Across Columbus from the German Village you’ll find Goodale Park, a sloping rectangle of parkland that was donated to the city by Lincoln Goodale in 1851 and subsequently used as a staging area for Union troops during the Civil War. The park is in the heart of the Short North, a neighborhood just north of downtown with a thriving central commercial street and residential streets full of historic houses. One particular group of houses caught my eye: the ones that line Goodale Park. You don’t have to look past the first house to know that the neighborhood is chock full of history.
Anchoring the line of grand, historic houses at the northwest corner of the park is a brick masterpiece known as the Circus House. It is named that for exactly the reason you are thinking: it was built in 1895 for Peter Sells of the Sells Brothers Circus, one of the most successful circuses in the country. The circus was acquired by Barnum and Bailey following Peter Sells’ death and the house remains privately owned (though the current owner rents out the carriage house through Airbnb!). If you’re visiting Columbus, make sure to stop by the Short North. Stroll the streets and find a local restaurant for a meal on North High Street.
Sources and further reading:
There’s a fantastic historic photo of the Circus house–click here and scroll down.
Interested in Ohio? Check out my posts on German Village and the Louis Sullivan bank in Sydney.
Interested in the history of Goodale Park? The Friends of Goodale Park have an extensive multi-part history that starts here.
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