The Franklin Park neighborhood is located two miles east of Downtown Columbus in zip code 43203. The neighborhood’s boundaries are the south side of Broad Street on the north, the west bank of Alum Creek on the east, the north side of Main Street on the south, and the east side of Wilson Avenue on the west.
Homes in this area were built in the late 1880s through the 1920s and feature many architectural styles including Victorian, Queen Anne, Italianate, Gothic Revival and American Foursquare. Building materials include brick, stucco and wood. Homes prices range between $68,000 to $383,000. Some of the houses have driveways and garages. All have lawns and mature trees, and sidewalks lining the streets.
One of the crown jewels of Columbus is the Franklin Park Conservatory. Purchased in 1852 as the site for the Franklin County Fair, it later hosted the Ohio State Fair. When the fair was moved in 1884, the space was abandoned until the Ohio State Legislature declared it a public park. In 1893, the city erected a grand Victorian glass structure, and the Franklin Park Conservatory was opened in 1895.
The Conservatory was expanded in 1989 for the AmeriFlora ’92 horticulture exposition. Spaces added included tropical and desert gardens. The conservatory debuted Blooms and Butterflies in 1994 and became the first conservatory in the nation to showcase an annual butterfly show. After a 2003 exhibition of Dale Chihuly’s art glass, the Friends of the Conservatory purchased most of the pieces for permanent display. These colorful works of art are placed throughout the conservatory. Near the entrance is a lighted “garden” of Chihuly glass flowers.
Outside the conservatory are horticultural gardens, a picnic area and grassy areas with paved walkways.