By Andrea Cordle
As it turns out, A, B, C is not quite as easy as one, two three – at least for residents in Westgate.
The large, concrete letters have been a feature in Westgate Park for decades, but the B has been missing. Now, the letter is back in place.
The A, B and C were once a fixture at Westland Mall. When the property owners decided to enclose the mall in the 1970s, the letters were moved over to Westgate Park. Then in the 1990s, a car hit the letter B. It was destroyed.
According to Alan McKnight, the director of the parks and recreation department with the city of Columbus, this is not something the city would normally replace. However, he said, the community was persistent.
The Westgate Neighbors Association was created in 2008. Betty Jaynes, president of the association, said they were trying to find an identity. She said the group kept hearing about
the B from residents.
“It just kept coming up,” said Jaynes.
The Westgate Neighbors Association reached out to the city. According to Jaynes, the group raised funds to replace the letter through proceeds from the annual Westgate Home and Garden Tour, as well as a book about the area.
Restoring the B has been a $5,500 project, said Jaynes.
“It took the right organization to do it,” she said.
McKnight said the city has completed the site preparations. As part of the park, the city will maintain the concrete letters.
“The community has taken an active interest in Westgate Park,” said McKnight. “It has been great to work with them and we are happy to support that.”
The city recently invested $5 million is Westgate Park, through its renovation of the recreation center. The city also repaired the shelter house and renovated the pond.
The Columbus Bluejackets also installed a hockey-themed playground at the park.
“Westgate is a historic neighborhood, built on Camp Chase grounds,” said Jaynes. “There has been a giant hole where the B was. It is important to replace it for our history and our future.”
As part of the project, a special graffiti coating will be placed on the letter. The Westgate Neighbors Association has been working on removing paint from the letter A.
On May 29, a crane will drop the letter B back in its rightful spot.