German Village Society’s Art Committee is proud to exhibit one of its own in a show that begins in Brent Warner Fest Hall on Monday, October 26 and runs through Sunday, November 11.
“The Secret Village,” by Ed Elberfeld, is a visual exploration of the alleys and back streets in the German Village area.
The exhibit opening reception is November 1 from 2-4 p.m. with catering in-kind by Panera and plenty of wine. The public is welcome at the open, as well as during open hours of the German Village Society Visitors Center (M-F 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Sun. 12-3 p.m.).
“Having lived here a long while, I have often enjoyed photographing German Village’s charming, walkable streetscape. It occurred to me about a year ago that it might be interesting to focus on the alleys and back streets that parallel our main thoroughfares,” Elberfeld said. “For this project, I walked and photographed (east and west) every alley from Parsons Avenue to High Street, and (north and south) from Livingstone Avenue to Hosack Street. To me, this area is a parallel universe. Some alleys cut right across the neighborhoods, some are too short to even have names.
“I refer to the photographs in this project as a visual exploration because the ‘alley’ is just a starting point to make interesting photographs. The intent is a visual transformation with its own geometry and logic; a photograph that stands by itself as a work of art beyond its documentary quality. The truth of frame, vantage point, detail, light and shadow, line, movement, shape, tone, texture and time are as important as the thing itself before the camera.”
Ed is a retired Arts educator and commercial photographer who has lived in German Village for over 40 years. His undergraduate degree is in Social Studies, and graduate degrees are from The Ohio State University in education and photography. For most of his 35-year teaching career, he was an art and photography teacher at the Columbus Art High School, Fort Hayes. He also taught at Otterbein College.
Breaks from teaching gave him time to work commercially, most often in advertising photography. And many summers were spent making fine art photography. His small studio is in the carriage house behind his home, though he photographs on location far more than in the studio. He likes to work in series, exploring some particular idea, and then creating a portfolio or book of the series.
Fun Fact #2: There is not a special list of colors allowed in German Village; you can choose your home color from any color that Home Depot or Sherwin Williams can create.
You most likely would not be approved for neon green or gold, BUT within reason any house color you choose can be staff approved by the Columbus Historic Preservation Office.
Email Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 221-8888 if you need help with your Certificate of Appropriateness Application or if you have a question about the German Village guidelines.
-by Historic Preservation Advocate Sarah Marsom
Every single tour given by the German Village Society begins with “please watch your step.” As residents of German Village, you most likely subconsciously think this when you begin your morning walk or when you make your way home from one of the restaurants. German Village sidewalks are the Society’s number one priority, because of neighbors like YOU voicing the desire for a smoother and safer neighborhood.
The German Village Society is hosting two hands-on sidewalk repair workshops on November 7; the simultaneous workshops will repair two different sidewalks in the neighborhood. Each site will require 10 volunteers to work alongside Bello Giardino Landscaping and Scholl’s Landscaping. Both Contractors will teach proper sidewalk repair techniques in addition to teaching us the best methods for ensuring a smooth walkway while dealing with mature trees.
These hands-on workshops not only improve a sidewalk, but allow you to carry on the spirit of the neighborhood’s early preservation pioneers. Fred and Howard rallied the neighborhood to improve the brick streets and now it is our turn to improve the sidewalks. Email me at email@example.com to find out more about the workshop and to register to participate.
The German Village Commission’s meeting is held on October 6 in the German Village Meeting Haus. The final agenda will be posted HERE once completed.
91 East Deshler -Replace deck
173 East Sycamore-Replace brick wall
193 East Beck-Install standing seam metal roof
207 East Deshler-New garage
227 East Sycamore-Landscaping, install fence
310 312 East Beck -New garage
-Repair windows, install new gutters
372 Jackson-Install generator
475 South Third-Install temporary event sign
529 South Lazelle-Install radon mitigation system
563 South Sixth-New garage
697 699 South Third-Variance request to allow habitable space in detached garage; New garage, replacing stoops, painting, and new brick paver driveway
702 South Sixth-Porch alterations
733 Jaeger-Replace windows
748 Jaeger-Replace windows
786 788 South Third-New garage
787 Mohawk-Conceptual review of new addition
849 South Third-New side porch
870 South Lazelle-Replace siding
899 Mohawk-Replace slate roof
The Friends of Schiller Park host two fundraising bashes each fall – one for women and one for men. Our dual events for 2015 are scheduled for Friday, October 30. The men’s party is a tasting; this year they will pretend to learn about the nuances of tequila and mezcal. The women have decided to celebrate the iconic highlights of a decade each year, beginning with the 1960’s.
