Status: Being renovated.
This one really wasn't abandoned when I went through it. When Lazarus closed its doors after nearly 100 years of business in downtown Columbus, I figured the least I could do is grab some pictures of it before it closed.
The Lazarus building has been a downtown Columbus landmark since opening in 1909. The 933,000 square foot bulding stands along High Street across from the City Center Mall. Prior to City Center being built in the late 1980s, the Lazarus store was a stand alone store. When the mall was built a large skyway was added to connect the store to the City Center Mall.
The Store closed in late 2004 due to slow business and downsizing by Federated Corp (owners of the chain).
Common Escalator Sineage.
The building is currently being renovated for use by the Ohio EPA. From what I have seen as of this writing, the renovation is very extensive. It is doubtful that much if any of the original interior will remain.
I walked around the store as much as possible during their closing sale, but due to the large number of employees throughout the building I had a difficult time seeing any of the floors that were not currently being used.
It's a shame to lose our last city department store, but I am relieved that the City has chosen to preserve the building. Ideally they would eliminate the connection with City Center, but I'm not sure if that portion will remain for now.
The store really wasn't in great shape upon closing. Everything was clean and nice, but it had really been updated so many times over so many years that it really didn't have much of a classic feel to it. Many areas didn't match the period of the building at all.
That being said, there were quite a few interesting old signs, elevators, stair wells, and escalators...including a really cool mini escalator that took you about 5 ft up to a landing that then allowed you to board another escalator to get the entire way up to the next floor.
I took a more recent trip down to the area but was stopped quickly by a security guard. From just peaking around, it appears the work is coming along nicely.
View of old and new not mixing well.
I really hate to see the old store go, but I wish the EPA the best of luck with their new home. If you're ever headed down high and see a large steel globe atop an EPA building, you'll know you're looking at the former Columbus downtown giant.
Entrance from City Center Mall Same entrance now that the store is closed. Main Entrance Marker on the corner that will remain.
Signs above Escalators Escalators with cool cieling above them. Exit to Alley Blurry Clock. Inside the elevators. Basement
Elevator Mini Escalator Buttons for the elevators. Old elevtor control panel.
There are some more pictures in the gallery below if you're interested.
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More pictures can be found in the gallery here.