November 2008 Issue
Ohio's Best Hometowns 2009 - Dublin
It doesn’t take long to recognize that the luck of the Irish resides in the look of Dublin, Ohio.
It’s there in the distinctive stonework that adorns Historic Dublin, a National Historic District in this central Ohio city where the only thing as plentiful as shamrock decals and orange, white and green Irish flags are charming buildings that bear 19th-century architecture — many of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
It’s also there in Dublin’s businesses, which clearly take the city’s slogan, “Irish is an attitude,” to heart. From the Guinness battered fish at Brazenhead, an authentic Irish pub, to the aromatic Irish teas being served at Historic Dublin’s TehKu Tea Company, to the Belleek giftware and Galway crystal at Ha’penny Bridge Imports, specializing in Celtic collectibles, it’s as if the city was transplanted to the Buckeye State from the Emerald Isle.
With such an enthusiastic and appealing spirit — one that’s on full display during the popular Dublin Irish Festival (July 31 and Aug. 1–2 in 2009) that lures 95,000 revelers to the region — it’s hard to believe that the city was not, in fact, founded by settlers from that country. According to local legend, it was an Irish surveyor named John Shields who, inspired by the memory of his birthplace, gave the town its moniker when he was asked to name it in 1818.
Maybe that explains why Dublin’s success and acclaim — including being named one of Money magazine’s “Hottest Places to Live” in 2004 — owes to a lot more than just luck of the Irish. After all, mere good fortune can’t explain how, in a span of less than 40 years, Dublin has grown from a village of just 681 residents, to a city of some 40,000.
You could attribute Dublin’s growth to its business environment: Dublin is home to more than 3,000 enterprises, including the corporate headquarters for Wendy’s International and Cardinal Health.
Population growth can also be tied to Dublin’s family appeal: For example, the Dublin City School District regularly receives an “Excellent” rating on the State Report Card. A wealth of attractions means kids of all ages have entertaining ways to learn about Dublin’s past. History enthusiasts can head for the Fletcher Coffman Homestead, a Civil-War-era home with adjoining farm buildings, restored to represent the lifestyles of a middle-class farm family from that period.
For many, the lure of Dublin is its tranquil green spaces. Residents take advantage of 49 parks spread across more than 1,000 acres, ranging from wooded natural areas to more than 88 miles of bike trails. And for Dubliners who prefer hitting the links, the region offers a number of scenic spots to tee off. Among them: the Golf Club of Dublin, featuring a course singled out as one of the “top 25 in America” by Golf Magazine.
Finally, arts lovers will find themselves surrounded by public art in Dublin, which is home to the “Field of Corn (with Osage Orange Trees)” outdoor installation of 109, 6-feet-tall ears of concrete corn in Sam and Eulalia Frantz Park. The striking corn sculptures by Columbus artist Malcolm Cochran and their backdrop of orange trees are intended to celebrate the city’s formerly rural landscape. The installation was created as part of the Dublin Arts Council’s Art in Public Places program, a unique collection of outdoor art.
Thanks to this thriving community northwest of Columbus, the look of the Irish now includes the feel of Ohio.