Where does the glassed-in stairwell at the corners of High and Brighton in Clintonville lead? (Obviously, not a subway!) What is this thing, and are there others like it?

Where does the glassed-in stairwell at the corners of High and Brighton in Clintonville lead? (Obviously, not a subway!) What is this thing, and are there others like it?

Actually, that really is a subway at North High Street and Brighton Road, just not the kind with tracks and trains. It has two weatherproof stairways and a tunnel and was built so kids going to the adjacent Clinton Elementary School don't have to cross North High at street level. The story, a sad one, goes back to the 1920s, when a car on High Street struck and killed a student whose parents then raised the money to build the stairways and tunnel. It's been refurbished several times and is still in use. The stairways are gated, and staffers at the school open them during morning and afternoon hours as students arrive and leave. Otherwise the gates stay locked for security reasons. One of those reasons is to prevent graffiti on the tunnel walls, although part of Clinton students' art education is to create murals there.

Jeff Darbee is a preservationist, historian and author in Columbus. Send your questions to cityquotient@columbusmonthly.com, and the answer might appear in a future column.