The Ohio Stater Inn in Columbus, Ohio opened with a ton of fanfare on Friday, May 26, 1961. The 130 room motel was constructed of non-combustible brick, steel, stone, granite, concrete gypsum walls and steel roof deck.
Located close to Ohio State University at 2060 North High Street at Woodruff, the Inn was the only motel built within walking distance of campus and it’s accessibility would prove to be a large asset.
The motel had other things going for it, too. According their postcard, the Ohio Stater offered:
130 Air-Conditioned Rooms, Free TV. Automatic telephones, Swimming Pool, Garage parking with direct entrance to Inn, Restaurant & Cocktail Lounge, Beauty Salon & Barber Shop, Complete Convention & Banquet Facilities.
Other amenities not mention on the postcard include: message waiting service; outdoor dining patio; compressed air operating doors; three bridal suites; a permanent art gallery featuring artwork by Ohio State students and faculty; and an all-new automatic telephone system. The Ohio Stater was truly modern.
A few steps away from the Inn on North Street were clothing stores, dry cleaning, gift and novelty shops, drug stores, book shops and more.
Shortly after offering, the Inn would suffer a series of small fires that had mysteriously started in multiple linen closets. The fires appeared to be man made. Arson charges would be eventually brought again the assistant manager of the motel, Steven D. Strobel. Strobel plead innocent to the charges. I am still searching for the outcome of the case. I will update this if I can find anything.
I found evidence of countless conferences being held at Ohio State that utilized the Inn for lodging. There were police unions, 4-H groups, dentists, surgeons, you name it and they stayed there.
The Inn was also a very popular place for wedding receptions, as well. Newspapers throughout the 1960s have wedding announcements with the receptions taking place at the Ohio Stater.
The Inn, like countless other motels in this era, would survive the 1960s but struggle in the 1970s. By the end of the decade the motel started advertising apartment style rooms for long term rent. The motel would close shortly after that and the building would be converted to apartments, which are still open today. The pool area is gone and has been converted to a Baskin Robbins.
If you want to learn more about the Ohio Stater, read this eight page PDF from their grand opening thats talk about every possible detail of the motel.