A prominent example of mid-century modern architecture, the Christopher Inn was designed by Leon Ransom and built in 1963. Simplicity of style, ample windows to let in light, and open interior spaces, are some of the characteristics of the mid-century modern period (1940-1970). The Christopher Inn . . . displayed these elements in a memorable circular motor inn. . . . Demolished in 1988, the Christopher Inn had the shortest lifespan of any Columbus high-rise.
Fortunately, other examples of Ransom’s distinctive style still exist in the OSU Hospital East tower and Mechanical Building, Columbus Fire Station #8, St. Paul AME Annex, Martin Luther King, Jr. Branch public library, and the Franklin Park Medical Center.
Leon Ransom was the first African American architect of prominence in Columbus. . . . [He] received a bachelor’s degree in geography in 1950 and a master’s degree in architecture in 1953. . . In 1957, [he] passed the state licensing exam to become a registered architect.
Ransome was one of the first African Americans to work on major projects like fire stations, libraries and hospitals. In 1963 Ransom formed a partnership with Sylvester C. Angel, another black architect [and] in 1966 started a solo practice. . . . [Ransome] gave up the practice in 1970 due to failing health and died in 1971 at the age of 42 following a long illness.
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