News & Events

Tidbits From The GVS Archives:

May 6, 2015 by Mark Weiss in News & Events with 0 Comments

-by Curator of Archives and Facilities Russ Arledge

Next week, we look forward to the annual “Caretakers of a Legacy” awards ceremony! The event will be held in the GVS Meeting Haus – Fest Hall, on May 13, 2015 at 6 p.m.

Can you believe this will be the 18th year for the event? The first “Caretakers of a Legacy” awards ceremony took place on May 7, 1998.  Bill Curlis was the new GVS President, Sharon Steel was the Chair of the Historic Preservation Committee and the guest speaker was the Honorable Greg Lashutka, Mayor of Columbus (and German Village resident!).


Click here for the May 1998 GVS Newsletter “Caretakers of a Legacy” article.

Bis später!

GVS BOT April 13 Meeting Meetings

May 6, 2015 by admin in News & Events with 0 Comments

April BOT Packet WITH MINUTES_Part1

April BOT Packet WITH MINUTES_Part2_Part1

April BOT Packet WITH MINUTES_Part2_Part2

N4N April 30

April 30, 2015 by admin in News & Events with 0 Comments

May 5 German Village Commission Application & Agenda

April 29, 2015 by admin in News & Events with 0 Comments

The May 5 Agenda will be posted when finalized by the city.


525-527 City Park - Applying to rebuild brick stoops, install awnings, paint previously painted masonry, re-install windows into previously bricked in areas

240 East Kossuth_Part1- Applying for rooftop patio, addition, and requesting a variance

240 East Kossuth_Part2_Part1

240 East Kossuth_Part2_Part2

240 East Kossuth_Part3

792 City Park- Applying to install a standing seam metal roof

Q&A With A German Village Young Professional

April 29, 2015 by Mark Weiss in News & Events with 0 Comments

-by OSU Intern Sarah Sawka

BrianBernsteinBrian Bernstein moved to the Village last year. He went to undergrad at OSU but moved to Florida, Maryland, and Cleveland (his home town) before eventually moving back to Columbus and settling in German Village.  He is an urban designer/landscape architect working for the international design firm, NBBJ.

Sarah: What drew you to German Village?

Brian: As an urban designer, I was naturally drawn to it. I liked the physical aspects of it—the space, the density, the connectivity, the walkability. My best friends also live here and they spoke about the sense of community in the neighborhood.

Sarah: What do you tell people you love about the Village?

Brian: There is an authentic character to it that is nice to be connected with in today’s world. The Village is also pretty diverse and it provides an opportunity to associate with people from multiple generations, backgrounds and professions.

Sarah: How did you first find the Society?

Brian: When I first moved here, my landlord, Susan Sutherland (she is on the Board of Trustees), bought me my membership with the Society and encouraged me to get involved in the community.  So I guess I have her to thank for my connection with Society.

Sarah: What have you done with the Society?

Brian: I have participated in the Monster Bash and have gone to the young professional happy hours, which were great opportunities to network.

Sarah: Do you see your involvement with the Society going anywhere in the future?

Brian: I think the first year here has been focused on settling into my company and the neighborhood in general. But I am starting to get more and more involved. It’s such a great opportunity to meet the people around you but to also make professional connections.

Sarah: What would you tell people the German Village Society does for the neighborhood?

Brian: They are what I call the “software”. They keep people active and engaging in events and with each other: they are the heartbeat of the neighborhood. That is one of the things that make this community so unique. People are engaged and passionate about their neighborhood; I think a lot of people living elsewhere envy that quality of life found here. The Society is like the glue: the consistent factor.

Sarah: What are some misconceptions people might have about the German Village Society?

I think a lot of people assume that the Society is only concerned about the past and preservation efforts. They might not understand that it is equally concerned with the future and planning out how to sustain this community.

Sarah: Why do you think it is important for young professionals to get involved with the German Village Society?

Brian:  The success of German Village today is largely the result of individuals who recognized the value of what a well-designed neighborhood can manifest in terms of community and urban livability.  As young professionals we have a responsibility to continue its preservation, actively participate in its modern curation, and ‘pay it forward’ for the next generation.

Sarah: Favorite Village location?

Brian: Schiller Park.  From an urban designer and landscape architect’s perspective, it’s proof that a well-designed public realm is truly the glue that can bring a community together.

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 or call 221-8888.

