COLUMBUS – Those attending the 2002 Ohio State Fair will be greeted with a new OHIO welcome. The current 11th Avenue OHIO Gate will be replaced with a redesigned, contemporary look.
The old OHIO Gate was demolished Jan. 31. Construction of the new gate will be complete for the opening of the 2002 Ohio State Fair, August 2-18.
The current gate was constructed in 1966 for $40,000. The letters stood 32 feet high and spanned 100 feet wide. It housed ticket booths and had access for four lanes of traffic.
The gate, originally painted orange, has changed colors with the time. In 1976 it was painted red and white to celebrate the United States Bicentennial.
In 1993 it was painted its current colors of teal and magenta to celebrate Ameriflora’s presence in Columbus.
In with the new. “The new OHIO Gate will combine the historic, welcome O-H-I-O letters with a modernistic approach,” said Rick Frenette, general manager. “The gate will present an updated entrance to welcome our guests to Expo Center events and the Ohio State Fair.”
The new gate will once more house ticket booths for the fair and provide vehicle access for Expo Center events.
The O-H-I-O letters will again stand 32 feet tall, but will be constructed of a galvanized steel skeletal structure. An arc extends through the letters and is met on both ends by decorative fencing.
The base of the gate, where the ticket takers will be housed, is made of precast concrete. Brick pavers, asphalt and landscaping will surround the gate, with special site lighting illuminating the gate at night. The entire gate will span 154 feet.