Central High School was designed by architect William B. Ittner who was known for his open style building designs for numerous high schools and colleges. It was built on an 18-acre campus on the west side of the Scioto River, a location easily visible from downtown Columbus. The school opened in 1925 and was built to replace the old site at 303 East Broad Street. The decline of Franklinton and the surrounding area amidst increased suburban growth in the 1980's led to the closing of the school on June 6, 1982. The building was extensively remodeled and expanded by architect Arata Isozaki and Associates to become the new home of the Columbus Center of Science and Industry (COSI) in 1999.
This image was taken as a reference image after the close of Central High School and prior to the installation of the "Son of Heaven: Imperial Arts of China" exhibit in 1989. The exhibit was the result of a partnership of the Chinese Overseas Archeological Exhibition Corporation (COAEC) and the Son of Heaven National Committee. The building was transformed into exhibit spaces by Schooley Caldwell Associates.