German Village

German Village is a historic neighborhood just south of downtown Columbus, Ohio. It was settled by a large number of German immigrants in the mid 1800s, who at one time comprised as much as a third of the population of the entire city. On December 30, 1974, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. On November 28, 1980, its boundaries were increased.


The area was in serious decline throughout the first half of the 20th century, due first to anti-German sentiment during World War I, and later to the closing of the local breweries during Prohibition. Concerned citizens managed to save its historic architecture from demolition in the 1960s, by successfully lobbying for a local commission to have power over external changes made to buildings, and by getting the area listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The German Village Society presently has over 1,000 preservationists dedicated to maintaining the historic quality of the buildings and neighborhood, and German Village is currently considered one of the most desirable areas to live in the city. In 2007, German Village was recognized by the White House as a Preserve America community.

German Village has a commercial strip mainly centered along Third Street, with mostly locally owned restaurants -- such as Katzinger's Delicatessen -- and the 32-room Book Loft bookstore, as well as the tall-steepled St. Mary Catholic Church St. Mary German Village, constructed in 1868; however, German Village is mostly a residential neighborhood of sturdy, red-brick, working-class cottages with wrought iron fences, along tree-lined, brick-paved streets. The German Village Guest House has been recognized as one of the best in the Midwest by the NY Post, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the St Louis Post Dispatch.

At the southern end of German Village is Schiller Park, named after Friedrich Schiller, which was once a community meeting ground for the German settlement. It is now the site of recreational facilities, gardens and an amphitheater, which hosts free live performances of Shakespearean plays during the summer months courtesy of the Actor's Theatre.

German Village is also the home of the first Max & Erma's.


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