The Friends of Schiller Park have marshalled the resources for all of the icing on our 23-acre cake: the Amphitheatre, welcome gardens, Schiller Statue improvements, the Umbrella Girl fountain, pedestrian lighting, picnic tables, benches, trash cans, resurfaced carriage path, landscaping at the cottage, entrance signs, the Grace Highfield Garden, tot lot improvements…you know, all those extra touches that make Schiller Park the crown jewel of our historic neighborhood!
We “get” that Schiller Park is an amazing asset that requires resources, but as members of the Host Committees, we are unanimous in the belief that the best background music for a fundraiser is laughter. Please join your camp to sip tequila and/or gain insights about the revolutionary impact of the mini skirt, nosh on great food, and raise funds to help with the Schiller Park maintenance and enhancements that far exceed the City’s budget and capacity.
Be a Friend. Buy a ticket below, or from any one of our Host Committee members (see roster below).
Christy Angel John Bureau
Beth Burson Kelly Clark
Brigid Butler Bill Curlis
Jan Clark Nelson Heinrichs
Cindy Hagan Bill Hugus
Sarah Irvin Bill Mains
Jennifer Kale Joe Pickens
Katharine Moore John Rosenberry
Carol Mullinax Justin Thomas
Lisa Parks Jeff Wolfe
In a very rare appearance, America’s Holiday Expert, and now artisan lavender purveyor, Christopher Radko, is coming to German Village on Thursday, October 1 to introduce his collection of Wild Lavender botanical spa bath and body creations. Personally grown by Christopher on his organic lavender fields in Poland, and made in small batches, this collection is now available at Caterina Ltd., 571 S. Third Street, Columbus, OH 43215. Attendees are invited to join Christopher for prosecco and a presentation from 4 to 7 pm.
Catherine Adams, Caterina Ltd proprietor, is donating proceeds of this event to the German Village Garten Club, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, which enhances life in Historic German Village by planting and maintaining the 3rd Street Planters and Frank Fetch Memorial Park, presenting educational programs, and hosting cultural events such as the 3rd Sunday Summer Concert series.
Tickets are $45 at the door.
Note: This is not a Christmas decoration or ornament event. This is a Christopher Radko lavender love-in, highlighting the benefits of lavender in our lives, and the exclusive new lavender products he has created.
By: Historic Preservation Advocate Sarah Marsom
Applications steadily roll in through the German Village Commission hoping to be approved for new building materials ranging from vinyl clad windows to faux-slate. Many of these applications are denied, BUT the German Village Commission does consider new materials and how they may be integrated into the architectural fabric.
At the September 1 2015, German Village Commission meeting, the German Village Commissioners voted to approve a test case of Hardie Plank on an addition. The German Village Commission has previously approved Hardie Plank on detached garages/auxiliary structures, but never on structures attached to a primary residence. Hardie Plank is a brand of fiber cement siding; fiber cement siding is composed of sand, cement, and cellulose. The German Village Commission has been hesitant of approving composite materials due to aging concerns in addition to aesthetics. As a test case the Commission will visit the site once the material has been installed, 6-months after installation, and a year after the material has been installed. After the full calendar year, the German Village Commission will discuss if Hardie Plank is a viable material to be utilized on additions.
Other materials that have been tested by the German Village Commission include aluminum clad windows (determined to be inappropriate) and synthetic slate roofs (some brands are appropriate and some are not). The German Village Commission works to ensure the historic district maintains its historic authenticity while accommodating contemporary living. Do you have any questions about home repairs or the German Village Guidelines? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 221-8888.
On the heels of winning back more than a dozen parking spots along Jaeger at Schiller Park, German Village Society Trustee and Parking Committee Chair Tim Bibler was appointed to the City’s Parking Advisory Committee.
In general, the purpose of the group is to act as an advisory body to the city’s Transportation and Pedestrian Commission, as well as the Director of Public Service, on parking matters, according to Mobility Options Director Patti Austin. These may include: residential permit parking, new meter locations, removal of non performing meters, implementation of parking plans and fees associated with parking. The group meets every other month right now and is working on some updates to the residential permit parking regulations which will be recommended to the T&PC for approval.
