John S. Kuhn, the long-term Artistic Director for Actors’ Theatre of Columbus, passed away suddenly on Saturday, leaving behind heart-broken family and friends. John was a visionary artist whose dedication, creativity, and generosity led Actors’ Theatre of Columbus into a new era of artistic excellence.
In addition to his leadership, John was a mentor and teacher to theatrical artists throughout Ohio and the nation. The theatre community in Ohio and beyond will miss him greatly.
Actors’ President of the Board of Trustees Carol Mullinax said, “John Kuhn’s leadership and artistic vision made Actors’ Theatre the success it is today. We will continue his legacy.”
As a tribute to Kuhn, Actors’ Theatre of Columbus has shared several images in honor of his work and what he meant to the theatre community.
No plans have been made for a memorial service have been scheduled yet. You can read a full obituary through The Columbus Dispatch.
753 Mohawk- Move AC unit
564 South Sixth- Conceptual review of addition, porch, and garage
279 Alexander Alley- Replace Windows
661 South Grant- Replace Windows
233 1.2 East Livingston -Replace windows
290 East Sycamore- Demolish 2-story dwelling and propose plans for new construction
799 South Third- New curb cut and driveway
-by OSU Intern Sarah Sawka
Nick Reshan has been a marketing coordinator at Columbus 2020 for two years; he has lived in German Village for over a year of that time. He got involved with the German Village Society shortly after moving to the Village and sees his involvement as an effort to connect people to their neighbors.
Sarah: How did you get in involved with the German Village Society?
Nick: I saw Shiloh’s (Todorov) article in a local paper and it was talking about how important the involvement of young professionals is in the communities of Columbus. After I read the article I emailed Shiloh and she sent me a list of different ways to get involved.
The first thing I signed up for was Monster Bash last year. I loved that. It was a great experience. This year I was asked to be the Co-Chair for the Party on the Platz. Do you know that that is?
Sarah: Go ahead and tell me about it.
Nick: Okay. It’s basically the preparty that take place at the Meeting Haus the night before the Haus und Garten Tour. So that’s been fun to start planning. I also tutor elementary kids at Stewart Alternative Elementary. And that has been great, too. Just watching those kids learn and grow has been a really rewarding experience. I’m also involved with Art Committee. It’s been great working with people who are so passionate about local art—not just in German Village but in Columbus in general. They are always seeking out new local talent.
Sarah: What attracted you to become a member of GVS as a young professional?
Nick: I guess that I believe it’s important to be involved in any community that you live in. It’s easy to come from work and go inside and never get to know the cool people who live around you.
Sarah: How do you see your involvement with the GVS playing a role in the everyday life of a Villager?
Nick: Well the preservation efforts are extremely important for everyday life. I mean it literally involves the buildings that create German Village. However, the events also work to bring the community and people together; they are more than just fundraisers. They bring an enjoyment to life as a Villager.
Sarah: Is there anything else you feel is important for people to know who want to volunteer with the GVS?
Nick: I guess I want people to know that there are lots of opportunities and it’s really easy to get involved. I kind of thought when I first started volunteering that it might be hard to connect with people because some of them have been volunteering here and known each other for 30 or more year, but it’s really easy to settle in and feel like park of the group. Everybody is really welcoming.
Sarah: Where is your favorite place in GV?
Nick: Oh that’s a hard one. I guess Lindey’s patio during happy hour—in the summer.
Sarah: Social Media of choice?
Are you a young professional who wants to engage your neighborhood? Great! There are plenty of opportunities to volunteer and if you’re interested in stepping up even further, become a member of the German Village Society with our exclusive Young Professional rates!
For more information or questions on how you can plug into German Village as YP, contact Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 221-8888.
-by Curator of Archives and Facilities Russ Arledge
“Hose down the sidewalks!”
