A multitude of historic buildings and landmarks in central Ohio will be featured during Ohio Open Doors, starting Friday, Sept. 7, and running through Sept. 16.

The event, created by the Ohio History Connection two years ago, gives visitors a behind-the-scenes look at properties that aren't ordinarily available for public viewing.

All Ohio Open Doors events are free, and most are special one-day-only opportunities.

No registration is necessary. An interactive map of the locations is available at ohiohistory.org/opendoors.

Sites that have scheduled activities include the King Avenue United Methodist Church, 299 King Ave. in Columbus.

On Sept. 16, guests will hear details about the stained-glass windows, listen to the organ, climb to the bell tower and learn to play the carillon.

Another site is the James. A. Rhodes State Office Tower, 30 E. Broad St. in downtown Columbus.

On Tuesday, Sept. 11, guests will get a comprehensive tour of the 41-story, 629-foot-tall building and will learn about the building's past and its future. Contractors will explain the ongoing building-modernization project.

The Rhodes tour will include a stop on the 40th-floor observation deck, which provides a bird's-eye view of Columbus.

Emmy Beach, spokeswoman for the Ohio History Connection, said the program started in 2016 as a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act, which led to National Register of Historic Places and other historic-preservation initiatives.

"(In 2016), we had more than 100 participants from communities large and small across the state that opened their doors to local communities and visitors statewide to showcase the history in their backyards," Beach said.

Another central Ohio icon on this year's tour is the Green Lawn Abbey, 700 Greenlawn Ave. in south Columbus.

"What's great about this program is we sometimes don't consider some of our local sites even down the street from us," Beach said. "We might drive into work every day and pass by the Lazarus building (downtown) and the Rhodes Tower and don't take time to consider the history there and the stories that exist."

A tour of the abbey, which opened in 1929, will be held Sunday, Sept. 9.

Janice Loebbaka, president of the Green Lawn Abbey Preservation Association, said visitors would be led throughout the mausoleum, portions of which are still being restored.

Loebbaka said the tour would include a look at some of the newer items, such as seven of 60 restored stained-glass windows, a professionally honed marble floor, marble columns and new bronze doors.

"Some people are quite moved and affected by it," she said. "Historic properties need to be loved, appreciated and preserved. And, thankfully, some people recognize that."

Other sites on the tour include the Dublin Arts Center, 7125 Riverside Drive, Dublin, Sept. 10; the Lazarus Building, 141 S. High St., Columbus, Sept. 8; Bethany Presbyterian Church, 206 N. Garfield Ave., Columbus, Sept. 9; Otterbein University's Towers Hall, 1 S. Grove St., Westerville, Sept. 8; Groveport Log House and Sharp's Landing, 551 Wirt Road, Groveport, Sept. 15; Grant-Sawyer Home, 4126 Haughn Road, Grove City, Sept. 15; the Bexley Historical Society's Jeffrey Mansion Caretaker's Cottage, 2080 Clifton Ave., Bexley, Sept. 9; and the Coffman Homestead, 5200 Emerald Parkway, Dublin, Sept. 16.

gseman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekGary