Where: Columbus, Ohio
When: Late 2005
Status: Some use and some very bad deterioration.
My Journey through the Fort Hayes property was another of many trips I made on a whim. I was driving around looking for something to get in to when I passed the Barraks. I'd been in before, but hadn't been able to see as much as I would have liked to see. Sometimes good places to explore are right under your nose. This was one of those times.
Fort Hayes, named after the President, was in operation as far back as the Civil War. There are many photos around that show the property over the years. Many of the buildings have gone unchanged since that time. Today those buildings stand, but barely. They are in extremely poor condition to the point of not being safe.
My first trip in to the grounds was back in the old early days of the site with Andy of Forgotten Ohio. I didn't get enough pictures to make a section for it unfortunately.
Officers Bldg. Notice the Private Balconies.
My return trip yielded plenty of pictures, but many of them have that signature cheap digital camera blurr. Maybe I just can't hold a camera still. It was a real bummer that they didn't turn out better because some of them had some cool looking lighting due to the time of day and position of the sun.
This building is part of a small group of newer single floor buildings.
I'd love to provide better explanations of the buildings and their purpose but I simply haven't had the time to research the land as well as I would need in order to do so.
Some of the buildings are currently in reuse for the school of Arts. Those which are not in use are probably beyond restoration unfortunately. Hopefull I am wrong because there are some really cool buildings.
The vibe on the grounds is really weird. There were bums living in the rooms in the old officers building on our inital trip. There is a really weird irony about a homeless person sitting on the former balcony of a Sargent, then again, some of our Vietnam vets would probably beg to differ. Regardless, I think its sort of neat to see people still getting use out of it. As cheesey as this will sound, there is something charming about these old workhorse buildings still serving their purpose. That all being said, I didn't see signs of the homeless people on my return trip.
The students of the art school, and plenty of others I'm sure, have made the grounds a canvas for everything from political art to sloppy grafitti. There really wasn't enough time or daylight to explor all of the buildings fully. I also was using a keychain led light as a flash light, so some of the buildings were dark to the point where I couldn't see anything at all. I can only brave that for so long before my brain starts to wonder if there is someone in there with me.
Stencil Art in Company C I believe.
Walking around the property alone can get a little freaky, but overall, this is a pretty good visit for someone just looking to see some old buildings and columbus history. You can easily see the outsides of all of these buildings in a safe and 100% legal mannor... which is rare on this site. If you're looking for an interesting place to walk around on a nice summer evening, this is your place. What better way to see something other than the usual boring park stuff, and pay respect to those who served.
Entering the buildings is not going to be easy. As of my last visit, the property was fenced enough to keep most people out. I ended up walking right in through an open gate, but had that gate been locked, it wouldn't be an easy entrance.
Hopefully the pictures won't be so bad that they ruin the experience. The camera simply wouldn't snap a clean picture. I didn't get too many in the psy ops building because I started to spook myself out and simply couldn't relax enough to get any good pics.
Officer Bld and stipped out car.
Exterior Building Shot. Exterior Building Shot. Interior of Main Officers Building. Notice half of the room is tilted. Upstairs in company C. Crazy Warped floor (old shot). One of the other buildings I believe. Psy-Ops Building Gated Door in the work shop area. Interior of the work shop area.
There are literally something in the ballpark of 120 pictures in the Gallery if you want to see more. They aren't labeled, so you're on your own there, but there are a bunch more buildings and interior.
NOTE: Your browser's pop up blocker may prevent you from using the gallery correctly. If so, you should be able to change it to allow content from my page. There is nothing harmful on my page, its simply a protection against a useful application that some people do use maliciously.
Tons of pictures can be found in the gallery here.