That was the call-to-arms battle cry for years in German Village at the first signs of spring. Clean up the yard, plant the red geraniums, and hose down the sidewalks. It was made very clear from the earliest days of German Village that sidewalks were a very important part of our historic preservation endeavor and that everyone should make an extra effort to keep them safe and attractive, considering the walkability of our neighborhood. It is interesting to note how the reporting of the repair, replacement, or new brick sidewalks in the early GVS Newsletters was an acknowledgement that you were doing your bit for historic preservation.
Fern Sharp’s (911 S Third St) newly laid brick sidewalk put the finishing touches on this restoration–herringbone brick pattern.
We can look forward to a beautiful restoration by William Scheurer at Mohawk and Beck. Kerr Dawson has secured the building for a restaurant-gift shop operation. The restaurant has been named Linden Hof, because of one of the largest linden trees in the city of Columbus lies adjacent to the building. This restoration is nearing completion – the exterior blasted and tuck-pointed, and a newly-laid brick sidewalk. Massive doors of solid walnut, acquired from the old Alcorn mansion, French chandeliers, and other elegant furnishings, and outdoor gaslights and more linden trees will greet the visitor.
Both the German Village Society and the German Village Garden Club are hoping for more weed control at curbs and sidewalks.
Sid Roy who surprised neighbors in the Blenkner-Third St. area by snow-plowing the sidewalks with his jeep.
A Green-Thumb Sidewalk Superintendent
With all the spring flowers and flowering shrubs and trees, the Village is again beautiful. Everyone is now working enthusiastically in his garden in anticipation of Tour Day. But while you’re busy in your garden, take a little time and energy to work on the sidewalks. Crab grass and other varieties of grasses are practically dominating many brick and concrete sidewalks.
During this time of the year, these nuisance grasses emerge so quietly in the cracks of our sidewalks and between the bricks that they are hardly noticed. But come July, the residents who have failed to uproot these small green beginnings find their sidewalks soon hidden by an unsightly green carpet. It is hoped by all that every Villager will make a real effort this year to keep the grasses out of the sidewalks.
-by W. A. Scheurer, President The German Village Society
The German Village restoration program is not merely someone’s theoretical pipe dream, it is a dynamic community effort made successful through the accomplishments of men and women working together under the leadership of the German Village Society.
Restoration of German Village has moved forward with unprecedented pace and the outstanding success of the movement has captivated the interest of thousands of people from coast to coast. However, there are many people who are unaware that this program is strictly private enterprise subsidized by neither state nor federal tax dollars. All home restorations are privately financed; many through our local banks and savings and loan companies who recognize the social and economic importance of German Village to Columbus.
The German Village Society also is self-supporting thanks to the efforts of many Society volunteers who work year-round on the annual Haus und Garten Tour, the small private tours, and the yearly Backyards-by-Candlelight Tour, our principal sources of funds. It is these funds which enable the Society to carry out activities in behalf of the restoration movement. Through a modest budget and a large amount of work the Society has come a long way since its formation as a non-profit incorporation in 1960. Restoration of houses in the Village is impressive. Yet there is much to be done. There are many areas to be explored and improved upon.
Some comments concern the external environment, particularly the walks. Many brick walks have heaved as a result of tree roots growing under them, making walking hazardous. There also are weeds growing along sidewalks and curbs in front of both vacant and occupied properties. Too, many concrete walks in the Village are in poor condition. Unfortunately, there isn’t much the Society can do to correct or improve these conditions without the cooperation of tenants and/or owners. Some of the latter are absentee landlords who may not realize that their properties detract from the image of the entire neighborhood.
Message From the President
“The Village is attracting an ever-increasing number of people, which again reminds us that it is essential that the German Village residents put some extra effort into cleaning the area around your property. We, of course, are talking about exteriors.”
