The last Sunday in June means it's time for the German Village Haus und Garten Tour! Home owners in the historically refurbished village open their homes and garden spaces to visitors to get a peek at new trends in design, creative uses of historic spaces and breathtakingly peaceful, tiny gardens in the shadows of downtown Columbus. Aside from the common tips for most outdoor events (wear sunscreen, stay hydrated, have fun) we have a few tips that can help you make the most of your Haus und Garten Tour experience!
1 .Get a good understanding of the history of the neighborhood. Places like this are special, and this tour is different from all the other home tours around because of that special history. The German Village Society has a great primer on the topic - from the time the first houses were built in the 1830s to the 1950s when the area was a slum, to to the people who saw its potential and made German Village the treasure it is today.
2. Brush up on your German Village architecture. If you know a Dutch Double from a Queen Anne and a 1 1/2 story cottage from an Italianate, you'll appreciate even more how much loving restoration went into each stop along the way. German Village's architectural code requires that original finishes are maintained and that additions are built with complementary but different materials - so you'll always know what was here 150 years ago while making the spaces livable for people today.
3. Wear comfortable shoes. This is the busiest day of the year in German Village - and for good reason - you don't normally get a chance to look inside these homes. Lines can be long at times, though the distance between all the stops is rarely more than two miles. You can also take golf cart shuttles at several points along the route. Plan a break if you think you might get a little weary - picking up a picnic lunch from Katzinger's Delicatessen or Brown Bag Deli and eating at Schiller Park is always a good option.
If you've been before, what tips would you give first-time Haus und Garten Tour visitors?