“Tim was an obvious choice to represent German Village,” said City Parking Services Coordinator Amanda Ford. “Tim has been very active and engaged on parking issues for some time and I have personally worked with him to address issues in 7 months that I have been here. He knows the area well, understands the issues and is a true advocate for GV. I would also like to add that he is very level headed and realistic in his thinking.”
Tim said: “Downtown, Short North, the surrounding neighborhoods and city parking employees are represented. One of the things that they are working on now is changing the requirements for parking permit areas. To date it has been a very positive experience.”
Have parking questions? Tim may be reached at Tmbibler22@gmail.com.
Congrats, Tim, and thanks for being our voice at the table in this very important matter!
German Village Society Executive Director Shiloh Todorov is writing a multi-part series of columns to explain elements of the Third Street plan as the Society wraps up a half-million dollar UIRF engineering study in partnership with the City of Columbus.
Let’s talk safety as it relates to our plans to revitalize the Third Street corridor.
This is installment 3. Details about sandstone curbs and drainage can be found online at germanvillage.com if you need to catch up.
Third Street, when I joined German Village Society in 2011, had a short-hand reference people made about it: rebrick Third.
But at its essence, safety is the core of the Third Street revitalization project that Civic Relations Committee is now finalizing with our partners at the City of Columbus.
Of seven key elements of the project, four speak to improving safety along our village’s main street.
The first, pedestrian lighting, is a critical upgrade to the dark swaths of Third that don’t get much light from driver-focused lights that line only the east side of the street.
I don’t know how many police luncheons I’ve attended where Step 1 in personal safety as repeated over and over again by our officers is: turn on the lights.
Light is like kryptonite to criminals, and pedestrian lights along Third will help residents, employees and visitors alike feel more safe navigating on foot.
When OHM Advisors presented its findings to the public March 31, they delivered what we asked for — pricing on pedestrian lights that look just like the ones in Schiller Park.
Since then, we’ve realized we should have asked them – as experts – what the right kind of light is for the project, and they have taken that question back for further study. Results will be considered by the committee before the final recommendation is negotiated with the city of Columbus.
The second critical element of safety is fixing, flattening and closing the gaps in our sidewalks.
For the past six months, anyone keeping up with progress in our strategic plan knows that we are working hard to help property owners across the neighborhood fix sidewalks. (Step 1: understand that the sidewalk is a property owner’s responsibility to fix.)
On Third Street, we want the project to include brick sidewalks at every property. But to fit our historic feel, we want different guideline-approved patterns as you go from block to block and even property to property. By making the sidewalks part of the project, we can assure that they are sloped in such a way that they help improve the drainage issues into the sewer, AND we can make sure that gutters that might currently drain onto sidewalks can be rebuilt to drain under the walk into the street.
Just think about the safety improvement that creates — in summer, you don’t trip on a walk where the tree has uprooted the walk; in winter, proper drainage under the sidewalk will prevent those mini ice rinks so common in the corridor.
Third, an important safety feature will be the traffic-calming effect of narrowing the travel lanes on Third.
With two bike lanes and two parking lanes in the plan, the street will be narrower and hopefully safer with reduced speeds.
Finally, the Third Street improvements call for reduced clutter in our signage.
Whether you’re trying to park, figure out street-sweeping, looking for the speed limit (no, it is NOT 50) or searching for street signs, the current signs are a huge distraction to drivers.
Limiting the number of signs and making them clearer to read will vastly improve the drive and add a beautifying effect by reducing clutter.
Let’s talk more about Third Street. This time – let’s talk drainage.
(If you missed last week’s column, do go back and find the story of sandstone and my field trip to the quarry!)
If you think about Third Street as a beautification and preservation project, the drainage part isn’t too sexy. But when you think about Third Street like I do – as a safety and infrastructure investment – drainage is key to the project.
When I wrote the application in the summer of 2012 that won the grant from the city to undertake the engineering survey (that’s the piece OHM Advisors is currently finishing), I said: “We need only look back to July 24, 2011, for the last major flood event on Third Street. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows that just 0.83 inches of rain fell on that date, but homes and businesses along Third Street suffered damage and at least one car parked on the thoroughfare was totaled as a result of water damage that rose as high as the steering wheel. Third Street floods in less than an inch of rain because years of asphalt paving have diminished the height of our stone curbs, compromised drainage routes and in many places nearly closed the sewer grates.”
