Columbus Mileposts | March 28, 1964: COSI’s science, history exhibits lured kids, adults
FOR THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH Wednesday March 28, 2012 3:26 AM
The Center of Science and Industry, or COSI, in its original location at 280 E. Broad St.
The first COSI, known to generations of central Ohio children for its rat basketball games and the fake rat in the Time Tunnel exhibit, was dedicated on March 28, 1964.
The Center of Science and Industry was seven years in the making. After visiting Chicago’s science museum in 1957, Columbus ad executive Sanford N. Hallock II started working on creating a children’s science museum here.
Hallock, who would serve as COSI’s first director, drew in a core of leaders to secure a location and $867,000 in funding from private and public sources.
In 1962, the Franklin County commissioners offered Memorial Hall at 280 E. Broad St. to the group and allocated money to remodel the structure.
During the dedication, The Dispatch reported, applause from the crowd provided the energy necessary to set in motion the 60-foot-tall pendulum that continuously swung in the museum’s entrance hall.
The museum opened to the public the next day, on Easter. More than 5,000 people visited that first day, paying admission of 50 cents for adults and 25 cents for children.
Early highlights included a planetarium; Durell’s Street of Yesteryear; and the Time Tunnel, a repurposed exhibit from the 1964 New York World’s Fair showing the progress of mankind.
COSI moved to its current location, the old Central High School site at 333 W. Broad St., in 1999. Today, COSI Columbus’ basic admission is $14.75 for adults and $9.75 for children.
The Time Tunnel is gone, but rat basketball remains popular.
Suggestions for Mileposts that will run this bicentennial year can be sent to: Gerald Tebben, Box 82125, Columbus, OH 43202, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.