Just to the south of the Ohio Judicial Center in Columbus, Ohio is an enormous sculpture of a gavel. It might be the world’s largest gavel, but I can’t find any confirmation of it.
One reason I love travelling the country, visiting things like “the world’s largest strawberry” or “the biggest Cherry Pie pan in the Western Hemisphere” is because I love the insane creativity which goes into them. They are gaudy, weird, colourful, silly. They’re a celebration of life.
But the giant gavel in downtown Columbus is… well, it’s kind of boring. 13 feet high and 30 feet long, it’s made of about 7,000lbs of stainless steel. Andrew F. Scott completed it in 2008. Here’s an interview with him about the work:
I wanted to like the gavel, but it’s grey and dreary. In some ways, Scott’s hands were tied: his sculpture had to fit in with the austere surroundings. The Ohio Judicial Building next door is a horrible blot on the landscape. Proof that Art Deco buildings can look bad, it looks like a prison: an institutionalised disaster with tiny, pokey windows. I was glad to get back in the car and drive off to see something else.
Address: Park on the south side of the Ohio Judicial Center, 65 S. Front Street, Columbus, Ohio
Hours: Visible 24/7