidly. When the ground gets a couple days to dry out, the developers will run a rock-hound over the site to remove debris, then they’ll pour the small remaining section of sidewalk at Perry Street and Harrison Park Place and finally seed the grass areas (including what some neighbors have jokingly dubbed “Harrison Pond”—a low area near the playground that is serving during construction as a temporary retaining pond). If you visit the playground, keep in mind that the rest of the park remains a construction site and could be dangerous. Children should be supervised at all times and should not be allowed to wander outside the playground or off the walkways in the park.

And let’s not forget about the Harrison Park Art Project. Just last Saturday, the Society held a community-wide vote to select the third and fourth sculptures that will be installed in the Park. Renderings of the winners are below, and the winning artists are now finalizing their designs and getting them ready for fabrication. The first and second sculptures, which were selected through another community-wide vote in 2009, are being fabricated and should be installed within the next two months or so. Donations to fund the student art awards are still being accepted. If you’d like to contribute, send a check—made payable to the “Short North Foundation”—to Short North Foundation / 120 W. Goodale / Columbus, OH 43215.

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