One of the most recognizable buildings is the old City Building, which is now a Heritage Center for the county.
The Heritage Center of Clark County occupies a 50 feet by 462 feet, 56,000 square foot, three story, brick and stone building in the center of downtown Springfield, originally constructed in 1890 for city offices and a farmer’s market. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Sites.
The architect of the building was Charles Creager, a native of
Springfield, who also designed buildings such as St. John's Lutheran Church, the Clark County Courthouse and the old downtown Post Office. The architectural style is known as Richardsonian Romanesque. The distinguishing characteristics of this style include broad roof planes, uniform rock-faced exterior finishes, decorative flashing ridges, eaves close to the walls, short and squat chimneys, corbels, deep-set windows and large, arched entryways without columns or piers for support.
One of the things I've noticed is the several ghost signs around the downtown core:
A few churches dominate some views....
And while there is some clear decay still visible,
They have made some nice spots as some renewal is taking place.
One thing that makes Springfield unique is the old National Road, the first federally-funded "highway" which ended here for about 10 years when funding ran into problems (as can happen, amiright?). It was extended further west, but that decade helped Springfield immensely. I won't bore you with the stories here, as there are links in that Wiki article I linked above, but one bit of interest I learned from some locals is that this statue,
The Madonna of the Trail, was moved from just outside of downtown along US 40 to this location with much fanfare (and controversy, as the current park-like setting was not even started when they moved her) to what may have been a more accurate original location. Maybe.
There were 12 of these statues placed along the route, here's a link to info about that.
East towards Columbus, there is a tavern that is on the National Register of Historic Places, the Red Brick Tavern, which dates back to the glory days of the National Road.
All photos are mine. ©DavidPaulThomas