News & Events

N4N January 29

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

Tidbits From The GVS Archives:

January 28, 2015 by Mark Weiss in News & Events with 0 Comments

-by Russ Arledge, Curator of Archives and Facilities

While searching thru and cataloging the German Village Society Archives, one is bound to run across items that bring back fond memories. Here are a few ads for businesses that were active in German Village in 1967… they are long gone, but not forgotten!

Tidbits 1.29-1





Bis später!

February 3 German Village Commission Agenda And Applications

January 28, 2015 by admin in News & Events with 0 Comments

The finalized agenda will be added once completed.

75 East Sycamore- Replacing a rear door

799 Mohawk-Rear addition and garage

799 South Third-New single family residence

910 City Park-Replace windows

700 South Fifth-Remove front porch, replace door, construction addition, garage alteration/addition

275 East Whittier-Restore front porch, remove exterior stairs

391 East Livingston-New business signage

792 City Park-Replace dormer roof

Tidbits From The GVS Archives:

January 21, 2015 by Mark Weiss in News & Events with 0 Comments

-by Curator of Archives and Facilities Russ Arledge

A week does not pass without someone asking… what is the story behind the German Village Society brass plaques seen on the outside of numerous properties around the village?


Well, one has to go back to the earliest days of the German Village Society to get the story…As you know, the German Village Society started in 1960 with the commitment of restoring homes and businesses, and showcasing them at the annual Haus und Garten Tour. This brought up the question of how to recognize the efforts of those whose properties had undergone major exterior renovations. A yard-sign or a German/GVS flag flying didn’t seem suitable as a permanent symbol to withstand the ravages of time and the weather.

So, the quest was on for a symbol and Charter Member and original Trustee Philip Keintz presented a design in 1961 that was patterned after the German “Reichsadler” or Imperial Eagle that originates from a emblem dating all the way back to Charlemagne, the first Frankish ruler crowned Holy Roman Emperor by the Pope in 800a.d. The eagle emblem went through many variations from the 13th century on and the eagle used on the GVS  plaque most closely resembles one of the coats of arms (see image above) used during the more recent German Empire (1871-1918).

Several hundred brass plaques or emblems were cast by Frank Heinlein, owner of Heinlein Brass Foundry located on S High Street, measuring approximately 6” high by 5” wide and 1”thick. According to Kathy Heinlein and Jim Heinlein (Frank’s children), they have the original drawings and the mold used to cast the plaques should we ever need more!

One interesting detail that Philip Keintz incorporated into the design was replacing the Imperial Shield or breast-plate with one of Philip’s own design… you can see in the photo below that the banner across the top of Philip’s shield says “PRESERVE”, accompanied by the image of a one and one-half story brick cottage, one of the most iconic images he could think of that would best represent the German Village neighborhood.


The second image is of the back of a plaque which reads “Philip E. Kientz – May 7 1961” and is stamped number “23”.

All of the plaques were numbered and a property owner, having completed their exterior renovations had to apply to the German Village Society for a GVS Plaque and a committee was appointed to study each request. Occasionally, a plaque would be awarded to an individual or family for outstanding service to the community. By 1973, a “Plaque Application Criteria” had been created to formalize the application process:



An application for a plaque will be considered by the German Village Society Board of Trustees provided  that the following criteria are met:

A. 1. Applicant must own said property.

2. Any and all exterior renovation must be approved by the German Village Commission.

3. Major exterior work must be executed under the building codes of the City of Columbus and be supplemented by the appropriate licenses and/or permits.

4. The exterior must be free of alien or inharmonious surroundings and building coverings, if possible.

5. The beauty and charm of the building and its garden, including fences, sidewalks and drive areas must be preserved.

6. The chimney, roof, siding, spoutings, windows, shutters, flower boxes, doors and awnings should be authentic or be in keeping with the original measurements and harmonious building design.

7. Any and all additions to the original building need not be exact in architectural style or detail, but must be defined by proper size, materials and proportion.

