Friday, May 4, 2007


Someday I plan to write a book about "tiny towns," my short-hand term for miniature places that conflate disparate locations into a single, observable scene. In the meantime, I'll occasionally post articles and links to illustrate the kinds of attractions I hope to include in the book. For example...

Walk-o-Wonders brought folks to the Great Western Shoppers Mart in Columbus, Ohio, with its faux "seven wonders of the world." It allowed suburban strollers the chance to fantasize that they'd been somewhere more meaningful on a Saturday afternoon than a boring shopping center. Or at least it gave their kids something to do. Like many wonderful places in that city (the sublime Kahiki restaurant and, more recently, the first Wendy's), the Walk-o-Wonders is now gone.

Here's a postcard from my collection. You'll notice the walk as a pedestrian mall that stretches between the two outer ends of the complex's U-shape.

Learn More:

  • - Columbus: Seven Wonders of the World

  • Curt Boster: Great Western Shoppers Mart

    Anonymous said...

    Walk of Wonders was my escape as a child.I grew up just down the street from there, and would spend alot of time, while Mom or Grandma was shopping the stores.Me and my sis would just time travel at each exhibit.That place really took you places as a child to dream,then go to the Westside Library on Broad St. to read more about these wonderful places.I felt I left the town for awhile......Indian Lake was place to be also!!!

    Anonymous said...

    I loved the Walk of Wonders...The 7Wonders of the World as I remember calling it. Looking in the 'peek' windows seemed sort of scary to me as a kid. I liked the leaning tower of 'pizza' best!
    Sue Tigyer

    Anonymous said...

    I lived very close and always enjoyed touring the world's wonders. Yes, I remember the peek holes too...looking into the caves especially was somewhat scary...always thought something might look back at me. lol We always took out of town visitors to the Walk of Wonders. When my friends and I were old enough to ride our bikes to Great Western we felt so grown. On Sat. mornings we'd stop at Krispy Kream for a donut on the way, tour the walk-o-wonders, cruise the shopping center and head on home. Wonderful memories.

    Dale said...

    I too remember the walk-0-wonders, just couldn't recall what it was called, until I decided to surf the net tonight and found this site! It's just a shame that they did tear it down, maybe the shopping center would still have some life! Nowadays there would be some kind of protest to save things like that, but back then history was not a big deal and everything was being torn down! Thanks for the memories and the pictures...I could only recall parts of it..I was so young then!

    Thanks for the memories!
    Dale Loveless

    Anonymous said...

    I too loved the Walk-o-Wonders. My mother would take my brother and sister, and I there shopping. I agree with one of the readers, that it was like actually traveling to those places without leaving the city. It has inspired me to actually visit several of these places. My favorite exhibit was the Trevi Fountain. Many years later, I got see the real fountain in Rome. It was awesome.

    Jane said...

    just turned 66 years old and spent some time last Sunday reminiscing with a friend I've known since 1956. This topic came up and I just took the time to look this up.

    I remember spending time at the Great Western Shopping Center at the "Walk O' Wonders". Every time our mother had to go out there we piled in the car to go too ... anxious to see the "Wonders" once again. We couldn't get enough of it.

    I was very fortunate back then that my parents actually took us camping to many of our national parks on long summer vacations and I recall that the Carlsbad Caverns display really looked like what we saw when we actually walked through the real caverns. I had also been to Niagara Falls and it really did look like their miniature version.

    I hesitate to say this but it occurs to me that we may be failing our youth of today with the lack of such exhibits. My hope would be that maybe we could get their faces out of their phones long enough to actually walk through an exhibit and consider the wonder of such places.

    2muchcoffee2day said...

    I grew up on the east side of Columbus. The best part of my childhood was when we made that 1 hour drive (back in the day when there were no freeways!!) my parents made to the west side to see the "Walk O' Wonders". We would get an ice cream cone and walk the exhibit down one side and back up the other. My father would tell my sisters and I some fascinating fact he had read about on one of the exhibits. He was so amazing!
    Here's a question: I heard that someone bought the Trevi Fountain, disassembled it & re-assembled it on their property?? Any truth to that fact??