September 2012 Issue
September 2012 Digest
Equestrians compete in New Albany, COSI celebrates brainpower, the Hayes Presidential Center shows off its restoration.
If you didn’t make it to the Summer Olympic Games in London this year, you can still see top-ranked riders and horses compete right here in Ohio.
The 15th-annual New Albany Classic Invitational Grand Prix and Family Day, Sept. 23, is an internationally sanctioned equestrian event for show jumpers. Abigail and Leslie Wexner, the chairman and founder of Limited Brands, hold and underwrite the event at their estate outside Columbus. This year, 25 to 30 riders are expected to compete for the $100,000 total purse.
“It’s been very rewarding to introduce people in our area to the sport of jumping,” says Abigail Wexner, whose love for horses began as a child when she played with model horses instead of dolls. “The New Albany Classic represents a cross section of the community, and we have kept it very affordable. In the early years, not many people would sit through the entire [competition]. Now they have their favorite horses and riders and cheer them on.”
The event is also a fun destination for families with children of all ages, especially teens. This year, activities include appearances by members of professional sports teams and concerts featuring the pop rock band Hot Chelle Rae and British singer Conor Maynard.
The charitable event is expected to raise more than $1 million for the Center for Family Safety and Healing, founded in part by Abigail Wexner. — Jill Sell
Visit thenewalbanyclassic.com for more information.
Celebrating the Cerebral
It may be gray matter (literally), but one thing is certain — the complexity of the brain makes it one of the most fascinating human organs. In honor of all things cerebral, the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) in Columbus is inviting visitors to embark on a 12-month brain trip, featuring one year of exhibits encouraging guests to celebrate their brainpower.
The journey begins with a fortress of fun in “LEGO Castle Adventure,” Sept. 29–Jan. 6. Here, the focus is on critical thinking as young builders navigate the secret passageways of a giant LEGO castle, while older guests virtually build tower walls and test them with a LEGO catapult.
It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to realize that “Gunther von Hagens’ Body Worlds & The Brain” is one of the most captivating exhibits in COSI history. The exhibit makes its Ohio debut Oct. 17 and runs through Jan. 6. Visitors will get a behind-the-skin glimpse at more than 200 human specimens in various states of health to explore neuroscience, brain development and performance.
Start the New Year off with a “knock, knock” on the door of “Mindbender Mansion,” an interactive space filled with jokes, riddles and brain teasers guaranteed to boggle the mind of the most experienced puzzlers. Open Jan. 26–April 28, the interactive house will keep visitors guessing with hidden clues and passwords spread throughout its themed rooms.
Rounding out the experience, “Mythbusters: The Explosive Exhibition,” based on the Discovery Channel’s Emmy-nominated series, will come to COSI June 8–Sept. 2. Featuring more than a dozen hands-on experiments, live “myth-busting” demonstrations and props directly from the show’s set, the exhibit is sure to leave your mind racing.
“The combination of these exhibits lets you experience something you wouldn’t be able to elsewhere,” says Jaclyn Reynolds, COSI public relations and social media manager. “We’re so excited about how these exhibits interconnect.”— Allison Pohle
For more information, call 888/819-2674 or visit cosi.org.
When workers removed living-room carpeting from the former home of 19th U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes, they found a long-forgotten trapdoor. The 3-by-6-foot entryway covers what appears to be a hiding place about a foot deep.
“It might have been used to hide rifles or valuables. There were rumors about a trapdoor, but it was thought to have been in one of the bedrooms,” says Thomas J. Culbertson, former executive director of the Hayes Presidential Center, who spearheaded the $1.2 million restoration of the Fremont home, completed in July.
President Hayes and his wife, Lucy Webb Hayes, moved to their estate, Spiegel Grove, in 1873. For five generations — until 1965 — Hayes family members occupied the brick, 31-room home, making numerous architectural and design changes through the decades. The restoration returned the house as much as possible to the way it looked in the late 1880s.
“All the major portraits and paintings are back, as is 90 percent of the Hayes’ furniture,” says Culbertson. “When later generations lived here, they would purchase a new couch, maybe one that was more comfortable or stylish, and put the old one in the attic. We were very lucky those things were saved.”
Vintage photos, diaries and newspaper stories helped determine placement of furnishings, as well as colors and fabrics for the restoration or reproduction of wallpaper and carpeting.
A focal point of the project is the refurbishment of the “Inner Sanctum” room that once served as Hayes’ office. The president owned 12,000 books, many of which were located in his sanctuary.
The home’s staff hopes to collect 2,000 to 3,000 more books to add to the house. Some will be scattered about on tables, because, according to Culbertson, “the president and his wife were not neat freaks.” — JS
For more information, visit rbhayes.org.