The Downtown corridor gets a contemporary update.

Starting at High Street in Downtown Columbus, if you drive (or walk) east on Gay Street you’ll pass through some of the most interesting and updated neighborhoods of the city. After getting beyond the restaurants and bars of the old city, cross Fourth Street to begin passing by the now-sprawling new brownstone community created by the Edwards Companies in the Neighborhood Launch development. Townhouse prices in this part of the city are soaring to more than $700,000 each, with many situated along this tree-lined boulevard that stretches for nine blocks.

Still traveling east on Gay, eventually you’ll land among the academic buildings of the Columbus College of Art and Design, just behind the Columbus Museum of Art. Here are the inspirational gardens and refreshed environs that have replaced what was once a dusty back street lined with parking lots and big office buildings.

It is the heart of where Columbus is going modern. As part of the city’s Creative Campus public service project, sidewalks and roads were improved and streetscapes were created. Also installed were a series of conversation areas, furnished with modern lounge chairs from Landscape Forms’ 35 Collection, according to CCAD spokesperson Jeannie Nuss.

This is phase one of the city beautification project that involved the Gay Street corridor and continues even further east to Cleveland Avenue, Ninth Street and Washington Avenue. The project has an estimated cost of $8 million, according to the city’s design project manager Cristina Parady. The prime consultant on the project was DLZ.

As though carrying the modern theme indoors, this spring the nearby Columbus Museum of Art’s gift shop, just inside the museum’s doors, features an array of modern furnishings and other accoutrements for the home. Among those displayed recently were furnishings by iconic modern designer firm Herman Miller. Modern style aficionados may be pleased to know that the Eames midcentury modern lounge chair is for sale here, according to museum spokesperson Melissa Ferguson.