Tidbits From The GVS Archives:

April 29, 2015 by Mark Weiss in News & Events with 0 Comments

-by Curator of Archives and Facilities Russ Arledge   

Looking through the GVS Newsletter Archives I found yet another great historic preservation article written by Bob Hurry. There was no better advocate for German Village house renovation in the 1960s – 1980s than Bob Hurry, an early pioneer of historic preservation! During this time Bob wrote a series of renovation articles that not only were informative, but served as a guide on how to tackle just about any renovation project on your home.


Click here for “Roof Overhangs” written in April 1973 by Bob Hurry.

Spring has now sprung and the exterior maintenance and renovation work on our homes will begin again. Make sure you contact our GVS Historic Preservation Advocate Sarah Marsom for all the latest details when applying for your Certificate of Appropriateness (COA).

Bis später!

Volunteers: Match Your Passion With Our Strategic Plan

April 22, 2015 by Mark Weiss in News & Events with 0 Comments

-by Executive Director Shiloh Todorov

Drum roll, please.

After six months of previewing our need to get as many bodies on board as we can to move the needle and implement the new strategic plan, we now have specific requests for you to consider, neighbors.

The history and genesis of this organization is the strength of hundreds of neighbors working together to make something great happen for our neighborhood. Heck, we’d passed our 25th birthday before German Village Society even hired its first part-time staff person, and today we have four staff and 400 regular volunteers – so you can still see the overwhelming source of labor is in the passion neighbors put forth.

One thing that has proved itself over and over again since January 10, 1960, is that the most successful ideas in German Village are carried by champions. Look what Jerry Glick does with the German Village Society 11th Precinct Police Luncheon presented by German Village Insurance. Look what Darci Congrove and John Pribble have done not only in creating Tea 43206 but in taking those funds to create real preservation projects. Look at how Southside STAY and Village Connections sprung up and took off.

The new strategic plan showed us where stakeholders want us to move – to consolidate our resources and make a difference. Now it is time to form the teams.

Get on the team you most want to champion.

We have a new tool in our offices (588 S. Third St.) and on our website (click “Get Connected Stay Connected” in the middle column) to help you find your best way to join the team. In some cases, we need your time – such as attending several meetings to help us brainstorm or put some research into an idea or walk the neighborhood and take pictures where the curb is gone. In other cases, we need your particular talent – maybe you know the best arborist in the state and you’d like to connect us to her when we’re figuring out our street trees and how they impact sidewalks; or you’re a financial genius or a marketing pro. Some things need money – we’re going to have to fund elements of Third Street if we’re going to bring it to fruition, for example.

So here are the tasks we’re working on right now, sorted into the strategic pillars of German Village Society:


Explore sidewalk strategy including volunteer construction, preferred vendors, “sidewalk bank” lending, city coordination for curbs and trees.

Help us show property owners through creation of workshops some hands-on ways and best practices for preservation.

Help us amend our National Register of Historic Places listing to accurately represent the neighborhood’s robust history.


Build Community

Calling all volunteer writers, photographers, videographers, social media gurus – you can help implement our new communication strategy.

Reimagine, improve and redesign digital platforms to better communicate with stakeholders.

Recruit new volunteers.

Be a Stewart School tutor.

Make our annual events happen – Village Valuables, Haus und Garten Tour, Art Crawl, Tea 43206, Monster Bash, Village Lights, Kindred Spirits and Monograms & Martinis.



4.23VolsGardenHelp us plant gardens, raise money for park improvements and think through policy needs in concert with the City of Columbus.

Educate residents about existing tools for crime prevention.

Extend the relationship with police department.

Research further “block watch” aspects of existing luncheons.

Create alternative transportation user guide and work with the city on policy updates.


Enhance Visitor Experience

4.23VolsToursGet to know the history of our neighborhood by conducting interviews for our Oral History project.

Become a tour guide for bus tours, field trips and walking tours.

Staff a Visitors Center shift and welcome new neighbors and visitors.

Help digitize the old newsletters, photos, slides and awards from 55 years of German Village Society.

Help create a vision for updates to the Visitors Center.


Financial Stability

Lend accounting insight to implement best practices.

Develop new partners, sponsors, donors.

Grow membership through ambassador program.

Enhance individual gifts.



Research and recommend online voting tools.

When you find your interest or talent here – shoot me an email or pick up the phone (221-8888 or I’ll connect you to the board member in charge of that pillar and we’ll start to better understand your passion.

