The city of Upper Arlington and the Upper Arlington Historical Society will add the names of a former state legislator who helped shape central Ohio transportation and a local councilman who worked to develop downtown Columbus and the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium to its Wall of Honor this spring.
This year’s inductees are Lawrence E. Hughes and Blaine T. Sickles. The ceremony is slated for 3 p.m. May 19, outside the Upper Arlington Municipal Services Center, 3600 Tremont Road.
According to information provided by the city, Hughes was born April 13, 1921, and died Sept. 1, 2000. He was an Upper Arlington resident for 16 years.
He represented both the 66th and 58th districts in the Ohio House of Representatives from 1969 to 1982.
“He was the lead sponsor of a bill that created state Route 315, which contributed to the development of northwest Franklin County,” a city press release stated. “Before its construction, Olentangy River Road was the only northbound road in the area.
“Hughes’ proposal, which many thought was ‘mission impossible,’ required a route that would not negatively impact the Ohio State University, Riverside Hospital, The Knolls, Upper Arlington, Union Cemetery and the Olentangy River.”
According to the release, Hughes also was lead sponsor of a bill in the Ohio House creating the handicapped placard in Ohio, which later was used as model legislation by other states as they recognized the importance of providing accommodations for individuals with disabilities.
Hughes served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, served on the Downtown Capital Square Commission for Columbus and was a member of the Christian Athletes Association, the American Legion, Clintonville Conservation Club, and the Downtown Civitan Club.
Sickles was a 58-year resident of Upper Arlington; he was born May 27, 1925, and died Nov. 16, 2014.
He served on Upper Arlington City Council from 1966 to 1985, including time as vice president from 1974 to 1985 and chaired council’s finance committee and its safety and service committee. He also was a member of the city’s board of zoning and the parks and recreation committee.
“In his 34-year career in community relations for Nationwide Insurance, Mr. Sickles’ service extended to participation on the Development Committee for Greater Columbus, the Columbus Downtown Council, the Greater Columbus Convention & Visitors Bureau board and the Santa Maria Committee,” a city press release stated.
“He was instrumental in the success of the Christopher Columbus Quincentennial celebration and Ameriflora.”
According to the release, Sickles had a passion for various community causes, which led him to serve on several boards, including those for Ready to Read, Cystic Fibrosis, COSI and Big Brothers/Big Sisters.
“His most beloved and notable leadership commitment was serving on the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium board for 44 years,” the release stated. “During that time, he was instrumental in the hiring of Jack Hanna and served on many zoo levy campaigns.
“When Mr. Sickles retired from the zoo board in 2012, he was named as trustee emeritus.”
A committee of representatives of the city and the historical society chooses Wall of Honor inductees each year. In order to be considered for the Wall of Honor, a person must be deceased, have lived in Upper Arlington for part of his or her life and must have made “a significant contribution to the city, the state and/or the nation.”
Honorees are recognized via permanent bronze plaques on the Wall of Honor located on the plaza in front of the Municipal Services Center.
Emma Speight, Upper Arlington’s community-affairs director, said the ceremonies for the Wall of Honor never fail to provide a broad picture of the people being inducted and their accomplishments.
“The ceremony always provides greater context and insight into the inductees beyond what can be captured on a bronze plaque, since family members, friends and associates share stories and photographs as part of the presentation,” she said. “That said, the plaques on the Wall of Honor provide a fascinating glimpse into some of the men and women that have gone before us, and the lasting legacies they left both locally and beyond.”