What OHM has discovered over the past 18 months of surveying and preliminary engineering is that it isn’t JUST the asphalt building up and nearly closing the existing drainage inlets – it is debris from trees and garbage obstructing inlet openings and the lack of what the engineers call “curb-profile” to guide the storm water into the combined sewer inlets. OHM continues to investigate if there are enough drains along Third to deal with intense short-term/long-term rainfall events. Their recommendation to the city, which will be completed this fall, includes potentially adding new catch basins along Third Street to allow the water to drain more efficiently.
When OHM and the city held the public presentation in Brent Warner Fest Hall back on March 31, they also showed a number of reasons why drainage is an issue along the corridor and how some property owners have contributed to the ponding and pooling of water unintentionally. OHM illustrated gutter downspouts and sump-pumps discharging water onto adjacent sidewalks, and the roadway which contributes to the overall storm water problems along Third Street.
The Third Street Preliminary Engineering Project will address all of these contributing issues, potentially adding additional drainage structures drains, correcting runoff from properties and opening the existing drains. The extent of the project is property-line-to-property-line along Third, therefore it is important to correct the sidewalk storm water runoff and direct that run off to the new curb and roadway drainage system that will dramatically improve walkability in the winter-time reducing some of the ice rinks we currently have in some spots.
As a bonus, one engineer connected to the project told me that improved drainage, new catch basins and hoods on Third Street will be a partial solution to some of the odor issues plaguing the neighborhood.
Together, the drainage fixes total about $750,000 of the total project that German Village Society is advocating for along Third.
I am going on a “How It’s Made”-style field trip to Cleveland Quarries in Vermillion, OH, on September 24.
The City of Columbus has the much-rumored (and actually existing) sandstone curb bank. It is the place where Villagers for decades have had the opportunity to replace their own curbs from repossessed sandstone removal projects elsewhere. The bank is down to, we are told, not much inventory.
As we work on improving sidewalks, and on finalizing our plans for Third Street, we wanted to know what it would take to find more sandstone. Several city officials had told us they weren’t aware of quarries that would match the color or quality of the type you see at our curbsides now.
This felt like an opportunity for us to demonstrate our true partnership with the City. We offered to see if we could research a suitable sandstone vendor.
Sarah found Cleveland Quarries by deploying her preservation connections, and we were soon giving its Director of Sales, Dave Dunn, a tour of German Village. Dave said the unique qualities of sandstone allowed him to identify the sandstone in our neighborhood with what he has in Vermillion. Additionally, he was able to find sales records from Cleveland Quarries to the City of Columbus dating back to at least 1905 (the rest of the records were recently donated to their local history museum!).
Eureka! Not only is the same sandstone still available, it’s right down the road!
In July, two City of Columbus engineers went on a tour of German Village’s sandstone curbs with Dave Dunn and to gather samples for testing. We all peppered Dave with a lot of questions: Is the current sandstone the same quality as the original? How much supply do you have and how quickly could you respond to orders? Do you have the capability to cut the radii that are each unique in German Village? What’s it going to cost? How long will it take to go from bright gray to looking more like what you see out there now?
Since July, the engineers have been running their tests. Dave has been pricing the cuts and the straight pieces, working with potential local suppliers and reviewing the city’s contract paperwork – should he get a green light. To answer the quality and coloring questions, we are going up to see for ourselves!
The sandstone curb is one of two remaining questions the German Village Society is trying to finalize before we complete the Third Street plan. The other is pedestrian lighting options.
We want to maintain the historic fabric of our curbs, and we may have found the vendor that can help us. We can tell just by walking our dogs that sandstone has a 100-year longevity and concrete is less than 20. It’s our job as advocates to help the city see that the early investment pays off over the years.
That said, there is an existing template in Columbus that – if we get the green light for sandstone – the city is likely to duplicate. Granite curbs have been approved in downtown, and to their credit, our city partners have learned a lot about natural curbing that can help us get sandstone right.
However, granite is an approved OPTION downtown, not the go-to building material for curbs. Property owners who wish to invest in granite for their curbs will always get a yes, but they have to pay the up-charge between concrete and granite.
Watch our Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter accounts – and of course N4N – to learn more about our trip to Cleveland Quarries. We’re hoping for a major new tool in preservation in our partnership with the City of Columbus.