As we step into 2022, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on just how far we’ve come as a city. Follow along as we compare what the city looks like now compared to what it looked like 100 years ago.
The Ohio Stadium at OSU opened in 1922 where both the football team and the track and field team used the stadium. The stadium was designed by Howard Dwight Smith, could host 66,210 people + cost $1.34 million in construction. The first game played in the stadium was on Oct. 7, 1922 against Ohio Wesleyan where the Buckeyes won 5-0.
Now, Ohio Stadium can hold 102,780 people (nearly double the original capacity) and underwent a $42 million renovation in 2015. That renovation alone is enough to rebuild the original stadium roughly 40 times.
In 2022, a good night of serving tables and getting tips could equate to the monthly salary of many city employees in 1922, according to this 1922 City Bulletin from the Columbus Metropolitan Library archives. Let’s take a look at these salaries:
- City engineer: $333.33 per month (now: ~$63,000+ per year)
- Fire chief: $269 per month (now: ~$76,000+ per year)
- Stenographer: $140 per month (now: ~$76,000+ per year)
- Brick layers: $1.25 per hour (now: ~$39,000+ per year)
In total, $2.9+ million was spent in 1922 for city payroll. Comparatively, the city approved a budget totaling more than $1 billion for 2022.
By 1922, Columbus was booming and it nearly quadrupled the amount of money spent on building operations when comparing 1912 to 1922. In 1922 alone, the city issued 5,767 building permits + the city saw 1,802 new housing projects including 1,374 new dwellings, 11 apartments, and 29 stores. Impressively, the city only spent $366.21 in building repairs this year.
There was even a Kroger on W. Broad St. near Hague Ave. in 1922. Now, that area looks a little different as it’s a Marathon Gas station. Other developments at this time include the Broad Street and Town Street bridges after the Great Flood of 1913 caused severe damages to downtown structures.
Currently, the Mayor of Columbus is Andrew Ginther and he stands as the 53rd mayor of the city after being elected in 2016. Interestingly, between now and 1922, Columbus has only seen 13 different mayors throughout that time. In 1922, Jason John Thomas was the 40th mayor of the city and Thomas won three consecutive races before losing his seat in 1930.