German Village Gazette

Haus und Garten Tour

Dogs have luxurious lifestyle at tour stop

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

They're not just pets, they're members of the family.

Fred and Otis eat at customized granite-countertop feeding stations, bathe in their personal shower in the mud room and fall asleep on crash pads throughout the house.

The aging canines belong to Jay Panzer and Jennifer Heitmeyer, whose house at 220 E. Sycamore St. is on the 54th annual German Village Haus und Garten Tour, titled Reel Life: German Village.

The tour is slated for 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 30. A PreTour event will be held June 29.

Fred is a 14-year-old German shorthaired pointer while Otis, just shy of 14, is an Airedale terrier.

A fire hydrant is positioned in the center of a dog run outside.

In a moment of serendipity, Panzer and Heitmeyer stumbled across two metal sculptures, one of a pointer and another of an Airedale, at the Columbus Arts Festival last year.

Of course, they had to have them. The pieces of art are now located on the couple's patio.

"They weren't cheap," Panzer said.

Panzer said he and Heitmeyer never had children, so they dote on the doggies. At one time, they had four pooches, but over the years, the pack thinned out.

They lost a third Airedale last year.

"One dog is OK," Panzer said. "Two dogs are great. Three dogs are manageable. Four dogs and you become 'those people.' "

Panzer and Heitmeyer have lived in the 3,000-square-foot house for a decade.

Built in the mid-1800s, it started off as a 11/2-story cottage. It has had many additions over the years, most recently a second-story library. The second floor also features a walk-in dressing room.

Panzer describes the decor as traditional, with dark woods, leather, wooden floors adorned with area rugs and a unifying earth-tone color scheme.

The house is one of 15 stops on the tour this year. Tickets are $20 if purchased in advance through germanvillagetour.com or at the German Village Meeting Haus, 588 S. Third St.

Tickets also are available for $18 at all central Ohio Giant Eagle locations. Otherwise, they are $25 the day of the tour.

The other nine homes on the tour include:

138 E. Sycamore St., home of Pat and Jack Schuessler.

 143 Whittier St., home of Chris Coffin.

 862 Mohawk St., home of Mike Cornelis and Susan Riley.

 689 S. Third St., home of Renate and Boyd Fackler.

 247 E. Sycamore, home of Elizabeth Hinsbergen and Kate Anderson.

 615 City Park Ave., home of Terrence and Jill O'Donnell.

 124 Lansing St., home of William and Nicci Hicks.

 633 S. Fifth St., home of Carolyn McCall.

 1054 Jaeger St., home of Mark and Emmy Mitchell.

The three gardens on the tour belong to George Skestos of 147 E. Deshler Ave., Sharon Alvarez of 132 Reinhard Ave., and Mathew Cohen and Susan Geary of 923 City Park.

Also among the destinations is an historic stop: the German Heritage Haus, formerly known as the Dutch House, 976 S. High St. The facility will replace the old Columbus Maennerchor when construction is completed.

Considered a bonus stop this year, tourgoers will get a look at the historic High Line Car House, 550 S. High St.

Longtime German Village resident Angela Petro is moving her business, Two Caterers, into the former Hoster's Brewery site.

Shiloh Todorov, director of the German Village Society, said the tour's variety is impressive and should appeal to nearly every fancy.

"This year's 15 stops represent about as much diversity as you can imagine, both architecturally and in the homes' residents," she said.

"We have a cottage and a Craftsman, an Italianate and a former trolley barn," Todorov said.

"Every kind of person and taste is represented and it is going to be a really amazing Tour of inspiration."

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