#ThrowbackThursday: Castle on the Oval Edition

By DJ Byrnes on March 6, 2014 at 11:59a

Image via @OhioState


Ohio State's campus didn't always used to be the behemoth we all know and love today. In 1925, the campus was still getting its sea legs underneath it. 

It also had an actual castle on campus, known then as The Armory:

The Armory in 1921.

In the words of our beat writer, Kyle Rowland: this is phenomenal. What was the purpose of this magnificent structure? From Ohio State's library:

Where Wexner Center for the Visual Arts now sits was once a far different structure known as the Armory. This massive brick building served as a multipurpose facility for military science, and men’s and women’s physical education. A fire in June 1958 caused significant enough damage that the Armory was torn down in 1959. The spot was vacant for nearly three decades before the Wexner Center opened in 1989. The building was named in honor of Harry L. Wexner, deceased father of Leslie Wexner, a 1959 OSU graduate and then-chair of the OSU Foundation.

Okay, look: I'm all for the arts, but AT THE SACRIFICE OF A CASTLE IN COLUMBUS!? I'm not sure there's enough art in the world to outweigh that sacrifice.

Fire be damned; the way I see it, Leslie Wexner and Ohio State have a debt to the people, and it's a castle. No, I'm not talking about White Castle either.

Bring back the Armory. We could even demolish the Woody Hayes Athletic Center when it's served its time. (Eat your heart out, Phil Knight.)


Comments Show All Comments

TMac's picture

A Castle as the Ohio State home of football seems fitting!!

ONE Not Done!

I_Run_The_Dave's picture

I hear a certain basketball arena is supposed to be torn down soon (did they ever really decide its fate?).  I propose that the new armory be built upon the site of St. John's arena.  Imagine Skull Session in a friggin' castle!

+1 HS
tommrkr's picture

The turrets in the Wexner Center design are a tribute to the Armory.  I believe that some of the bricks in the pavement are meant to show the original outline of the armory, but don't quote me on that.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ohio-state-university-archives/ aside from being an awesome collection, has a few armory pictures in the collection as well.

+4 HS
OSUStu's picture

You are right about turrets, but I could have done without the "tribute" in the first place.  The Wexner Center is a real deconstructivist eyesore in my mind and is really low on the user-friendly scale.

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

spqr2008's picture

I could have sworn this was still there in footage from the late 60s and early 70s Vietnam protests.  I took an Music History class and the professor had attended OSU in the late 60s (and my friend's dad says it was still there when he was here for Undergrad through JD 1966-1972) and he had home video including the Castle too.

ibuck's picture

I can personally attest to this: The Armory was NOT still there in 1968.

Our honor defend, so we'll fight to the end !

If you can't win your conference, just quietly accept your non-playoff bowl game.

+1 HS
andretolstoy's picture

First the Armory, then the Kahiki.

Columbus has been downhill ever since!

+7 HS
Jelligrim's picture

Then Papa Joe's.

+4 HS
bukyze's picture

Then I cried.  At least I still have my Papa Joe's bucket from bucket night.

+1 HS
BierStube's picture

Kegs -n- eggs before every home Michigan game!

"No matter where you go, there you are." B. Banzai

+2 HS
Go1Bucks's picture

Damn, I miss the Kahiki, and Papa Joes Kegs and Eggs (burnt for an insurance scam prior toCampus Partners stealing all the fun off of High St).

I would have loved that Castle!

Go Bucks!

MilwaukeeBuck's picture

You're pouring salt in an open wound.  I'm still not over the Kahiki.

+3 HS
doodah_man's picture

mmmmmm...Mystery Girl...Mystery drink....

Jim "DooDah" Day

"If I were giving a young man advice as to how he might succeed in life, I would say to him, pick out a good father and mother, and begin life in Ohio.” --Wilbur Wright, 1910

andretolstoy's picture

You're telling me. I went abroad for a few years and they put a Walgreen's on the same sacred, ground that served Polyneasian dreams in ceramic tiki glasses ... oh the humanity!

OSU_ALUM_05's picture

I only had the pleasure of eating at the Kahiki once when I was a kid - the place was awesome.  I was so disappointed when I realized it had closed. 

Yeti's have feelings too.

Ethos's picture

holy shit yes!  WE need a castle.  Mr. President, make it happen.

"I spent 90 percent of my money on women and drink. The rest I wasted." - George Best

nburns18's picture

It would be awesome if they brought this back. the Wexner center is ugly and its a waste of space on 15th and High. 

"You win with people." -Woody Hayes

DJRoss926's picture

Edit: Didn't read the comments before posting.


andretolstoy's picture

Heck - THE Ohio State University has room, for a Castle, the Kahiki 2.0, AND Papa John's. (In a perfect world, with Urban as HC and James Patrick Tressel as AD and President.)

Make it so, powers that be....

+2 HS
BierStube's picture

I remember when they broke ground on the Wexner Center, I was all like .. What the heck.  Then when it was completed I was all like ... What the heck!

"No matter where you go, there you are." B. Banzai

+2 HS
OSU_ALUM_05's picture

Would you believe that OSU makes its architecture students study that building?

Yeti's have feelings too.

Homey1970's picture

Come on guys.....without it, we never would have had Little Man Tate!