8. The exterior colors may be warm, subtle or rich, but must always maintain proper dew– rum and harmony throughout.

B. 1. The plaque must always be displayed on the exterior of the houses that meet these qualifications.

C. 1. The plaque may be awarded to an individual who has performed a unique service to the Society. This award is at the discretion of the Board, and clause B-1 may be waived.

In 1987 a lapel-pin was introduced bearing the plaque design which was sold by the German Village Society for many years in the Visitor Center.

Obviously, having a plaque on your property was very desirous; however, the practice eventually phased out in early-mid 1990’s, but in 1998 was continued with the Annual “Caretakers of a Legacy” plaque awards.

As you stroll around German Village and notice the brass plaques on the properties awarded for early restorations efforts, think for a moment what “PRESERVE” has meant for the neighborhood and the German Village Society, celebrating its 55th anniversary in 2015. For it too, has stood the test of time… and the elements!

Bis später!

January 12 Board Of Trustees Minutes

January 20, 2015 by admin in News & Events with 0 Comments

Tidbits From The GVS Archives:

January 14, 2015 by Mark Weiss in News & Events with 0 Comments

-by Russ Arledge, Curator of Archives and Facilities

Having just celebrated the 55th Anniversary of the first meeting of what would become the German Village Society, here is a few reminisces from the March/April 1976 GVS Newsletter:

Back in 1960, an article appeared in The South Side Leader which read: “Some 300 persons jammed into the Moose Hall, 36 West Sycamore Street Wednesday night, to hear plans for immediate action to save the German Village area. “Among them were residents from Upper Arlington, Bexley and other neighborhoods who have joined in an Englishman’s crusade to save the area from becoming another Market-Mohawk slum.” The Englishman was Frank Fetch, and at this meeting he was joined by Arnall T. Connel, OSU assistant professor of architecture and planning who said the village has the “greatest collection of general architecture ranging from red brick homes and sidewalks to wrought iron fences and gates.”

Added OSU support was given by Richard H. Miller, a visiting lecturer in the university’s department of architecture, who stated: “German Village is the key to halt urban disaster in Columbus that has already stricken such cities as Chicago, Detroit and other giant metropolitan areas.” Looking back over the years to 1960 when the first seeds were planted, restoration growth has truly been amazing. Even more incredible is the fact that the restoration has been financed with private capital and personal initiative for which the Village and its guiding organization, the German Village Society, have won admiration and acclaim throughout the country.

People often ask, “How has the German Village Society accomplished so much with no federal or foundation funding?” The answer is mainly because the organization is blessed with members and friends . . . many of whom were present in 1960 . . . who share a mutual concern for this bit of German-America and the importance of its history to Columbus. People who are motivated to give freely of their time and knowledge; who have set goals, made plans, and set about to accomplish them.

Bis später!

Tidbits From The GVS Archives

January 7, 2015 by Mark Weiss in News & Events with 0 Comments

-by Russ Arledge, Curator of Archives and Facilities

This coming Saturday, January 10, 2015 marks the 55th anniversary of the first meeting of what would become the German Village Society! The following are a few tidbits gleaned from the earliest GVS Newsletters!

