Creating Columbus: 1993-2001

200 Arts and Cultural Moments that Shaped the City’s History

By
From the February 2, 2012 edition

1993

More than Music Fest born

In the beginning, it’s a salute to hardcore and punk. By the end, organizers cast a wider net. Over the years, acts including The Locust, The Faint and The Rapture join in. It ends in 2003, when its scheduled venue, The Factory, closes at the last minute.

1993

Lil’ Bow Wow takes the stage with Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg

In October, Reynoldsburg’s Shad Gregory Moss is pulled onstage by Dre and given a few minutes to rap. The six-year-old brings down the house and soon begins touring with the rappers. He later becomes the youngest rapper in history with a No. 1 single, “Bounce with Me.”

1994

15-year-old gunned down at City Center

Raylynn “Looney” Diamond is shot four times in the chest and stomach after an argument with a rival gang member in the crowded mall. The killing scars the image of City Center and Downtown, which only recently had gained success in retaining people after normal business hours.

1994

Columbus awarded pro soccer team

The city gets one of 10 inaugural franchises in Major League Soccer, an organization founded the previous year. On April 13, 1996, the Crew beats D.C. United in its first game.

1994

Dublin plants “Field of Corn”

In October, a Dublin park is outfitted with six-foot-tall ears of concrete corn designed by Ohio State sculpture professor Malcolm Cochran. The project ignites heated debate about public art and the aesthetics of corn.

1995

Entertainment Weekly hypes Columbus music scene

In the March 17 cover story, the national glossy shouts out bands like Gaunt, Moviola and New Bomb Turks, as well as music store Used Kids Records and indie label Anyway Records. The story isn’t the biggest event in the city’s punkish, lo-fi history — only recognition of the sounds percolating through Columbus for more than a decade.

1995

North Market moves into new digs

On Nov. 12, the market opens to the public in its new home, the former Advanced Thresher warehouse at 59 Spruce St.

1996

Central Ohio Greenways plan adopted

With some trails already in place, a comprehensive vision for Franklin County’s multiuse pathways is approved. It leads to new trails and connectors along Alum Creek and elsewhere.

1996

Critics hail Howlin’ Maggie’s Columbia debut

Former Royal Crescent Mob bassist Harold “Happy” Chichester forms a new band with bassist Jim Rico, guitarist Andy Harrison and drummer Jerome Dillon. “Honeysuckle Strange” — the band’s first and only release on Columbia Records — is a success.

1996

Union Station offers window into LGBT community

In the ’80s, bars like The Eagle, The Garage and Wall Street empowered greater LGBT acceptance and visibility. They were followed by restaurants like Out on Main and The Grapevine. Union Station takes things a step further by opening on North High Street in a space with windows — something unthinkable in decades prior.

1998

Columbus meets Dale Chihuly

In September, the Columbus Museum of Art displays “Chihuly Over Venice,” a major exhibition of the world-renowned glass artist. It’s wildly popular and extended to run for a full year.

1998

Southern Theatre shines again

The historic venue closed in 1979 and was gifted several years later to the Columbus Association for the Performing Arts. The Southern reopens after an extensive, 14-month overhaul.

1999

Ann Hamilton represents United States at Venice Biennale

After moving to Columbus in 1992 and receiving a MacArthur Fellowship the following year, the artist known for multimedia installations shows work at the exhibition of groundbreaking contemporary art in Venice, Italy.

1999

Easton Town Center opens

Major retailers had opened in the area between Downtown and New Albany, but the shopping district gets its signature look with the June 30 opening of Easton Town Center. It resembles a small-town Main Street with an open-air town square.

1999

Bellows painting sets record for auction sale

On Dec. 1, “Polo Crowd,” an oil work by Columbus native George Bellows, sells to a private collector for $27.5 million, the top sum ever paid at auction for an American painting.

2000

Blue Jackets take the ice

A sell-out Nationwide Arena crowd is on hand Oct. 7 for the hockey team’s first game. The Jackets jump to an early lead but lose 5-3 to the Chicago Blackhawks.

2001

Columbus Symphony Orchestra plays Carnegie Hall

The orchestra masters its April 18 concert in America’s most revered classical-music venue. Rave reviews and much civic pride ensue.

2001

Betty’s Fine Food & Spirits opens

Former bartender Elizabeth Lessner buys a restaurant at 680 N. High St. from infamous Columbus restaurateur Ricky Barnes. She names it Betty’s — and uses it to start a network of inventive local eateries.

2001

Earl “Skully” Webb takes over vacant Short North space

Webb has a pool hall and bar on South Campus, but he unfolds even bigger ideas in the former home of Skankland and The Clique. Skully’s Music Diner begins hosting concerts, dance parties and a smorgasbord of other events.

2001

PromoWest Pavilion opens

Scott Stienecker, who interned for famed promoter Billy Graham, launches America’s first indoor/outdoor concert venue. It’s later renamed Lifestyle Communities Pavilion.

CONTINUE >>