The Downtown Neighborhoods of Columbus, Ohio
Originally home to many German workers in the late 19th century, German Village today is a community of charming homes ranging from cozy bungalows to Victorian brick mansions. German Village is best explored on foot, giving you a chance to admire the historic architecture, brick-paved streets and unique restaurants and shops. The Village features lovely parks, including Schiller Park, named for the German poet Frederick von Schiller and featuring a bronze statue of him and the Schiller Park Recreation Facility, which offers classes for children and adults. One of the smallest parks in Columbus, 0.2-acre Frank Fetch Park has an Old World atmosphere with gas lights, brick walkways, hanging baskets and wrought iron fencing. The Grace Highfield Memorial Garden showcases 77 varieties of hostas as well as boxwood and other shade-loving plants.
A stroll down South Third Street takes you through German Village’s commercial center with many locally owned restaurants including Katzinger’s Delicatessen and Barcelona restaurant. It is also home to the renowned bookstore, The Book Loft, Caterina European Housewares and Franklin Art Glass Studios, as well as numerous art galleries.
Known as the “art and soul” of Columbus, the Short North Arts District hosts a Gallery Hop on the first Saturday of every month. Visitors from all over the Columbus area converge on the 40+ galleries and non-traditional art spaces, as well as the area’s many shops and restaurants. Summer brings the Community Festival featuring art, music and street performances.
The community’s High Street is marked by 17 high-tech arches, each strung with LED lights, which produce a mile-long rainbow of millions of color combinations. Historic Goodale Park is a lovely greenspace with a small pond and walking trails. Summer is filled with festivals and events, including the 40-year old Community Festival (locally known as ComFest), featuring a variety of performances and exhibits.
A walking tour of the district explores the area’s signature arches, takes you past giant murals of “American Gothic” and the “Mona Lisa,” into beautiful Goodale Park and past the Convention Center and the “Cap,” a unique floating structure filled with shops and restaurants.
Short North is a great place to spend a weekend at one of the many lodging options such as Harrison House Bed & Breakfast or Short North Bed & Breakfast. GrandView Mercantile is a shopper’s paradise with over 50 consignment dealers and, when hunger strikes, you can choose from restaurants galore.
The North Market, located in Short North, is the only public market in Columbus and features dozens of independent merchants and farmers who offer their wares for sale every day of the week.
Established in 1876 and originally located at 29 Spruce Street at the city’s public cemetery, the North End Market (as it was then known) was the second of four public markets in Columbus. It was completely destroyed by fire in 1948 and thereafter suffered a number of temporary closings, along with the threat of demolition.
Through the hard work of the North Market Development Authority, the Market was saved and has become one of the finest public markets in the country. The NMDA led the Market's recovery, including negotiating the 1992 purchase of a warehouse at 59 Spruce Street. The former farm-implements warehouse was an ideal location for the Market and it re-opened there in November 1995.
Today, the market attracts thousands of visitors each week who choose from the huge variety of meat, produce, fish, gourmet groceries, ethnic foods, beverages, baked goods, flowers and gifts. Visitors can sign up for the Amazing Tastes Tour in which they can meet the merchants, sample foods and go on a mini-shopping spree. The Market also hosts live music performances and cooking classes.
Located south of downtown Columbus and adjacent to German Village, the Brewery District’s history goes back nearly 200 years. The first brewery was opened by German immigrant Louis Hoster in 1836. At the neighborhood’s height, there were five breweries in the area. As the years passed, consolidation of the breweries took place and with the passing of Prohibition in 1919, the area declined, becoming home to industry and warehouses. Recent years have seen a gentrification of the neighborhood along with a concerted effort to preserve the architecture of the historic buildings located there.
People seeking an urban lifestyle have moved in, causing a resurgence in retail growth. Nightlife and beer drinking remain an important facet of life in the Brewery District.
Numerous restaurants have sprung up in the Brewery District as well as entertainment venues including the Shadowbox Live and Double Happiness. Many of the old warehouses have been modernized and transformed into lofts and condominiums.
Concerts, sporting events, national tours, children’s programs...they’re all happening in Columbus’s Arena District. Head over to the Lifestyle Communities Pavilion, Nationwide Arena, A & R Music Bar, the Grand Movie Theatre or any of the neighborhood’s bars and clubs to enjoy a great time. Cheer for the defending 2011 Triple-A National Champion Columbus Clippers, the affiliate of the Cleveland Indians at Huntington Park. Meanwhile, the Columbus Blue Jackets of the NHL take the ice at Nationwide Arena.
There is a wide variety of residential options in the Arena District including the Flats on Vine Apartments, the Arena Crossing apartments, the Burnham Square condominiums and the North Bank Park Condominiums. The Arena District Athletic Club offers top-of-the line cardiovascular equipment, free weights and weight machines as well as a range of fitness classes including yoga, boot camp and spinning.
Italian Village is an historic district located on the north side of Columbus, Ohio, adjacent to the central business district. In the early 1970s, residents of the Village banded together to stop the deterioration and demolition of historic buildings. Residents and property owners formed the Italian Village Society in 1972. One year later, the Italian Village Commission was established by the Columbus City Council. In 1986, the neighborhood was awarded an "All American City" designation for its public-private partnership in the revitalization of the area.
Today, residents of the Village work to maintain the historic beauty of the area. The Amicis (Friends) of Italian Village Park meet regularly to perform general maintenance of the neighborhood’s park. Any improvements or work on the exterior of any building in the Village must be approved by the seven-member Italian Village Commission. Residential options in Italian Village include condominiums, row homes and town homes.