German Village Society Preserves Neighborhood’s Charm

The German Village Society

The challenge of preserving the architectural heritage of German Village is the principal concern of the German Village Society, the non-profit educational organization founded by Frank Fetch in 1960. This organization has been instrumental in retaining the character and distinction of the past, while creating a thriving and vital community. The Society has a Meeting Haus that serves as town hall and event venue; a visitors’ center; a web site; a Calendar of Events; and a range of programs that distinguishes them as the most active of civic association in the state of Ohio. An abandoned, trash-strewn lot has been turned into a flower-filled neighborhood pocket-park and renamed in honor of Frank Fetch. It is planted and maintained entirely with neighborhood funds and volunteer efforts.

The German Village Commission was created by the City of Columbus in July 1960 as a means of protecting and controlling the area’s architecture. The commission is appointed by the mayor with recommendations from City Council and the German Village Society. The commission, relying on the German Village Guidelines, is the legal entity that evaluates all proposed construction, reconstruction or alteration of the exterior of a Village structure and determines whether the changes are appropriate to the historic integrity of German Village.

The result is the German Village of today — one of the largest privately funded restored and preserved historic areas in the United States. The real estate of the area is now among the most valuable in the city of Columbus. There are about 3500 residences, of which nearly half have been restored. Restoration is continuing and property values in the area continue to rise in the shadows of downtown Columbus’ growing skyline. Here in such close proximity is a perfect example of how the old can be preserved while progress continues on the new.

Each year brings more and more visitors — some come to appreciate the architecture, some to enjoy the smart shops and unique restaurants, and others just to stroll the quiet streets and view the lovely gardens. Whatever the reason for your visit, we’re sure you will enjoy German Village.

Membership in the German Village Society is open to anyone, especially those with an interest in historic preservation. To learn more: http://germanvillage.com/gvs-society/join-renew-gv-society/