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BUCKEYE IN ARCHITECTURE Popularized at OSU in the 1950s, the use of the buckeye as an iconic association is just one of several instances throughout U.S. history where the nut has achieved national attention. In the 1840 U.S. presidential campaign, William Henry Harrison, an Ohioan and hero of the Battle of Tippecanoe, featured images of buckeyes on his campaign posters. His campaign centered on his folksy,

Top right: Stained glass window featuring the State of Ohio seal surrounded by buckeye leaves in Cincinnati City Hall’s council chamber, 801 Plum Street, Cincinnati, Ohio.

down-home persona and his upbringing in the backwoods of Ohio. Of course, Harrison is also famous for his unfortunately coatless and lengthy inaugural address on a cold, wet March day. He contracted pneumonia and died approximately a month later. To this day he holds the record for shortest presidency (and longest inaugural

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Left: Detail of The Ohio State University’s seal in terrazzo, lobby of Mershon Auditorium.

address). Eventually, the association between buckeyes and Ohio resulted in the buckeye being named the state tree of Ohio—and the citizens of Ohio became forever

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known as Buckeyes. The buckeye tree has not only a unique nut but also a complex compound leaf. The leaf typically has five leaflets that branch from the stem like fingers from a palm. This cherished botanical treasure has inspired OSU architecture and decoration and is also prominently featured in other settings around the state. Images of the buckeye tree, nut, and leaf can be found on the carved OSU seal in the Fawcett Center and brass reliefs upon campus lampposts, on the stained glass windows of the Cincinnati City Hall council chamber and the limestone relief on the Western Southern Life Financial building— Carved limestone relief with buckeye pattern, façade of Western Southern Life Insurance Company, 400 Broadway, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Left: Detail of OSU’s seal in carved wood, Fawcett Center.

only a few examples of the many that can be seen around our beloved state and campus.

Decorative panel in bronze bas-relief, façade, State of Ohio Supreme Court Center, 65 S. Front Street, Columbus, Ohio.

Buckeye leaf in bronze bas-relief decorates the exterior of the State of Ohio Supreme Court Center, 65 S. Front Street, Columbus, Ohio.


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