Italian Village: An Overview
A model of cultural and historical preservation, and designated a historical district, the Italian Village section of the Short North neighborhood is a robust mix of mostly residential, but also commercial and industrial real estate. It is said Italian Village homes have the highest appreciation value in the entire city of Columbus. Located immediately north of downtown and adjacent to the city’s central commercial district, Italian Village is definitely an area of noticeable Italian influence in its architecture and culture. The Columbus Italian Festival is held annually, and it’s not difficult to find a good Italian meal in one of the many local restaurants. St. John the Baptist Italian Catholic Church, founded in 1896, is a cultural and architectural landmark in the community.
A Bit of Italian Village History
It might be difficult to consider Italian Village a “suburb,” but that is exactly what it was considered to be back in 1823 when its first residents arrived, and even in 1862 when the area was annexed to Columbus. A review of its rich history reveals the first residents were Irish and African American. It wasn’t until around 1890 or so that Italian immigrants began to settle in. The area flourished and employment opportunities were plentiful into the 1940s, but things slowed down and an overall deterioration began after World War II and persisted until the early 1970s. That is when the Italian Village Society and Italian Village Commission were formed, with the Italian Village Development Plan being developed the following year. By the early 1980s, the neighborhood was bustling with new life as middle income families and singles, and new businesses moved in, and renovation of existing homes, commercial buildings and factories began.
Italian Village Real Estate
With 80% of the neighborhood’s buildings being residential in the form of single-family homes, dual homes and row houses, and since their appreciation rate is reported to be the highest in Columbus, it’s easy to see why new homeowners and investors alike are taking notice. Some of the homes are of original Italianate and Queen Anne design and have been meticulously renovated, while a significant number of large, early homes have been divided into multiple living units. In addition, there are newly-constructed single-family homes, condominiums and high-end apartments.
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