News & Events

August German Village Board of Trustees Minutes

August 20, 2014 by admin in News & Events with 0 Comments

Before Going To The Commission, Come View Your House Folder

August 20, 2014 by Mark Weiss in News & Events with 0 Comments

-by Sarah Marsom, Historic Preservation Advocate

Whether you are applying for a new addition, a patio area, or a new door, you might want to drop by the German Village Meeting Haus to explore your house folders.  The Meeting Haus archive includes folders on every single property in the German Village Historic District.  These folders vary in information, but they can include photographs, an Ohio Historic Property Survey, abstract title of information, old certificate of appropriateness and more.  Exploring the historic house folders can give you a glimpse into the past.

In addition to house folders, we have Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps which were originally created to estimate fire insurance risks.  These maps document the changes to properties- such as the size of lot, if an addition was built or when a shed was torn down- approximately every ten years.  The German Village Society has maps beginning in 1891.  These maps are sometimes crucial in the German Village Commission decision process.  A recent commission hearing led to the discovery that what was originally thought to be a mid-century addition on a cottage was actually constructed in the late 1800s!  Because of this find, the commission decided the proposed structural modifications needed to be reevaluated by the home owner and architect.  Even additions can potentially have historic value because of their age or why they were constructed.  Some additions in German Village were constructed to accommodate a home business, such as shoe repair.

Are you curious about the history of your property?  Do you want to make sure you have all of the facts to create a strong Certificate of Appropriateness application?  Email me at, call 221-8888, or drop by the Meeting Haus and I will help you explore your home’s history.

COA Pic 8.21

Do you recognize this corner?  This snippet of a Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from 1891, shows a different structure on the NW corner of Mohawk and Sycamore than is there today.  Fun things to notice: a “buggy shed” and the ‘stone caving yard”.

Tidbits from the GVS Archives: Now and Then…

August 20, 2014 by Mark Weiss in News & Events with 0 Comments

- by Russ Arledge, Curator of Archives and Facilities

A few days ago Jo Anne (LaVine) and her husband Don Corrigan who live in Florida stopped by the GVS Office with some family photos she wanted to donate. My immediate response is always “can you tie them to an address in German Village?” Her response was “of course, I was born here!”  She grew up at 605 S Third St, went to Stewart, Barrett, and was a 1952 Graduate of South High School.


She also included a photo of the owner of the automobile located behind her in the photo… her great-uncle John Waldschmidt.

What’s interesting is I already had a photo (below) of John in the very same car in the GVS Archives!


OK… for all you car buffs out there, it’s a 1938 Packard 120 Sedan.

But then it gets even more interesting… I also have another photo of an earlier automobile owned by John… a 1932 Pontiac Coupe… notice the horseshoe on the grill of the automobile.


The real kicker (horse pun intended) is that it was the Waldschmidt family that built the original building behind the horse, which at the time was a blacksmith shop.

Now for the real question of the day… can you identify the location of the building?

The first person to respond to will receive a poster printed in 1973 depicting buildings in Columbus as they were back then, including German Village!

Look for the weekly Tidbits!

Bis später!

Tidbits from the GVS Archives: German Village Property Files

August 13, 2014 by Mark Weiss in News & Events with 0 Comments

-by Russ Arledge, Curator of Archives and Facilities

You’ve probably heard by now we have in our Archives Collection a file on every property located within the footprint of German Village. Here’s a look back into our Property Files at a unique property.  Can you guess where it is? Better yet, can you identify the make of all four automobiles in the photo?





129 E Beck started out as a corner saloon with the angled steps inviting patronage from two directions. Anyone remember Silverman’s Grocery right next door?




Here’s what it looks like today!

Look for the weekly Tidbits!

Bis später!

Tidbits From The GVS Archives: Then And Now

August 6, 2014 by Mark Weiss in News & Events with 0 Comments

-by Russ Arledge, Curator of Archives and Facilities

Here’s an interesting bit of neighborhood history…

1993 Jul/Aug GVS Newsletter p3


What intersection was this?
In 1881 these stone yard workers posed for an early photo.
(Could that be your lintel or front steps in the photo?)

The Lang Stone Company, now operating on West Sycamore Street, began business here.


Today, the building is now the studio of Sandy Kight, It is at the corner of Fifth and Jackson Streets.

Look for the weekly Tidbits!
Bis später!

