German Village Gazette

Village Notebook

Fall workshop next step in keeping Village in spotlight

By Shiloh Todorov
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We're creating something kind of exciting for next fall, and I'm inviting you to mark your calendar now to join us.

The German Village Society has just passed a budget and it calls for our investment in a two-day workshop with opening gala.

The workshop will be approved for certification credit for planners, architects, realtors and attorneys.

Portions of the event will also be aimed at a broader "arm-chair planner" audience for those people in Columbus' most-unique neighborhoods who participate in their perpetuation every day.

Here's where the idea came from: The American Planning Association designated German Village as one of the nation's 10 Great Neighborhoods in America in 2011.

Sitting with some of our preservation volunteer experts, we decided to build on this recognition -- and the fact Columbus is a city of remarkable historic neighborhoods.

We also want to remain a part of the national preservation conversation, as we have been since we were among the first neighborhoods in the country to create a design-review district.

We've maintained our place in that conversation during the years by getting the district on the National Register of Historic Places, becoming Ohio's first Preserve America Community and much more.

This is the next step.

It also has significant potential financial upside for the Society as we seek ways to sustain our No. 1 critical need -- rehiring and maintaining a preservation expert on staff.

So, the German Village Society next Oct. 7-9 will present at the Westin Great Southern Hotel a two-day workshop focused on historic preservation and neighborhood revitalization.

But it's not just our neighborhood we plan to show off.

Columbus is an ideal laboratory for learning about neighborhood revitalization.

German Village's 50-plus years of experience; commercial revitalization in the Short North; multiple historic center-city neighborhoods; innovative partnerships for affordable housing in historic districts; and emerging neighborhoods such as Franklinton all make our city a perfect setting for learning about this urban trend.

In fact, so far our own German Village Commission, plus the commissions for Italian Village and Victorian Village have chosen to invest cash with us in this project.

The two-day workshop will include one day of traditional track-based, conference learning and one day of experiential tours to the neighborhoods.

The workshop days will be preceded by a gala opening event featuring a well-known speaker and open to all of Columbus during ID-US and Design Week.

You can get involved, and we hope you will. We will need volunteers. We want you at the opening-night gala, envisioned to be a cocktail event followed by the speaker, and then a VIP event ticket will be sold to those who wish to interact personally with the speaker.

And we know many of you will identify yourself as one of the "arm-chair" planners who show up week after week and month after month to make things happen in this neighborhood and beyond. You'll want to be a part of the workshops.

Keep an eye on this space, our website and our Neighbors4Neighbors weekly newsletter (not signed up? Visit our homepage, scroll to the bottom and input your email address to begin) to learn more as our planning develops.

German Village Society Executive Director Shiloh Todorov submitted the Village Notebook column.

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