Historic Building Database Major Updates!




A multi-day library research trip has been fruitful! I gathered enough new information to create 3 new pages: Short North, South Side and West Side. While some of the entries were just moved from the mixed Other page, among the currently 125 homes featured on the 3 new pages, there are more than 2 dozen completely new homes added. There are many more coming to all 6 of the current residential pages.
In addition, many of the previously-added homes were updated with better photos and links that allowed for larger images when clicked on, so details are clearer than ever. Many also received updated histories.
Neighborhoods that previously had no featured homes that now do include German Village and the Hilltop.

A great example of the many new homes included in the new South Side page, this one in German Village.

Photo taken in 1978.

Check out the history of this home and more on all the Database pages-
Historic Building Database- Residential: Olde Towne East/King-Lincoln
Historic Building Database- Residential: Downtown
Historic Building Database- Residential: Short North
Historic Building Database- Residential: South Side
Historic Building Database- Residential: West Side
Historic Building Database- Residential: Other Places

Before and After: April 2013 Edition

German Village dates back to the early 19th century, and surprisingly, by the 1950s, even when the area hit rock bottom, still retained the vast majority of it’s 19th and early 20th century buildings. The city of Columbus had it in mind to bulldoze a large part of the neighborhood in the 1950s for public housing, but preservationists stepped in and saved it. The entire area was put onto the National Register of Historic Places in 1975, and today it is still the largest historic district on the registry.

Before

Looking east on E. Beck Street in German Village, 1950.

After

Looking east on E. Beck Street, German Village, present day.

Not much has changed in this image. German Village was considered a slum by the time the Before photo was taken. All of the 1950 buildings are still there today, however, and is a lasting testament to one of the earliest large-scale neighborhood preservation success stories in the United States.

Before

Louis Hoster house, 31 E. Livingston Avenue, 1892.

After

31 E. Livingston Avenue, present day.

Louis Hoster arrived in Columbus on July 4, 1833, not long after emigrating to the US from Germany. Three years later, he established the L. Hoster Brewing Company on S. Front Street. His business grew through the rest of his life, and at the time of his death at age 85, it was said he was the oldest brewer in the United States, still taking an active role in its management. The house above was built the same year of the brewery’s founding, 1836, and the photo above was taken the year he died, 1892. After 1892, the fate of the house, at least from what I could find, is unknown. Looking at old aerial pictures, the house had been replaced by newer construction prior to 1957, and that newer building itself was torn down when I-70/I-71 came through the neighborhood in the 1960s. Today, the lot is a surface parking lot for an investment company.

Before

The Book Loft building, before 1977.

After

Book Loft building, present day.

The Book Loft is one of German Village’s most popular destinations, with 32 rooms filled with books of every type. It opened in 1977 in a early 19th century building that was once everything from a saloon to a small movie house.

Before

764 Mohawk Street, 1897

After

764 Mohawk Street, present day.

Max Neugebauer was a prominent tailor and conductor of the Columbus Battalion Band. He lived in the city for about 30 years in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His tailor shop pictured was in business for another 20 or so years after the photo was taken. A building like this would’ve probably been one of the first demolished in most neighborhoods, but managed to survive and even eventually thrive to the present day in German Village due to its strict preservation codes.

Before

165 E. Beck Street, 1950

After

165 E. Beck Street, present day.

The corner building at 165 E. Beck has been one restaurant or another for well over 70 years. Starting in 1981, it became the home of Lindey’s, which still occupies the space today.

Before

40 E. Steward Avenue, 1920

After

40 E. Stewart Avenue, present day.

Stewart Avenue Elementary School opened in 1873. Originally it contained 8 grades and German was taught to all levels. During WWI, anti-German sentiment ran so high that teaching of German was banned in area schools. German books were burned on High Street and many of the neighborhood’s street names were changed to be more “American”. Even Schiller Park became Washington Park. Over the years, the school has seen modifications, but the overall look remains the same. Even the fence and concrete posts along the sidewalk remain exactly as they were in the 1920 photograph. Today, the building remains an elementary school, and recently plans were announced to expand the school’s campus. Luckily, the school and neighboring historic buildings will remain fully intact.