American Institute Of Building Design Visits German Village

August 6, 2014 by Mark Weiss in News & Events with 0 Comments

-by Sarah Marsom, Historic Preservation Advocate

ExploreBeyond8.7 It is August, and the beautiful weather is bringing an abundance of visitors to the German Village Historic District.  On Wednesday July 30, I had the pleasure of guiding 50 people from the American Institute of Building Design (AIBD) through the German Village Historic District.  As a part of the AIBD Annual Convention, the German Village tour was one of only two architectural tours offered (the other tour featured new construction in New Albany).  Instead of taking the designers, architects and engineers on a standard tour, they took an Explore Beyond the Door tour, which gave them the opportunity to go inside two different structures – 213 East Beck and St. Mary Catholic Church.  While visiting 213 East Beck, the visitors were able to ask questions to the homeowner, Vijaya Iyer, and while visiting St.Mary Catholic Church, the visitors had the opportunity to ask Father Lutz questions about the religious imagery in the art.  For out of town visitors, an Explore Beyond the Door tour creates a mini Haus und Garten tour experience – this tour allows them to see how contemporary or well-preserved the interior of someone’s home may be.  About 20 or so homes are currently on the list of Explore Beyond the Door tour home options, which allows me to modify the tour based upon the groups interest; some groups may want to see something flashy and contemporary while others are more interested in seeing an artist’s studio.

ExploreBeyond8.7-2Through the American Institute of Building Design choosing the German Village Historic District as one of their tour locations, it reinforces our national architectural importance.  Are you interested in letting your home be a part of the Explore Beyond The Door tour?  Or maybe you are interested in becoming a tour guide?  Please contact me at or 221-8888.

German Village Commission – August Agenda and Applications

August 4, 2014 by admin in News & Events with 0 Comments

2014 GVC August agenda

615 South Fifth Street   - Proposal to demolish shed and add additional off street parking

703-705 Macon Alley- New addition

558 City Park Avenue- New fence

276 East Sycamore Street- Railing for entry stairs

243 Jackson Street- Window box planters

642 City Park Avenue- New door

627 South Third Street- New condenser unit

585 City Park Avenue- Porch replacement, removal of non-historic porch addition

566 South Fourth Street part 1- Modification of existing garage (raising roof line to accommodate additional living space); creation of rooftop thoroughfare between main structure and garage

566 South Fourth Street part 2

335 East Beck Street- New doors

357 Jackson Street- New balcony

101 East Columbus Street-Modification of skylights to dormers and a new trellis

224 Reinhard Avenue-Proposed second floor to current one story addition.

808 Jaeger Street-New landscaping plan

938 City Park Avenue - New windows

251 Jackson Street-Modifications to porch

799 South Third Street-Demolition of addition; construction of new addition.

673 Mohawk Street-Modifications to approved landscape plan; new doors

201 East Whittier Street part 1-New addition

201 East Whittier Street part 2

655 South Grant Avenue- New landscaping plan

754 Lazelle Street - Replace windows

870 South Pearl Street-Radon mitigation system

553 Mohawk Street-Replace windows

874 South Fifth Street part 1-Conceptual review, one story addition

874 South Fifth Street part 2

292 Easy Sycamore Street- Conceptual review

540 South Sixth Street part 1- Install rear yard parking pad

540 South Sixth Street part 2

679-699 South Third Street - Replace siding

275 East Beck Street- New fence

Stewart Elementary School - Replace door panel

N4N July 31

July 31, 2014 by admin in News & Events with 0 Comments

A GVS and GV Commission Pioneer

July 23, 2014 by Mark Weiss in News & Events with 0 Comments

-by Russ Arledge, Curator of Archives and Facilities

Throughout the entire 55 year history of German Village everyone knows and talks about August Wagner and his brewery located at the NW corner of W Sycamore & S Front St, but what about his daughter Helen Wagner? Did you know she was very active in the German Village Society and was one of the first members of the German Village Commission? Here are a few tidbits of her commitment and legacy to the German Village Society.

1962 December p3

Helen Wagner appeared on national TV in “What’s My Line?”  in June 1962!

(Note: she was the 2nd of 3 mystery guests, episode #616)


1966 October p3


Since the last Newsletter, there has been a re-organization of the German Village

Commission, We now have a 7-member Commission as opposed to 5 member Commission formerly. The new Commission consists of:

Lawrence Schaffer, Chairman
Roger Dennison, Architect
Helen Wagner
William Hoermle
Clovis Nogawick
Phil Henry
William Scheurer

Frank Fetch was re-appointed Secretary.

Some up-dating and changes in the present Code are contemplated. You will be kept posted as to any changes.


