Last summer, it seemed the new mixed-use project on Lane Avenue was taking forever to begin in earnest. But once the old buildings on the site came down, it has been gangbusters ever since.

Last summer, it seemed the new mixed-use project on Lane Avenue was taking forever to begin in earnest. But once the old buildings on the site came down, it has been gangbusters ever since.

Fast-forward to today and the exteriors of both buildings are in place, with the hotel rapidly taking on its final appearance. The grand opening goal of August for UA's first hotel -- a Hilton Homewood Suites -- is but a mere three months away, if you can believe that.

As UA's first true mixed-use project, this has been and continues to be a complicated one to work on for all involved. So it's no surprise that a few things have been tweaked in order to make sure that we have the best possible end product.

As opening day starts to become a not-too-distant reality, we felt now would be a good time to invite the neighbors and other interested residents to a project update meeting.

This is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, May 20, at the Municipal Services Center, 3600 Tremont Road. At the meeting, we will touch on details of some site and landscaping plan adjustments, the Wellesley Drive intersection and neighborhood entryway, plans for resurfacing Lane Avenue this summer, and more.

I hope you can join us. For additional details, visit

Wall of Honor ceremony

Part of our responsibility as a progressive community is to keep history relevant to our youth, and at the very least, show them why remembering our history is worthwhile.

This effort becomes even more important when we look at our local history. Though it may be hard to explain to kids why they should care about international conflict from a century ago, the reasoning behind honoring our local history is clear: These people are, in many senses, our ancestors. It's this reasoning that is behind the Wall of Honor, and certainly why it is such a meaningful event for UA.

The Wall of Honor is made possible by a partnership between the Upper Arlington Historical Society and the city of Upper Arlington. For 2013, the Historical Society has chosen two worthy candidates for inclusion on the Wall of Honor: UA's first mayor, James T. Miller (1846-1920), and George Haddad (1918-2010), former professor of piano at the Ohio State University.

Professor Haddad received recognition in Canada, Europe and the United States as an accomplished pianist and teacher. In addition to his many professional accomplishments, Professor Haddad gave back to his community of choice through many activities in support of the arts. He worked with the Upper Arlington Cultural Arts Commission for several years and received the Community Arts Award from Upper Arlington City Council.

He performed with the Upper Arlington Civic Orchestra, volunteered for the Upper Arlington Civic Association, performed at Upper Arlington High School, gave master classes and recitals through the Lifelong Learning Program and performed at a fundraiser for the James Lantz colloquium.

Moreover, the George Haddad Piano Scholarship was established at OSU, where he was a full professor/artist-in-residence and professor emeritus. He was inducted into both the Musicians Hall of Fame and the Senior Citizens Hall of Fame. He played with many major orchestras, won a presidential citation for excellence in teaching at OSU, and was the first winner of the Prix-de-Canada.

Professor Haddad was an alumnus of the University of Toronto, Juilliard and the Paris Conservatory.

James T. Miller, whose former home is now the site of First Community Village, was the first mayor of Upper Arlington. He sold 840 acres of land for $1 an acre to Ben and King Thompson in 1913, ultimately used to found Upper Arlington. He built and lived in one of the first six houses in UA that were outfitted with plumbing -- President Warren G. Harding and Annie Oakley visited the Miller family there. President Harding rode in Miller's Pierce Arrow touring car -- the second Pierce Arrow in Columbus. And, of course, Miller Park is named after the Miller family.

Plaques posthumously commemorating the contributions of Miller and Haddad will be dedicated during a Sunday, May 19, ceremony, marking their inclusions in the Upper Arlington Wall of Honor. The public is invited to the ceremony, to be held at the Upper Arlington Municipal Services Center at 3600 Tremont Road.

For additional details, call the UA Historical Society at 614-470-2610 or visit

Theodore J. Staton is Upper Arlington's city manager.