If you've been looking for a reason to attend a German Village Commission meeting -- just for fun and neighborhood civic activity -- join commissioners at the Meeting Haus on Tuesday, Oct. 3.
The German Village Society will be asking approval to implement the first prototype of our interpretive trail and we would love you to see it.
The interpretive trail is the second physical phase of our comprehensive signage project.
The need for wayfinding, storytelling, border makers and streets signs is evident when you compare us against other historic districts in the US.
The vision for the German Village program -- and the ability to fund it thanks to Tea 43206 -- belongs to Darci Congrove and John Pribble.
"Many of our stories are not known even by those who have called German Village home for years," Congrove said.
"The signage plan intends to embed these stories into the neighborhood in a way that walking the dog down a different street can yield a new discovery about the brick manufacturers who supplied our original infrastructure or the urban pioneers who refurbished it.
Like the whimsical tiny elf doors art project in the trees of Schiller Park a few summers back, we hope to surprise and delight residents and visitors alike."
Since May, when the Ohio Humanities Council awarded a $20,000 grant to the project, German Village Society has been working with professionals Nancy Recchie and Jeff Darbee along with a landscape design team from MKSK to create the first wave of implementation.
Nancy and Jeff, using their own personal history in the Village and their professional expertise as preservationists, are in charge of digging up the stories we will share.
MKSK is in charge of the aesthetic of the signs.
During the commission meeting, we will show commissioners the result of five months of design planning and how it fits the guidelines.
We will share our intended prototype storytelling path along Beck Street.
The first dozen stories mix tales you might know -- such as: "Who is Frank Fetch and how did this park get named for him?" -- with other stories you probably have not heard.
Woven in are historic photos, preservation principles and explanations for why German Village is what it is.
"As with so many other Villagers, our desire is to make an ongoing contribution to creating a more vibrant, welcoming and unique place for others to discover," Pribble said.
If the commission gives the green light, the next step is a focus group of professional and neighbor evaluators to tell us if we are delivering on the stated goals of the project.
Then we're off to the foundry -- creating the first dozen signs for Beck Street by year's end and completing 18 more for other parts of the neighborhood in the new year.
If you've ever attended Tea 43206 or donated a silent auction item to it, this is very much your project. But even if you just can't remember the details of that great "Brothers' House" story when your family is in town visiting, the project is also yours.
If you'd like to get deep in the details with us, be at the commission meeting Tuesday and explore what we hope to have in store.
German Village Society Executive Director Shiloh Todorov submitted the Village Notebook column.