The finalized German Village Commission agenda will be added by June 1.
828 South Lazelle- Concrete patio
834 Mohawk Street- New dormer and skylights
797 South Sixth Street- New brick path
792 Mohawk-New patio structure
764 South Sixth- Replace garage vent with window
753 Mohawk-Installation of AC unit and fence to hide trash, recycling, and AC unit.
740 744 746 Pearl-Very preliminary conceptual review of property
700 South Fifth-Construction of a brick privacy wall
640 South Fifth-Seeking approval of already installed radon mitigation system
615 South Fifth-Seeking approval of already installed glass block windows
519 Mohawk-Installation of roof deck
475 South Third-Temporary signage on Livingston Ave
333 East Livingston-Concrete curb
325 East Livingston-Concrete curb
313 Jackson-Installation of new windows
275 East Whittier-New fence
246 East Sycamore-Installation of new lighting
227 East Sycamore-Modification of approved doors for addition. Would like sliding doors.
157 Thurman-Proposed demolition of historic brass foundry structures and development of property for multi-unit housing.
140 East Kossuth-Modification of one-story addition to be a two-story addition
100 Thurman Ave-Modification of one-story garage to be a two-story garage.
The Organizational Development Committee of the German Village Society Board of Trustees is calling upon the membership to provide the names of any members to be considered for a term on Board of Trustees. Any member desiring to self-nominate may pick up the appropriate petition at the Meeting Haus. Completed petitions must be filed at the Meeting Haus between June 9 and June 23. Anyone who is a current member in good standing and has been a member for at least one year may self-nominate. Petitions must contain the signatures of at least ten members in good standing. Email Dave Wible to learn more.
-by Curator of Archives and Facilities Russ Arledge
As we wrap-up the May 2015 “Historic Preservation” month, here is a bit of history about our own historic preservation advocacy efforts.
The 1988 letter from Mayor “Buck” Rinehart clearly acknowledged the long-awaited hiring of the first historic preservation advocate called the “Commission Aide” to represent German Village and the German Village Society to address German Village Commission related issues, questions, and concerns. The first “Commission Aide” was Laureen Haenszel who helped serve the residents and property owners by guiding them thru the commission guidelines and procedures.
By 1992 the position had evolved into the German Village Commission “Assistant” with the hiring of Ashlin Caravana, who in 1993 would later become the first GVS Historic Preservation Officer. Carol Gabriel took over in 1994, followed by Darrin Wasniewski in 1999, and from 2005 – 2009, Jody Graichen served as Director of Historic Preservation Programs. After a 5 year hiatus, the position of “Historic Preservation Advocate” was filled in 2014 by Sarah Marsom who still currently serves as the “advocate” for the residents and property owners of German Village!
Make sure you contact our GVS Historic Preservation Advocate Sarah Marsom for all the latest details for applying for your Certificate of Appropriateness (COA).
-by Historic Preservation Advocate Sarah Marsom
On the southern end of German Village’s boundaries is a property, which I have nicknamed the secret garden. 157 Thurman is in dire disrepair; you are unable to view the property from Thurman due to the dense vegetation, but lurking behind the overgrowth is a gorgeous primary residence and a handful of additional buildings with an interesting story.
The main structure was built in the late 1800s, and must have been a showstopper along Thurman. Beginning in the early 20th century, smaller structures were built on the rear of the property and by 1950, they are clearly labeled on a Sanborn Fire Insurance Map as the “Modern Brass Foundry.”
German Village’s industrial history is not frequently discussed. People seemed to have forgotten that at one time there were lumber yards next to Schiller Park; at one time there were auto repair shops dispersed through the neighborhood, and Schmidt’s used to operate a meatpacking plant where their restaurant is today. The neighborhood’s commercial and industrial history is deeply interwoven into its evolution from a thriving community to a downtrodden area to a revitalized community (thanks to zoning updates!).
At the May 5 German Village Commission meeting, a developer presented an argument that because of the brass foundry structures’ construction in the 1900s, they should be eligible for demolition. Part of his argument was that the German Village’s National Register for Historic Places listing does not include structures from the 20th century as contributing to the history of the neighborhood.
