The CSU Rankin Arts Center Facilities

The CSU Rankin Arts Center is the Uptown venue for Continuing Education services. With the renovation of the Rankin Building completed in early 2001, the CSU Rankin Arts Center serves as a focal point for the arts education in the Uptown area by offering classes in photography and dance. This center is the home of the CSU Dance Conservatory and houses multiple dance studios, art studio/classroom space and a fully functioning photography studio. Also available are conference rooms that preserve the historic integrity of the original Rankin Hotel, with hardwood floors and fireplaces.

(Include images of the Rankin Arts Center) *Slideshow

History of the Rankin Building

The Rankin Square: this block has occupied an important place in Columbus history since the Original City was laid out by surveyor Edward Lloyd Thomas in 1828.

Placed on the National Register of Historic Sites and Places in 1977.

The Rankin Hotel (Rankin building) is located on the east side of the city’s main street, called Broad Street (Broadway now) because of its 164-foot width.

Anchoring Rankin Square on Broad was the Rankin Hotel and the cast iron First National Bank building on the northwest corner. The Hotel was known as Cook’s Hotel in 1860.

The building was purchased by Scotsman, James A. Rankin in 1864.

Originally built of wood; burned in 1878; rebuilt as brick.

As it stands today the Rankin Hotel was opened in 1880.

The “ladies of the night” entered from the northwest corner entrance (the storage room, closest to Broadway in the Rankin Hall).

The Rankin Hotel Ballroom was the scene of gala parties and dinners attended by a host of famous entertainers who were staying at the Rankin during their engagements in the nearby Springer Opera House.

The Hotel was the city’s most fashionable in its “hey day”, frequently providing accommodations to noted actors performing in the nearby Springer Opera House (1871).

Among many others, these well-known personages included:

  • Oscar Wilde – (1854-1900) Irish-born writer and wit
  • Tom Thumb – Actor; real name Charles Sherwood Stratton (1838-83), American entertainer, who was a curiosity due to his size. Born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, Tom Thumb was a dwarf.
  • Lily Langtry – Singer
  • Otis Skinner – Actor; noted American actor and author. Skinner was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Marie Dressler – Actress; Canadian-born U.S. stage and movie actor. She won an Academy Award for her performance in Min and Bill (1930). Real name von Koerber, Leila
  • John L. Sullivan – (1858-1918), American boxer, born in Boston.
  • Daniel S. Hart – Author
  • Victor Herbert – Composer; (1859-1924), Irish-born American composer, known for his highly popular operettas.
  • John Phillip Sousa – (1854-1932) U.S. military bandmaster and composer. His rousing patriotic compositions include “The Stars and Stripes Forever” (1897). Known as the March King.
  • William Jennings Bryan – Member of the House of Representatives, ran for President: never succeeded in Presidency.
  • Will Rogers (1879-1935), American humorist, actor, and writer, born in Oologah, Indian Territory