Of the many zany sights one can reasonably expect to see while driving down High Street in Clintonville, the body of an airplane still seems out of the ordinary.
But thanks to the vintage-seekers at Elm & Iron, North High Street has been adorned with its very own plane – at least until someone decides they’d rather have it at their house.
When store manager Hannah Lawrence returned from vacation last week to the store at 3475 N. High St., she was surprised to see the airplane fuselage and wing sitting on a shipping container outside.
“I came back and our team had brought it in and put it outside,” she said with a laugh.
Lawrence said Elm & Iron’s team had bought two of the fuselages from a vintage market. The second is in storage.
Originally, she said, the plan was to put the fuselage inside the store. But when that turned out to be logistically impossible, the staff decided to showcase it outside instead.
She said the pieces come from planes that were built in 1973; they’re believed to be from Alaska. They’re both for sale.
“It’s a piece we wanted to bring out to show kind of the variety we have in our vintage and size,” Lawrence said.
While the new decoration-slash-product seems harmless, Clintonville has garnered a reputation of late for causing a fuss over various decorations.
Clintonville residents argued with the city of Columbus for months over the now-infamous (and restored) kangaroo-crossing sign on Clinton Heights Avenue, and last week the city told owners of a building at 4041 N. High St. that they had to remove a “Keep Calm and Love Clintonville” sign because it didn’t meet code.
In this scenario, Lawrence said she hasn’t heard anything from the city or anyone else about the plane breaking any rules.
Stephen Hardwick, chairman of the Clintonville Area Commission’s zoning and variance committee, said he doesn’t see any broken rules and hopes the plane can stay in peace.
“I’m not aware of any rule that it violates, and I hope there isn’t any,” he said. “A little whimsy is a good thing for a community, and I don’t see how this hurts anything.”
As for Elm & Iron, the purpose of putting the plane on High Street is as simple as showcasing a neat new addition to their catalog.
“It’s just a cool piece,” Lawrence said with a laugh.