When German Village was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974, what was considered historic then is significantly different than what is considered historic today. The National Register for Historic Places tended to not considering early 20th century events to be historic, so those elements of the past were not included in the historic narrative. Additionally, time periods of significance were simply chosen by placing an X in a box, so German Village’s significance is listed for the 19th century.
Our true period of significance should begin with German immigrant development of the neighborhood and continue into the 20th century. The neighborhood’s history details one of the rise of German immigration, German discrimination, urban renewal, and preservation; all of these stories are integrated into the changes from traditional planning (mixed-use areas) to a post-World War II delineation between residential, industrial, and commercial.
This example from last week’s Commission meeting is an example reason why we need to update our NRHP listing. By updating the German Village’s National Register for Historic Places designation, the neighborhood’s full significance can be encapsulated and ensure structures such as the brass foundry can be appreciated and preserved for years to come.
Are you interested in learning more about updating German Village’s National Register designation or have a preservation question? Email email@example.com or call 221-8888.
-by Curator of Archives and Facilities Russ Arledge
Having just celebrated the 18th Annual Caretakers of a Legacy awards, here are some early awards that were bestowed upon the German Village Society in the late 1960s and 1970s.
The first national award was in 1968, the Award of Merit, conferred upon the German Village Society by the American Association of State and Local History. The second was in 1974 when German Village was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The third is described in the following excerpts from the May-June 1977 GVS newsletter.
Click here for the entire May-June 1977 GVS Newsletter awards story. The pages are unedited and feature some of the houses that were on the 1977 GVS Haus und Garten Tour.
-by OSU Intern Sarah Sawka
Kristen Bowersox and her husband, Matt, moved to the city in 2010. They lived near Ohio State’s campus while Kristen was in graduate school and decided to buy their first house in German Village. Matt is an accountant and Kristen is a nurse practitioner for a pediatric office.
Sarah: How did you discover German Village?
Kristen: We both grew up in the suburbs and didn’t have a lot of experience of living in the city. But while we were living at OSU, we spent more time exploring the downtown area. Matt also loves to run and his time on the trails near downtown developed in him a love for the city. Our church also has a lot of passion for the city and encourages the members to serve in the local community. We looked at a few places in downtown proper, but we loved the friendly atmosphere of the Village. We also liked how easy it is to walk to everywhere that we need to go.
Sarah: How did you first hear about the German Village Society?
Kristen: We knew we wanted to get involved in the community and we heard of the Society through fliers and neighbors.
Sarah: So what have you been involved with at the Society?
Kristen: We have attended some of the meetings. We were involved with the Haus and Garden Tour and PreTour for that event. We enjoyed volunteering with Village Lights. We also went to the young professional planning committee that was held at Three Sheets a few months ago.
Sarah: What do you enjoy about being part of the German Village Society?
Kristen: We like the ability to serve and give back, but it also provides an opportunity for us to understand the neighborhood. We get to learn the reason behind the preservation efforts, and the specific events. Understanding what is going on in the neighborhood allows us to appreciate where we live in a deeper way. When you give to something like the Society, you often find that it gives back to you.
Sarah: Why do think some people hesitate to get involved?
Kristen: I think a lot of people are unsure of what the Society does in the community. They might not be aware of how they can sign up or get involved.
Sarah: Where do you hope to see your involvement go?
Kristen: Matt and I definitely want to continue getting involved. I also like the efforts to make the improvements in surrounding areas more of a focus.
Sarah: What is your favorite aspect of life in German Village?
Kristen: I love German Village because it feels like living in a small town in a city. I’ve never been anywhere else where people are so friendly and so excited about their community. But it’s also a fun, interesting, exciting place to live.
We also have been blessed with fabulous neighbors; Redbud Alley is where it is at! Our neighbors are involved in each other’s lives and they work to serve each other. We take out each other’s trash and recycling, a neighbor down the street uses his leaf blower in front of the other houses down the alley. If Matt is working late, friends will invite me over so I don’t have to eat alone. We have bonfires together. That community aspect of life here is what makes it so special.
Sarah: What is your favorite place in German Village?
Kristen: Redbud Alley is my favorite place….but Matt and I also love the Easy Street Café.
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
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!).