Shortly after designating the boundaries of the German Village Historic District over fifty years ago, Columbus City Council enacted legislation creating the German Village Commission, which today consists of seven members appointed by the Mayor and approved by Council. These volunteer commissioners, most of whom areGermanVillageresidents, represent a wide variety of backgrounds and expertise, including architects, attorneys, builders, preservationists and others with a special interest in preserving and protecting our architectural heritage, while keeping German Village architecture relevant to our contemporary lifestyles.

To help manage the care and development of properties in the German Village Historic District, a Certificate of Appropriateness is required in advance of undertaking any exterior work, including alteration and maintenance of existing structures, as well as significant changes to landscape plans. Additions, demolition and new construction must also be reviewed and approved by the Commission, prior to receiving a Certificate of Appropriateness. Smaller maintenance and restoration projects may be qualified for approval by staff of the City ofColumbus Historic Preservation Office. The staff approval process provides a fast track for property owners since these applications need not await review at a Commission hearing. Homeowners are responsible for submitting a no cost Certificate of Appropriateness Application to the City ofColumbus Historic Preservation Office.

Working within a National Register of Historic Places listed district is an exciting and collaborative process that brings applicants into contact with many resources that helps them along the way to a successful project. A great first step is to contact the German Village Society’s Director of Historic Preservation Programs, who helps applicants to understand the processes and procedures necessary for a particular project. Early on it’s also helpful to review the German Village Guidelines, which were created by the Commission to aid property owners considering work in the Historic District and along with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards and Guidelines, are used as the principal basis for considering applications for a Certificate of Appropriateness. Links to the Guidelines, along with the Certificate of Appropriateness Application can be found under the Preservation tab.

The German Village Commission meets monthly to consider applications for Certificates of Appropriateness. Commission hearings are held at the German Village Meeting Haus and are open to the public. Attending one of its hearings, in advance of submitting an application, can help familiarize you with the process.

The Commission appreciates the community’s cooperation and enthusiastic participation in managingGermanVillage’s continuing evolution and development, while preserving and building on the Village’s historic architecture and design. This partnership is what has allowed the German Village Historic District to become a model for historic communities throughoutColumbusand beyond.

To learn more about the German Village Commission and the architectural review process, please contact the City of Columbus Historic Preservation Officeat 614.645.8620 or visit online at


Chair: Jay Panzer
Vice Chair: Mark Ours
Lisa Atkins Case
Bret Leukart
Terrence O’Donnell
Ned Thiell
Charissa Wang Durst