1970 August p1


Many people have inquired as to who the members are on the German Village Commission.

For your information, the present members are:

Col. James R. Allen – Chairman
Roger M. Dennison – Vice Chairman
Miss Helen Wagner – Secretary
Mr. William P. Hoermle
Mr. Philip Henry
Mr. Clovis Nogawick
Mr. Raymond Phillips

1975 November p5

“About People”

Miss Helen Wagner, GVS Charter Member and one of the first five appointees of the German Village Commission was honored recently by Hiram College in northeastern Ohio. Helen, a trustee of the college, was inducted into membership by the Garfield Society, formed to recognize individuals whose public and private careers have demonstrated dedication to the welfare of their communities and nation. The Society is named for the 20th United States President, James A. Garfield. Before retirement, Miss Wagner was vice president of the August Wagner Breweries, Inc. in Columbus. She has served on numerous boards of civic organizations and for 10 years was a member of the German Village Commission. Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court C. William O’Neill was the speaker at the ceremonies and also was among those inducted into the Garfield Society. Signaling the German Village restoration as a heritage worth preserving for future generations, the Society and the Village have been honored by the “Connie” Award presented to William A. Scheurer, immediate past president of the Society, in Washington, D.C., October 17. The “Connie” Award, sponsored by the Society of American Travel Writers, and ‘representing outstanding contributions to a quality travel environment through conservation and preservation was given to nine individuals from throughout the country in a luncheon-ceremony at the official residence of Vice President Nelson Rockefeller. In presenting the award, Vice President Rockefeller stated that he was aware that restoration of German Village is being accomplished with private capital and praised the Society and the community for their sense of history and environmental concern. Recommendation for the “Connie” Award was made to the Society of American Travel Writers by the Ohio Travel and Tour Organization, an association which has referred many travel writers to German Village.

1980 Jul/Aug p3

Trustees Elected to Board Newly elected Trustees serving on the Board of the German Village Foundation whose terms began on July 1, 1980 are Richard Bauer, Professor of Art, Capital University and Director of The Schumacher Gallery; Sidney Druen, Assistant Secretary and Associate General Counsel, Nationwide Insurance Companies; Carl Graf, Vice President, Banc Ohio and President, The Columbus Maennerchor; Walter Kropp, President, Franklin Federal

Savings and Loan Association and Past President of the Columbus Library Board; and Helen Wagner, Retired President of the August Wagner Brewing Company. Officers of the Board of Trustees are William Scheurer, President; Carl Magnuson, Vice-President; Loyd Kintz, Secretary; and Grace Highfield, Treasurer. Re-elected to the Board of Trustees were Dr. Morris Battles, Mary Louise Hendricks, Fred Holdridge, Jerry Janes, and Byron Kohn.

1986 Sep/Oct p3

The Oktoberfest of 1986 by Fred Holdridge

The return of the German Village Oktoberfest to German Village in the Old Brewery section after a fifteeen year absence was a resounding success. Since its inception the German Village Foundation has been seeking a fundraiser to finance the hiring of a fulltime director and to afford some of its other projects for enhancing the Village. Two years of planning culminated in this year’s Oktoberfest in the Old Brewery section. Under the chairmanship of Fred Holdridge and the fine directing of Aaron Leventhal, an extraordinary event was planned for September 5, 6, and 7. Helen Wagner, of Wagner Breweries, tapped the first keg in the shadow of the statue of King Gambrinus at Sycamore and Front, and Carl Graf led the parade which included all the singing clubs in the South End, to the main stage and officially opened the Oktoberfest on Friday, Sept. 5th.

1993 Nov/Dec p7

Helen Wagner

The death of Helen Wagner on August 12 saddened our members. Helen grew up in the near Southside and followed her father into the brewery business. She took time to serve on the very first German Village Commission. In January we will tell more of her kindness and thoughtfulness toward German Village.

1994 Nov/Dec p1

Court Hall and all his volunteer researchers plus the expertise of Brewmaster David Foster brought to life the history of the brewery business and its impact on the growth of Columbus and German Village during the German-American Day Celebration the evening of October 6. Helen Wagner’s stein collection and brewery memorabilia was on display through October 28 in the Fest Hall of the Meeting Haus.

(Note: the exhibit case in the Visitor Center is full of artifacts donated by Helen Wagner)

Look for the weekly Tidbits!

Bis später!

July 14- Board of Trustees Minutes

July 21, 2014 by admin in News & Events with 0 Comments
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