“The Village is attractive in many respects, but there is much to be desired. There are unsightly weeds about many properties, grass growing in brick sidewalks, and brick and concrete walks which need repair. This is the responsibility of the property owners. There is a difference that is at once apparent in walking down streets of the Village. The owner-occupied houses and gardens are for the most part clean and attractive, while many of those occupied by renters are in need of care. Many of the Village residents have spent time and effort to bring the Village back to its original splendor, and we suggest that residents of the Village, renters and property owners alike, take a look at their premises to see if they measure up to desired standards. We sincerely hope you will all take this in a spirit of mutual cooperation.” – William A. Scheurer
“I never tire of walking in the afternoon and looking for the old fire-marks on the houses.”
(Note: fire-marks were never used in Columbus or German Village, if you do see one, it is purely decorative… RA)
“A walk down the tree-lined brick sidewalks, one of the favorite pastimes of the residents, takes one past these small homes with shuttered windows holding ever blooming flower boxes. A glance through the iron gates reveals tailored patios and flower gardens— some include the grape arbors planted by the original owners.
(Note: by 1973, replacing concrete sidewalks with brick has become the standard… RA)
Approved replacing concrete sidewalk with brick, also replacing rear wood porch floor with brick at 772 Mohawk St.
Approved replacing concrete steps and sidewalk with bricks at 723-730 S. Sixth St.
Approved replacing concrete sidewalk with brick, repair curb, porches and paint trim at 625 27 Lazelle St.
We have learned that the City Engineering Department plans to replace bricks on some German Village streets. We appreciate this very much. Since the work is scheduled to start this month we are hopeful it will be completed in time for the tour. Throughout German Village many cement sidewalks are being replaced with brick as well. This, too, is most gratifying.
Approved replacing concrete sidewalk inside front and back yard at 496 S. Third St.
Approved application for brick sidewalk, and patio, plus a vertical wood fence at 721 Jaeger St.
Approved application to install a new brick sidewalk at 211 East Livingston Avenue.
135 E. Whittier Street—approved replacement of concrete sidewalk with brick.
922 City Park Avenue— approved replacement of sidewalk on the Concord side of property with red brick
120 Reinhard Avenue. Removal of deteriorated wood porch floor and concrete sidewalk and replacement with brick as shown on drawings on file, and installation of pre-finished storm windows painted ivory to match trim.
227-229 Jackson Street—repaint exterior trim white; add black shutters; and replace concrete sidewalk with brick, cross-weave pattern. Approved.
553-555 S. Fifth Street —Certificate issued covering replacement of deteriorated concrete sidewalk with brick. No further commission action required.
Message From the President
I want to thank you who returned your “sound off” letters. They are the only indication we have as to directions you want us to take. In order of importance, your ten greatest concerns were restoration standards, street repair, security, street lighting, German Village Commission, sidewalks, zoning enforcements, city services, parks, Haus und Garten Tour. We have committees working on several of these concerns to make the conditions better. Your phone call could put you on any of those committees. -Fred Holdridge
-by Curator of Archives and Facilities Russ Arledge
Put February 28, 2015 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. on your calendar!
The German Village Society is partnering with the Columbus Metropolitan Library to present a two hour workshop here at the Meeting Haus on how to research your house history. Sarah Marsom – GVS Historic Preservation Advocate and yours truly – Curator of Archives will demonstrate the online and hard-copy resources we have available at the German Village Society Meeting Haus. Our guest speakers from the Library are Manager Angela O’Neal, – genealogy, history and travel, and Librarian Aaron O’Donovan, local history specialist. They will share with you all of the resources available at the library and online.
I hope you will find it interesting to learn how easy it is to start discovering the past history of your property, or how frustrating it can be when you hit what seems to be a dead-end. There might be some surprises along the way, like when I discovered Jack Nicklaus’s mother Helen was born on College (now Sycamore) and grew up on Jaeger St. or the family home of Gottlob Reiner (Reiner’s Bakery) on Third St. became the corporate headquarters of Jim Truman, owner of Truesports Racing Team owner when Bobby Rahal won the 1986 Indianapolis 500!
How about the Neugebauer’s Market on Mohawk?… which later became the Mohawk Market, which became the Antiques Emporium, which became Teez Hair Salon?
