Plain City plans public square project


Plain City, 19 miles south of Delaware via U.S. Route 42, is embarking upon an ambitious public square plan.

“Public Square is a truly unique community project,” said Plain City’s website. “With development occurring over multiple years and, in several phases, this venue will become a much-loved and vibrant hub, where residents and visitors of all ages can gather to celebrate our rich heritage, enjoy our small-town charm, and create lasting memories! It will be more than a park – it will be Plain City’s front porch.”

Old maps of Plain City refer to a Public Square at East Bigelow Avenue and Church Street. The site is currently owned by the village. Once known as Pleasant Valley, the village hosted the Abraham Lincoln Funeral Train in 1865, shipped livestock, and had passenger rail service into the 1940s.

On Feb. 13, it was announced the Village Council approved the purchase of a 1,473-square foot 1880s rail depot that was restored in 2004. In June, the Brice Depot will be dismantled and relocated from the Upper Arlington area to Plain City’s Uptown District. It will open in early 2025.

“Beyond the depot, future phases of the Public Square project will unveil The Park at Public Square,” the village said. “This outdoor gathering space will include a splash pad, children’s play area, trailhead, event space, fire pit, and inviting seating areas. Looking ahead, there are plans to repurpose an existing historical building into The Marketplace at Public Square. This indoor marketplace will offer dedicated space for seasonal vendors, small businesses, and a variety of community events.”

There will also be a new public parking lot. These components will be built as funding is available, the village said.

“The vision for the Depot and Public Square brings excitement to our town and solidifies a place to gather as a community for many years to come,” said Mayor Jody Carney, in a press release.

“A goal of staff and Council is to create unique gathering spaces in our Uptown district that complement our local businesses and landmarks of Plain City,” Village Administrator Haley Lupton said in the release. “I’m eager to see the addition of the Public Square project come to life and help round out our amenities.”

The village is already a popular destination due to the Der Dutchman Amish restaurant and gift shop.

Plain City is in Madison and Union counties, 20 miles northwest of Columbus and 30 miles southeast of John Glenn Columbus International Airport. The Big Darby Creek Scenic River flows through Plain City. The main routes into Plain City are state Route 161 and U.S. routes 33 and 42.

Assistant Editor Gary Budzak photographs and reports on stories in eastern Delaware County and surrounding areas.

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