Monday, September 27, 2010

German Village and My Brick Swap

This past weekend I ventured to Columbus, Ohio with a friend, for the Country Living Fair.......more on the fair in another post. While I was in the area I met up in German Village with a fellow vintage paver collector from Cincinnati to swap some bricks.

This is a photo of one of the many restored brick buildings in German Village. According to the brochure that I picked up, most of German Village was built during 1840 and 1918. At one time there were seven beer breweries in the area. German Village fell into decline after two World Wars (Germans did not fare well in either war) and prohibition (beer did not fare well in this either). The homes in German Village are all brick 2 and 3 story homes with the occasional clapboard house mingled in here and there and usually separated with just a 3 or 4 foot walkway. In addition to the buildings being all brick, the streets and sidewalks are also all brick. All structures are located close to the curb with stoops rather than porches and without a lawn to maintain (very appealing to one who mows almost 2 acres).

The area has large trees and most homes have flower pots or window boxes. When it came to paint color for the trim and window sashes the vast majority of homes stayed with a neutral or muted color palette. Some of the homes also had large gas lanterns on the front of their homes which added a great authentic touch.

In 1960 German Village started their revitalization. I would say a good 50% of the homes are fully restored and magnificent. Another 40% are in good condition with the remaining 10% still in need of work.

This area had everything I love...wrought iron, brick, and flowers.

German Village does not have a designated business district but instead you will find restaurants and other businesses located right in the residential area. We met up with Mike, from Cincinnati, at the local Max and Erma's in German Village. After a quick drink, I was so thirsty because I had been out in the sun and wind all day in 93 degree weather we swapped bricks.

We drove to beautiful Schiller Park in the center of German Village for the swap. Check out the large growth on this tree in the park. Mike collects mostly Ohio made bricks and I had some he didn't have so I was happy to swap some duplicates of the Ohio made bricks that I have in my meager collection.

After swapping bricks we drove one street over to Red Bud Alley to look at the pavers in the alley. This particular alley has the pavers laid with the name facing up rather than the traditional method of laying the paver on it's side.Here is a photo of the bricks I received from Mike in the swap. I love the color variations and the fact that the lettering on each block is a different size and font.
Mike is starting his new walk way soon. He will be laying his bricks face up so that the lettering is exposed. The first walkway he did in front of his home is laid the traditional way. I'll ask him if I can post a photo of his finished project.

As far as our project, we still need to clean the bricks we bought off of Craigslist. We will do that this winter and hopefully have the 'Yard of Bricks' completed in time for the Indy 500.

In other racing news.......G finished his first season with the SOD Series (Sprints on Dirt) in 6th place and took Rookie of the Year honors. Not too shabby for it basically being his first full year in a winged sprinter along with the fact that he did not buy a new tire all season. He supplied himself with used tires from other race teams who would rather race with new tires every week.

Congratulations G!!!!