Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Christopher Inn

I would like to start my blog by writing about a local hotel. The Christopher Inn was located at 300 E. Broad Street in Columbus, Ohio. This hotel opened on July 29, 1963 and had an unusual architectural style even back then.

I remember visiting Columbus as a kid and have always thought it was cool to have a hotel with the same name as myself. It was also not easy to forget a circular hotel. The sad thing about remembering something so cool is when you return and it is gone. Unfortunately, this great hotel only lasted until 1988 when it was razed and replaced with the School Employees Retirement System Building. I did not return until 2001, well after it had been demolished.

Broad Street was also known as National Road and made for a great location for the Christopher Inn. There is a lot of history on the National Road that is still there, but there is a lot that is missing. With a location only a few blocks from the center of downtown Columbus, the Christopher Inn would have been a great place to build condos with the 140 guest rooms. The unique style of the building would have provided spectacular 360 degree views of the entire city.

The Bob Allen Trio was the entertainment at the Poolside Lounge every night except Sundays.

This is a little piece of history may be gone but I will not forget. I hope the loss of buildings like this makes us think about what they could be before they are gone.

Photos courtesy of flickr.com


  1. I remember the place as well, and I even have the Bob Allen Lp with the Christopher Inn graphics all over it. I stayed there a couple of times, I'm sure. I was shocked that they would remove something which could have been plucked out of the '64 World's Fair.

  2. We held my Bar Mitzvah party there on Jan4, 1967. It's one of my earliest childhood memories of what we now call Mid Century Modern architecture. the other is the now Chase Bank building on Main Street in Reynoldsburg - the one shaped like a spaceship.
    I live in Las Vegas now, and sell real estate - specializing in Mid Century Modern homes.

    1. I moved to Las Vegas myself 10 years ago from Columbus. My daughter is a real estate agent here.

  3. Proposed to my wife of 46 years at the Christopher Inn in 1969. It will always hold a fond place in my heart.

  4. I was swimming in the indoor pool with my dad and brother in the mid 60's. A young man that was a guest lounge singer was swimming too. We got to talking to him. He was from Dayton. You may remember him. John Davidson was a rather well known entertainer in the 70's. I remember him being very nice and was tossing us around in the pool. Here's his web site: http://www.johndavidson.com/

  5. I just now learned of its demise--I made a point of staying there in 1970. I was enthralled with the prospect being in a place of such unique design.
    It really should have been designated a historical landmark.🇺🇸

  6. So sad the Christopher Inn had such a relatively short life. I worked there in the mid 80's. My sales team scheduled so many meetings and events there for corporations and private events. They all loved that place. It really should have been saved.

  7. So sad the Christopher Inn had such a relatively short life. I worked there in the mid 80's. My sales team scheduled so many meetings and events there for corporations and private events. They all loved that place. It really should have been saved.

  8. My husband on acoustic upright bass accompanied Bob's superb playing at Stouffer's University Inn on Olentangy River Rd before they went together to the Christopher Inn. When my husband accepted position at Ohio University we left Columbus and Vince Evans on bass joined Bob.

    I recall a WLW-C TV station party at the Christopher Inn when I was working at the station with the hour and a half daily talk show -- Jack Denton Show with Al Washlon's Quintet(Joe Schmalz, bass; Wendell Jones, vibes; Lee Knoll, guitar; John Tatgenhorst, drums -- later arranged OSU' "Hang On Sloopy"), After Jack came the Dean Miller Show. Later Nick Clooney had the show when his son, George, was just a boy. Finally, I believe Spook Beckman had the show. Jeanne Cummins was the popular female vocalist on most of the shows.

  9. Forgot to mention my husband's name was "Morrie Mann". For the years before I knew him, Morrie had a band at OSU, later his own groups with Wendell Jones, Jerry Langston & others if larger group, also a vocal group with a female vocalist -- their sound was patterned after the Hi Lo's, Manhattan Transfer. They played lots of local clubs, private parties in area. He also jobbed with name entertainers appearing in town i.e. at Maramor.

  10. I was looking back the other day and remembered the Columbus Inn. When I was 12, my wonderfully stylish grandma, affectionately known as Nanny, took my cousin and I to Columbus for a weekend and we stayed at the Christopher. It was wonderful! We stayed on one of the top floors and had a magnificent view of the city. We felt like royalty as the hotel staff was very nice. We spent the weekend doing all sorts of Columbus things.. COSI, the zoo and shopping at a really neat mall. Each day we would end up back at the room, being that kind of tired that only a fun outing with a doting grandmother can provide. She spoiled us rotten that weekend...buying us stuff at the mall, letting us get whatever we wanted at the restaurants we ate at...plenty of pop and junk food in the room. That was 35+ years ago and I still remember it as one of my favorite childhood memories.

    I was very sad to find out it had been demolished as of 1988. I had always wanted to return there as an adult, but alas it will never be. I find it hard to believe that more wasn't done to keep that place around...ESPECIALLY considering that it was turned into a damned parking lot. Hard to believe that a parking lot is somehow more aesthetically pleasing than the Christopher Inn. Sometimes modern goals make no sense to me.

    So anyways, thank you Christopher Inn. For at least one weekend in this old man's life, you provided a fantastic weekend with my eccentric grandma Nanny that will always remain a favorite childhood memory.

  11. I worked at the Christopher Inn from 1980-1982 as a cook in Isabella’s Restaurant while attending Ohio State University. I met my wife there, who was working as a waitress. Being a part of the hotel staff was a great experience I will never forget. 40 years later, I can still remember the names of almost every employee in the restaurant. We got married in 1982 and moved away for 18 years, before returning to Columbus in 2000. To this day, I still have a sense of sadness that this building no longer graces the city. Other places I miss from my childhood growing up in Columbus: Lazarus Downtown, The Neil House, The Wine Cellar, Clyde’s Restaurant and The Colony Bazaar.