Scioto Mile

Designers: MSI Design (now MKSK) | City: Columbus, OH | Project Type: promenade, riverfront, bikeway, park system
Date Visited: 09.28.12

Location: 233 Civic Center Dr. Columbus, OH
Size: 145 acres
Cost: $44 million
Official Opening Date: July 7, 2011

Recipient of the 2011 Ohio ASLA Award of Excellence, the Scioto Mile is the crown jewel in the revitalization of downtown Columbus. The riverfront park system is comprised of over 145 acres of an integrated pedestrian and bike promenade, parkland, fountains, and overlooks. Thanks to the Mile, downtown Columbus is starting to look like a bright and exciting destination.

The development of Scioto Mile was an enormous undertaking with a $44 million budget and partnership between the public and private sectors. Columbus-based landscape architecture firm MSI Design (now merged with KKG to form MKSK) was selected as the design professionals for the project and they developed a plan that incorporated a restaurant, amphitheatre pavilion, state-of-the-art 15,000 square foot fountain and wide Promenade, as well as several innovative green infrastructure components to restore the river’s edge.

Though short in length, the Scioto Mile makes a big impression. The revitalized riverfront has even received stellar reviews on Yelp and complimentary wi-fi is offered along the Promenade and in Bicentennial Park.

My favorite features of the curving design are the addition of the swing benches along the stone colonnade and the sculpture elements like the wide-mouthed fish fountains and ornate light. I passed by on a night bike ride and even though downtown Columbus is commonly known to be deserted at night, there were still people walking along Scioto Mile. Plus, a real highlight of being there at night is seeing the floating fire pyres light up and blaze a curving orange trail along the river.

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