HINDSIGHT IS 20/20: Columbus Metro Library, Linden Branch, 1952

Hindsight Is 20/20

A Throwback Thursday-type post that can occur on any day of the week! Pictures, videos, and personal reflections on the ghosts of Columbus’ past.


Columbus Metro Library, Linden Branch, 1952

The Columbus Metropolitan Library is one of our city’s greatest assets. Repeatedly ranked as the #1 library system in the country (!), CML reaches into many Columbus-area neighborhoods through its 22 branches and 14 suburban partners. They provide an invaluable service, and offer resources for every segment of the population from your kids to your grandparents.

In the photo below, the third Linden neighborhood branch, located at 2432 Cleveland Ave, is shown shortly after its opening in 1952.

The one story building’s clean, streamlined design was a terrific example of the mid-century modernism popular at that time. It’s stately stone facade, front entry plaza, and large curtain wall windows looking out onto Cleveland Ave provided a contemporary landmark for the thriving middle-class neighborhood.

The Linden branch library remained at this location until moving to a new, expanded building several blocks South in the early 2000s. The 1952 structure still stands today, but at some point was altered significantly to the point that it is no longer recognizable.

If you look closely at the image, and focus on the neighboring two-story building to the left (extending out of the frame), you may spot part of a cinema marquee. This was the Linden Theater, a single-screen movie house which existed next door at 2436 Cleveland Ave from 1926 until the mid 1960s, when the property was acquired and demolished by the library to make way for a parking lot.

Sadly, beyond the alterations to the original library building, and the demolition of the neighboring Linden Theater, the duplex on the right side of the 1952 photo is now also nothing more than an overgrown vacant lot.

Here’s the same view today on Google Street View.


Do you have any special memories of this or another Columbus-area library branch? Let us know in the comments below!


Columbus Metro Library, Linden Branch, 1952.

Columbus Metro Library, Linden Branch, 1952.


For more information on the Columbus Metropolitan Library visit their website, columbuslibrary.org.



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