Tidbits From The GVS Archives:

April 22, 2015 by Mark Weiss in News & Events with 0 Comments

-by Curator of Archives and Facilities Russ Arledge

Looking through the GVS Archives, while German Village embarked on a village-wide historic preservation journey in the early 1960s, urban renewal took another path entirely. Here is a great story from our March/April 1978 GVS Newsletter about the history of “Marketing in Columbus 1814-1978”.


Click here for the rest of the story.

Bis später!

Preserving Diverse Structures And Stories

April 22, 2015 by Mark Weiss in News & Events with 0 Comments

-by Historic Preservation Advocate Sarah Marsom


This fountain in Madison, Indiana, was donated by the International Order of Odd Fellows to the town. The fountain was originally exhibited in the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exposition

Some of the misconceptions about preservation are that it is a stuffy club for the upper echelons of society, that it has to be built before 1900 to be “historic,” or that a president needs to be affiliated with the site for it to be deemed worth of preservation.  By taking a short weekend trip from Columbus, Ohio, to Columbus, Indiana, one can see preservation is much more diverse.

The Ohio River is sprinkled with rich history and small towns.  Arguably the most historically acclaimed town on the Ohio River is Madison in lower Indiana.  Like German Village, Madison is a Preserve America community; Madison is also a National Historic Landmark, which is the highest accolade for a historic structure or district.  Madison has been recognized for its prominence as a 19th century transportation hub along the Ohio River – accepting goods from the river and transporting them inland with trains.  This community was a key stop along the Underground Railroad, was the birthplace of the Grand Lodge of Indiana, and features well preserved architecture from well-known Indiana architects from the 1800s.  Madison’s community experienced a downturn when rivers were no longer a necessary component of transportation (post- Civil War).  Similar to German Village, preservation is what has preserved this community and preservation has allowed it to thrive along the river once more; there are few vacant shops along the commercial corridor and cherry blossoms highlight the architecture in spring, creating a thriving and beautiful community.


The Miller House in Columbus, Indiana, was designed by Eero Saarinen and completed in 1957.

Barely an hour away from Madison is Columbus (IN).  Columbus has become a premier destination for lovers of modern architecture.  Featuring works from iconic architects of the 20th Century, such as I.M Pei, Robert Venturi, and Eero Saarinenen, this community portrays acontemporary visual history on every block.  Columbus, Indiana, was founded in 1864 and grew in part due to the railroad and its industry.  While Columbus has lovely architecture from the late 1800s lining its streets, it is the mid-century architecture and history, which brings visitors from around the world.

J.Irwin Miller began working for his family’s business, the Cummins Corporation, in the 1930s and is recognized for making the corporation the profitable Fortune 500 business it is today.  What Miller contributed most to architecture enthusiasts though is his visionary influence on design.  Through the establishment of the Cummins Foundation in 1954, the city of Columbus received donations for architectural fees for all new public buildings.  Miller understood that good design would withstand the test of time and become iconic.  Buildings such as Versailles or the Parthenon need not be replicated, instead design representative of the times should be thoughtfully crafted for the enjoyment of future generations.  Due to Miller’s innovative approach to corporate and public relationships and design, Columbus (IN), continues to be a thriving community and a destination for modern architecture enthusiasts.  A half-dozen buildings built between 1942 and 1965 are National Historic Landmarks, including Miller’s own home.


Fire Station No.1, was designed by Leighton Bowers in the Art Nouveau style in 1941. (Columbus, IN)

Preservation ensures architecture of diverse styles and stories from different perspectives and historic periods are saved for future generations.  Within three hours of German Village, one can see the variety in preservation and learn stories in the Midwest.  Communities that maintain their authenticity can thrive and become a success stories like German Village, Madison (IN), and Columbus (IN).  To view more photos from my weekend road trip visit this link.  Do you have questions about what a National Historic Landmark designation means, historic preservation, or my trip?  Email me at or call 221-8888.

Q&A With A German Village Young Professional

April 15, 2015 by Mark Weiss in News & Events with 0 Comments

-by OSU Intern Sarah Sawka

Photo Credit: Tessa Berg | Starling Studio

Photo Credit: Tessa Berg | Starling Studio

I was able to meet with Joe and Brittany Gibson in their German Village home. Joe is a prosecutor at the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office. Brittany is a marketing copywriter at Victoria’s Secret. Together with their dog, Nilla, and cat, Reese, they have been involved in the Village and with the German Village Society since 2011.