A good example of our new online database would be to go to our website, click on ARCHIVES and type in: 571 Third, open the record and start reading. Of course, the first round of our database entry was uploading the Ohio Historic Inventory surveys which were already 20 to 30 years old, but it’s a start! As we acquire additional information plus current or historic photos, they will be added to the record as well.
A couple of other examples would be 548 Mohawk and 650 Third. As I was looking at the 548 Mohawk record I noted a mention of the name of Arthur H. Isaly (who was born in 1897 when the family lived at 180 E Thurman Ave), as having a cheese shop there in 1945. I recognized the name Isaly as having the cheese and deli at the 650 Third St. address from around 1958 – 1995 and which closed in 2000. Digging a little deeper I discovered, aside from the multiple Isaly cheese and delicatessen shops from the 1870’s at Central Market, there were several other locations in German Village, one being a dairy store at 808 S. Fifth (now Schmidt’s Fudge Haus) and a cheese shop that operated at 765 S. Third St. (now a laundromat) from the mid-1930s thru the late 1950s, before moving to the 650 Third St. location. Would you believe in 1951 the Isaly family- brothers and sons had over 30 dairy, restaurant and cheese shops all over Central Ohio?
You’d be surprised what you can find out if you know where to look. Hope to see you at the Meeting Haus on February 28!
-by Historic Preservation Advocate Sarah Marsom
Let’s talk about how you can work with me to create a plan to improve German Village’s brick sidewalks. The German Village Society’s strategic plan revealed that maintaining sidewalks and a walkable neighborhood was something of utmost importance for stakeholders.
This year, the Society will begin understanding the best repair and maintenance options for the neighborhood and work with you to create an implementation strategy. Please take a five–minute, multiple-choice survey on sidewalks to provide me greater input on how you would improve the neighborhood’s sidewalks. Do you have additional feedback, which cannot be contained in a survey? Call me at 221-8888 or email email@example.com.
At 32.5%, Streets and Sidewalks is the No. 1 improvement respondents wanted in German Village. Segregated in comments specific to Sidewalks or Streets, at 20.2% Sidewalks would still rank as the single most common concern; Streets at 16% is the second-most common concern. From interviews it became apparent that some residents, those with concrete sidewalks, did not realize that it was the homeowner’s responsibility to maintain the sidewalks. Long Term, 13.4% of respondents would like to see our streets and sidewalks improved, with more brick. The Streets & Sidewalks become even more a priority when the results of Q4 “Why German Village?” are taken into account as 49.3% responded that the historic characteristics, of which our brick infrastructure is a significant component, is the reason they picked German Village. Taking into account that 24.1% thought the walkability is an important feature of German Village re-enforces this issue as the top priority for German Village Society.
Question 6: What would you like to improve about GV?
87/268 want the Streets & Sidewalks improved
54/268 specifically mentioned the Sidewalks
43/268 specifically mentioned the Streets
2 of the 83 comments did not want brick
Typical or Notable comments:
Suggestions or Recommendations for Action:
Question 7: If you can imagine GV 10 years from now, what would you like to see?
36/268 Long term concern is streets & sidewalks
9 specifically mentioned more brick
Suggestions or Recommendations:
Question 12: What initiatives do you think that the GVS should focus its resources on?
35/249 responded they wanted the GVS to work on streets & sidewalks
Suggestions or Recommendations:
SIDEWALKS – RECOMMENDATIONS
Initiative: Improve condition of sidewalks in German Village with historically-sensitive repairs
Outline: Many existing sidewalks are in disrepair and present safety and mobility issues. Develop a program to change the mind-set of the property owners and City officials; and provide ways and means to make it easier for them to improve their sidewalks.
Goal: Functional brick sidewalks throughout the village in 10 years
Suggested Board Action: Charter the Historic Preservation Committee with the Sidewalk Project and to consider the following recommendations.
1. Determine rules and regulations which can be used to encourage proper homeowner maintenance of sidewalks.
2. Survey the village for the conditions of the sidewalks, ranking on a 5-point scale in terms of disrepair and unevenness.