  • The first meeting of the German Village Society was held at the Schiller Park Rec Center on January 10, 1960 with approximately 100 residents and business representatives in attendance.
  • The Society was incorporated on June 18, 1960, with 183 Charter Members comprised of 163 households and 20 businesses (or 210 individuals and 20 businesses)
  • The Society Motto: Ohne Hast, aber ohne Rast (by Goethe, a German writer, and a personal friend of Schiller) “Without Haste, but without Rest.”
  • Society colors: Red, White, and Black.
  • The first newsletter, the Deutsche Dorf Zeitung (German Village Newsletter) was published in March 1961.
  • A membership drive was started (to supplement the Charter Members) and the first Society member was Paul Sullivan, the first out of town member was Robert Wills, of Worthington, OH, and the first out of state member was Carl Warren of Pierre, S. Dakota.
  • The first GVS office (1960-61) was at 659 S. Third St. (NW corner of Third & Sycamore, building then owned by Anna Kaiser)
  • Early 1960s GVS general membership meetings were held at the Moose Club, 36 W. Sycamore St. (building has since been torn down)
  • Mid-late 1960s GVS general membership meetings were held at 808 S. Fifth St. (Building then owned by Doral Griggs, now Schmidt’s Fudge Haus 220 E. Kossuth St.)
  • The first GVS Annual Meeting was held on May 21, 1961 at the German Village Hall (Littleton Sign Co. Building) 120 E. Willow St. (Who could have imagined the GVS would purchase the building 26 years later on June 23, 1987 as its new and current GVS Meeting Haus, Office, and Visitor Center, now 588 S. Third St)
  • On January 4, 1962 GVS purchased 624 S. Third St. to be its Office and headquarters. (The GVS owned this building for 45 years and it was sold in 2007)
  • December 1962: “The Membership Drive in the fall was headed by Col. Allen, who reports a most successful undertaking. More than 90 percent of the memberships were renewed. We now have 200 individual members and 40 business memberships. It might be well at this time to review the purpose of the Society, which is to unite those interested in the preservation, restoration, and improvement of an area in the near South Side of the City of Columbus, Ohio, designated as the German Village Historical Area. It is the largest area in the country which is attempting, without Federal Aid, to raise housing standards and to prevent becoming a slum area. In the three years of the Society’s existence, much has been accomplished. One might say that we have passed the “crawling stage” and are now learning to walk–slowly, but surely. Now the members have a definite purpose, and the aims of the Society are better known and defined. We still have a long way to go, but it’s wonderful to realize how far we have come.”
  • On March 29, 1963, the Red Geranium was designated the official flower of the German Village Society.

Bis später!

New Year, New Beginnings: Dress for Success

January 5, 2015 by Mark Weiss in News & Events with 0 Comments

German Village Dress Card Side 2









German Village Dress Card Side 1







Dec. 18 Police Luncheon Notes

December 19, 2014 by admin in News & Events with 0 Comments

Tidbits from the GVS Archives: Then and Now…

December 17, 2014 by Mark Weiss in News & Events with 0 Comments

-by Russ Arledge, Curator of Archives and Facilities

I hope everyone who attended the 2014 Village Lights event this year had a wonderful time! This latest tradition was a reinvention of past holiday celebration events dating back to the German Village Society’s first Holiday Season in December 1960 when at the suggestion of Charter Member Art Ballantyne, the GVS held its first Christmas Decoration Contest. The contest was judged by local TV newscasters Chet Long and Hugh DeMoss, and newspaper columnist Ben Hayes.

The winners for 1960 were:

First Place: Mr. and Mrs. Thomas W. Barlett  794 S. Sixth St
Second Place: Col. And Mrs. James R. Allen  43 E Sycamore St
Third Place: Mr. and Mrs. William Schola  616 City Park Ave
Honorable Mention: Barbera Babylon  145 E. Frankfort St

The Annual Christmas Decoration contest continued for decades up thru the early-1990’s and was replaced in 1993 by the first Cristkindlsmarkt , a Village-wide celebration  and shopping experience hosted by the “Business League of German Village” (now known as the GVBC – German Village Business Community) and with the expanded use of luminarias, the event was eventually renamed Luminaria!

Other activities that continued thru the 1990’s and  2000’s were the German Village Society’s annual tree lighting, the Christmas Cookie Caper, the afternoon Christmas Tour of Homes, Casseroles and Carols, the Columbus Striezlmarkt held at Columbus City Hall that was a cooperative effort with our Sister City… Dresden, Germany, even a gift wrap station at Columbus City Center! Luminaria was renamed Village Lights in 2005, which brings us back to the present. May all of you reading this, Have a Safe and Happy Holiday Season!

Switching gears…

The last two week’s location contest was a tough one, but in the end there was a winner!

The location of the intersection was Third St and Whittier St. Winans Chocolate & Coffees on the S/W corner, and Studio Fovero Salon & Spa on the N/E corner.

Congratulations to John Koslap for providing the correct answer!

Bis später!

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Make our Visitor's Center your first stop! MORE »
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