Sarah: So let me know a little bit about how you both moved to Columbus and the Village?

Joe: Well I’m from Columbus originally. Brittany and I both went to Ohio University. I came back to go to law school at Capital University. At the end of my third year in law school, I moved into the Village. But when I was kid, I spent a lot of time here because my dad had an office here. I met Brittany the first year I was here. She, at the time, was living in Victorian Village but I convinced her to move to German Village.

Sarah: What stands out in your mind when you are describing German Village to people who don’t live here?

Joe: It’s a peaceful, quiet neighborhood that is also downtown. The walkability and access to downtown area is a big deal to me. I can go weeks without driving my car. It’s also connected to all the other neighborhoods in the downtown area.  Plus, you can’t beat the architecture and how picturesque it is in winter—really in all the seasons.

Sarah: What changes have you noticed over the years?

Joe: The German Village community has really expanded. The borders haven’t changed, but more people are moving to the surrounding area. The neighborhood also seems to be a bit younger. If I go on a run during lunch, I often see young mothers in the park with their children. That wasn’t as common a few years ago.

Sarah: Do you think that has to do with the rising popularity of the Village? Is there something that has made it easier to raise a family in the city?

Joe: I think we are part of the growing trend of people moving away from the suburbs and into the cities. I’m biased, but I do think this is the best neighborhood in the downtown area.

Sarah: Can you tell me what led you to get involved with the German Village Society?

Joe: Well Brittany got involved pretty early on into her time here. But she can tell you more about that. As a result of her getting involved, I began to volunteer as well.

Brittany: The Society made it really easy to jump into volunteering at the Visitor Center. Through my work there, I got to know the staff and that lead to more involvement. I enjoy volunteering and this seems like a good way to make a difference in my neighborhood.

Sarah: So what are you involved with at the Society?

Joe: I am on the Organizational Development Committee; I was just appointed to that last month. That committee assists and advises the board of trustees and implements the strategic plans. I’m also active in the Long-Range Planning Committee. This committee does a little bit of everything. And I volunteer at the Haus und Garden Tour. I help to organize the event and volunteer with the transportation.

Sarah: Brittany, can you tell me a little bit about what you current are involved with at the Society and how you got started?

Brittany: The first thing I volunteered with was Monster Bash.  We went to it one year and then joined the Society around the same time. We lived near the Meeting Haus at the time so it was really easy to walk over and volunteer at the Visitors Center. That was a great way to get to know people. It was also fun talking to visitors and giving them tips on what to check out in the area. When they mentioned, the following year, that they needed some new planners for Monster Bash, I volunteered and quickly became a co-chair. Then I was appointed to a board seat that had been vacated. Last year was my first year in that position. I am on the Communications Task Force and the board liaison for Haus und Garden Tour.

Sarah: Can you give me a little more information about your involvement in the Haus und Garden Tour?

Brittany: We start planning the Haus und Garden Tour more than six months out; I keep the board up-to-date on all the planning. We have a lot of regular volunteers this year but also some fresh eyes. It’s a really good group. I’m a huge fan of the event; I go every year on Sunday. It’s a big weekend and it takes a lot of work.

Sarah: Why do you think it’s important for people to get involved?

Brittany: I love the comradery. Even when we were just renting in the neighborhood, I could see how volunteering for the Society would only make my time in the Village a better one.

Sarah: What do you think hinders people from getting involved?

Brittany: People probably think that volunteering requires a lot more time and effort than it does in reality. The Society does a good job of dividing up what needs to be done into manageable pieces.

Joe: I think events are an easy way for people to get involved. It also provides a way for the Society to interact with newcomers and show them what the German Village Society actually does in the community.

Sarah: What was the last TV show or book that you were addicted to recently?

Joe: “The Jinx” on HBO was really good. I also read “Empire of Sin” by Gary Krist; it’s about the history of New Orleans from the late 1800s to the 1920s. It was really interesting.

Sarah: What is your favorite place in German Village?

Joe: Mine changes week to week.

Brittany: I have to choose mine in categories. Favorite Bar: Club 185, Favorite place to shop: Vernacular, Favorite Restaurant: Lindey’s, Favorite Park: Frank Fetch -there are just so many great places around here, and you can walk to all of them.

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 or call 221-8888.

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