3. Target mailing campaign to properties with poor sidewalks.
4. Raise funds to provide grants/no-interest loans to ten worse sidewalks on an annual basis for those who cannot afford repairs.
5. Educate homeowners on methodologies, resources and city laws with regard to proper maintenance of sidewalk with seminars, brochures, N4N and direct mailings.
6. Work with the city departments, where appropriate, to initiate enforcement on locations where owners fail to observe city codes etc.
7. Create an on-going marketing campaign to highlight the issues and make having a sidewalk in disrepair unacceptable (similar to MADD).
8. Develop list of contractors with cost estimates per yard of sidewalk.
9. Work with the City to repair curbs and address tree issues that structurally impact resident’s sidewalks.
10. Advocate new city codes if existing codes are not sufficient to address the problem.
Four of our grandest old trees were removed by City of Columbus crews from Schiller Park during January and February. Lindy Michael, Chair of the Friends of Schiller Park’s Arboretum Fund, did a splendid job of documenting each of the trees. Details from her report include:
Our third oldest Chinkapin Oak, one of the last ten Heritage Trees in Schiller, was removed on Feb. 2 from its grassy island within the parking lot. The city crew saved the magnificent burl. The Chinkapin was completely hollow down to its base and was still standing despite having lost over half of its crown in a storm two years ago. Its stump measured 52” by 56”. Using measurements I had made in 2012, it was somewhere between 220 and 238 years old. Several families of wood ducks and many squirrels called its top cavity home.
The once majestic Sugar Maple north of the picnic area near Reinhard froze to death during the harsh winter months of early 2014. When the weather was warm in early and mid-January, its sap was running. So the two 35-below spells right after the warm periods caused its sap to freeze. By spring it was totally dead. It was removed in January 2015 after gracing Schiller with its beauty for 140-154 years, judging from tree rings and the 32” by 35” stump.
The Black Maple south of the Rec Center parking lot was a lot older than I had realized as I looked at it out of my window. From counting tree rings and estimating its age from its very solid 30” stump, I believe it was 130-140 years old. It was removed completely on Feb. 2, 2015.
The tall, magnificent White Ash south of the Rec Center was one of the historic trees we saved with Emerald Ash Borer treatments in 2011 and 2013 and was a complement to the four, even older, White Ashes in that quadrant of the park. It leaned a little because it had spent much of its life fighting for sunlight with the Heritage Chinkapin Oak that fell after the remnants of Hurricane Ike blew through the park several years ago. From counting tree rings, a 32” by 34” stump, and measurements I had made in 2012, I estimate its age at 100-112 years old. It was removed in January 2015.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the German Village Society for the Friends of Schiller Park Arboretum Fund. We have been able to nurture the historic trees and carefully select and plant new ones for the last 30 years thanks to the generosity and passion of the residents who revel in their glory. We’d love to count you in as a Friend of Schiller Park!
Resident Mark Lucas shared this story and photo:
Our third oldest Chinkapin Oak, one of the last ten Heritage Trees in Schiller, was removed on Feb. 2 from its grassy island within the parking lot. The city crew saved the magnificent burl. The Chinkapin was completely hollow down to its base and was still standing despite having lost over half of its crown in a storm two years ago. Its stump measured 52″ by 56″. Using measurements I had made in 2012, it was somewhere between 220 and 238 years old. Several families of wood ducks and many squirrels called its top cavity home.
I loved that burl! One day we were at Schiller Park and I asked him to stand next to the burl so I could take this picture because he is 6’6” and you can get a really good idea of just how big this burl was when he’s standing next to it.
-by Russ Arledge, Curator of Archives and Facilities
Here is Part 3 of a few ads found in the German Village Society Archives for businesses that were active in German Village in 1968 – 1996… it brings back fond memories of a time not so long ago!
1968 1977 (they still have the same phone # today!)
February 1975 p8 (40 years ago!)