COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Artists have transformed the street front of a 50-acre site of ruined homes in Whitehall with color that runs from deep blue to vibrant pink and bright green.
Twenty-three colors show the color gradient between blue and pink, as well as hues of green, in the homes that face Hamilton Road at the condemned Woodcliff Condominiums.
“We have a thing about abandoned things,” said Mandi Caskey, co-founder of street artist group Catalyst Columbus, which approached the City of Whitehall with the idea. “We saw an opportunity to bring some color to the neighborhood and show the local community that someone cares, and things are about to change.”
Whitehall plans to demolish the buildings and redevelop the site with 1,000 residential units, and 250,000 square feet of office space, as well as 50,000-75,000 square feet of ground-floor restaurant and retail space. An 80-acre Whitehall Community Park will be integrated into the design with walking paths, wildflowers, and meadows, with access to the Big Walnut Creek.
Caskey said her team came up with the idea while making a site visit for a sculpture Whitehall commissioned. While the team was there, they saw the opportunity for public art to happen.
Catalyst Columbus worked for several days painting the houses, finishing on July 30. Whitehall paid for the paint, but the artists volunteered their time.
Painting the ruined homes was also an opportunity to train younger artists on equipment needed for large projects.
“There are a lot of artists that don’t get the ability to use certain tools, so I got to train artists how to use boom lift and paint sprayer. We did get a sponsorship from Whitehall which paid for the paint and the lift,” Caskey said.
“They approached the city because we engaged them for a sculpture a while ago… and they approached us with this project,” said Deputy Director of Public Affairs Megan Meyer. “These structures are prime for accessible public art, to make them beautiful as they are in transition.”
Catalyst Columbus previously tackled a now-demolished downtown bridge during the pandemic, painting “We are stronger together” with 50 gallons of paint.