Monday, March 26, 2012

Blooms and Butterflies At Franklin Park Conservatory

Glass Wing Butterfly
For those who live in the central Ohio area and love nature have surely been to the Franklin Park Conservatory.  Located on Broad Street on the cusp between Bexley and Columbus, Franklin Park Conservatory is a haven.  It has great outdoor parks and facilities, but the gem is the well maintained interior.   This place is well worth the admission.
There are outdoor atriums as well as "region" themed interiors.  Visit a desert, rain forest, and the Himilayas all in just a few feet!!

Blue Morpho

The Conservatory also hosts various events throughout the year.  One of their largest draws is the Blooms and Butterflies.  Lasting for months, there are species of butterflies brought in, raised, hatched and released into the Conservatory.  There are a lot of non-native species, so entry into the butterfly room comes with some rules.  Make sure to look at the signs when entering and exiting.  There are also staff present to help with questions.
This is a great time for kids and adults alike to be in an environment with these energetic, winged floaters.

There are daily releases of newly emerged butterflies, so make sure to check the website for the times.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Iconic Architecture - The Lincoln-Leveque Tower

When you are looking at a cities skyline, there are buildings or structures that are distinct to each.   That holds true for the iconic Lincoln-Leveque Tower in downtown Columbus, OH.

I used to work on the 5th floor of the Leveque Tower back in the late 1990's early 2000's.   The State of Ohio had some of their IT staff there.  The windows could be opened during the summer.

It also is connected to the Palace Theatre.

The Leveque Tower is an art deco style building constructed back in 1924.  It cost approximately $8 million to build.  There are 47 stories to the building and it measures 555 feet 6 inches tall.

Originally a hotel, the Tower was purchased by John Lincoln and Leslie Leveque in 1945 and converted into office space.
Leveque Tower at Night From Across the Broad Street Bridge

Corner of Long and Front

                   From the back of the COSI Lot

So next time you get to walk around downtown, don't forget to appreciate the architecture that is there.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Great Lakes Freighter - the William G. Mather

William G Mather as it sits in dock
The William G. Mather was a Great Lakes freighter ship that was commissioned as the flagship of the Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Company.  It was completed in 1925 and remained the flagship until 1952, when it was replaced by the Edward B. Greene.  Mather still remained active in the fleet until 1980.

The William G. Mather's main cargo was iron ore used in an, at the time, bustling Cleveland steel industry.  There were also guest cabins for transporting those who wished to travel across Lake Erie.
The William G. Mather is now a museum located in the same vicinity as the Rock and Roll hall of Fame and the Cleveland Browns Stadium.
Captain's Dining Room
For a modest fee, you can go on a self guided tour of this ship.   It was very interesting and the volunteers that work the decks are helpful in answering any questions you might have.   Generally, when people think of steel, they always think of Allentown or Bethlehem Steel in PA.  Ohio has also had a long and proud steel history and this ship was part of that.  The iron ore brought into Cleveland was used during World War II for the war effort.

This Wikipedia link will give you a good summary of the ship and it's activity throughout the years.

Monday, March 5, 2012

He's BACK!!! And So Is the Arnold Classic!

Every year, The Arnold Classic makes it's way to the Greater Columbus Convention Center and Veteran's Memorial.

There are always great sporting events to see and tons of vendors to help you get a first hand look at fitness and health products.

Just one aisle of the massive vendors area
This year, they had Olympic trials and a statue of Arnold Schwarzenegger was unveiled.  

You might even be able to talk with someone famous!
Lou Ferrigno meet and greet with Dani
Unfortunately, my schedule has been so busy this year, I did not get a chance to cover the event like I would have liked.  Rest assured, that next year we will be there for a more comprehensive look.

Here are some shots of the gymnastics and power lifting events.

Power Lifters from all over the country and the world attend to compete.

I believe that one of the heaviest dead lifts was 812 lbs!!!!